West Australians who don’t comply with self-isolation directions will have an electric device installed in their homes or be warned under new laws to address the COVID-19 crisis.
Those who flout the laws, remove or interfere with the electronic device without reason will be fined $12000 or jailed for 12 months.
The new legislation under the The Emergency Management Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 will be introduced in WA parliament on Tuesday.
The legislation will also introduce $1000 on-the-spot fines for people and $5000 fines for businesses who disobey self-isolation and gathering directives.
Under the Criminal Code Amendment (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 also to be introduced, anyone who knowingly has or says they have coronavirus, and assaults or threatens to harm a public officer will be penalised.
Culprits will face up to 10 years in jail for assaults and seven years for threats or other harm.
Public officers include police, doctors, nurses, hospital or health service staff, firefighters, SES and ambulance officers.
Premier Mark McGowan said those who deliberately did the wrong thing would face the full force of the law and harsh penalties.
“Unfortunately, we have seen a number of distressing reports of people across the country claiming they have COVID-19, deliberately coughing or spitting on innocent people who are simply doing their jobs,” Mr McGowan said.
“Our frontline staff in essential and emergency fields are working tirelessly around the clock at great personal risk to themselves and others to keep our community safe.”
He said it was vital the amendments be passed and urged all MPs to consider them on their merits.
These new laws will only be used during a State of Emergency and will be withdrawn after a year.
In addition to the new laws, the state government will also look to progress several Bills currently before the Legislative Council that will help in the response to the virus crisis.