Mark McGowan’s announcement last night should come as no surprise as it reflects his whole way of operating for the last two years. However the impact on the events sector in WA will be great and the sector could fall five years behind the East Coast in the recovery process.
It’s ironic that the 2022 lamb advert called it when they asked will WA ever be part of Australia again! Watch it to the end.
And these headlines impact the East Coast as well, so thanks for nothing Emperor!
Organisers on the East Coast I have spoken to have already moved forward and have conceded their events won’t have participation from WA companies in 2022, and this was before the announcement last night, the trust aspect with the Emperor has made all sceptical.
For the WA event market however it is another blow because when he eventually opens up there will be a lingering question over when he may close the border again, why would anyone want to run an event in WA with so much uncertainty?
This all comes down to that same word again – confidence. As we struggle to rebuild on the East Coast, the WA decision does have a ripple effect that frankly we don’t need as it just consumes media headlines and impacts confidence that borders can still be snap closed again.
The sensible and realistic new CHO in Queensland has had a positive impact which has led to that state moving forward with the rest of the East Coast. There is now hope the current wave seems to be following what the health authorities and independent experts have all predicted and we should soon see a positive side as the Omicron wave passes.
In my view the WA Premier has totally underestimated that when he does open up how much WA will be impacted by covid. You only need to look at the spread of Omicron across the East Coast over Christmas and the New Year to see that we are now developing a level of immunity based on vaccinations and infection. WA will be left wide open and you can only imagine what his decisions will be, waiting until it is safe to reopen the WA border could be never ending.
It is interesting to note even the AMA President, who is based in WA, has come out and said Omicron is in WA already and putting your head in the sand won’t stop it. All premiers talk about how they follow the health advice, I don’t think McGowan has any medical qualifications yet those who do, don’t agree with him! And whilst there seems to be a minority who have fallen for McGowan as a saviour who is protecting them it will be interesting to see how that sentiment rolls when it reality hits, as quoted by a few he is a one trick pony!
And while Emperor and other state leaders keep taking cheap pot shots at the Federal Government, and in particular the NSW Premier, we have to move beyond lockdowns and in the coming weeks we will hopefully have more freedoms and confidence. It’s called leadership and making difficult decisions.
More importantly I hope the WA Premier has allocated a HUGE budget to the events sector to BUY business to return, and to support them in the survival process. Given the increases in freight and travel from the East to West, without big subsidies and some major guarantees the sector may be looking at least five years to catch up with the East Coast.
His decision and announcement just keeps playing into major media stories with headlines that affect confidence everywhere. We need to get borders and covid off the news headlines as this feeds the lack of confidence and the live event sector will continue to be a casualty as a result, which we just don’t need.