Perth’s Optus Stadium will be turned into a coronavirus crisis management centre to deal with the emergency response to the pandemic.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan made the announcement this afternoon saying it would be primarily used for police.
“The centre has been established to police maintaining law and order and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on the community,” he told reporters this afternoon.
“Police will track workforce impacts and plans for essential services across Western Australia.
“They will turn the directions that come out of the state emergency committee meetings, which happens at least twice a week, into operational guidance for officers.”
WA Police commissioner Chris Dawson said the facility was one of four centres being set up to deal with the emergency response to the pandemic.
“It is multi-sectorial, it covers both the public service and the private sector and other voluntary and community groups,” he said.
“This is about our community. This is about us being able to make decisions, although they’re tough decisions to make.
“There are many issues that will impact on people’s lives, on their businesses and, indeed, the way you operate as a family and a community, but it is being done under a state of emergency declaration, which I have signed, in regards to restricting and firmly controlling access by people who wish to enter Western Australia.”
Mr McGowan reiterated the state’s border was closed.
“If you are a tourist and want to come to WA, it’s too late,” he said.
“Please don’t come. This is unprecedented and has never happened before.
“I just ask for patience and understanding as we bring in the new rules to protect the community.”
He said non-essential travel across Australia and Western Australia needed to stop.
“Our new border restrictions have helped put a complete stop, a major restriction or stop on any unnecessary travel into the state,” he said.
“I also want to expand that advice across Western Australia. That means that any unnecessary intrastate, internal travel in Western Australia, needs to be avoided.
“We’ll be putting in place restrictions on the movement between Western Australia’s regions. It is important we minimise the spread of this virus.”