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Friday, October 30, 2020

Labor’s Chris Bowen backs premiers including Mark McGowan on ‘cautious approach’ to easing virus restrictions

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Federal Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen has defended premiers who take a “cautious approach” in easing back coronavirus restrictions, saying those who delay re-opening borders are doing the right thing.

Mr Bowen also slammed attacks on cautious political leaders such as Premier Mark McGowan — who has stood firm on Western Australia’s hard border closure — as “immature”.

It comes as Victoria is set to reinstate tighter restrictions after a concerning spike in cases. The State will on Monday bring back tougher restrictions on homes and public gatherings after 25 COVID-19 cases were identified on Saturday — the highest case numbers reported in two months — and a further 19 on Sunday.

The outbreak is expected to impact when other states re-open their borders.

Until we have this (COVID-19) under control completely, it is not under control at all.

Mr Bowen said he understood the need to get the economy and borders opened back up but warned going “too quickly” was dangerous.

“We all want to see the economy opened up, we all want to see borders open, we all want to see it being back to normal, but it would be irresponsible to do it too quickly,” he told ABC’s Insiders.

“We have been aware for a long time that a second wave is a distinct possibility if we are not very cautious.”

Mr Bowen re-enforced his support for premiers who “have taken a cautious approach, because that’s the right thing to do”.

But he slammed political attacks on leaders who are simply “following the health advice”.

“I’ve been disappointed to see political attacks on Premiers who are following the health advice… who has been attacked for being too cautious, which strikes me as a particularly immature operation,” he said.

“Until we have this (COVID-19) under control completely, it is not under control at all.”

Mr McGowan has refused to set any date on re-opening borders, maintaining his number one priority was the health of West Australians.

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