Mayor’s call for caution as city starts to get back to business

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser
City of Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington.
Camera IconCity of Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington has described the lifting of social-distancing restrictions as a “terrific opportunity”, but also urged caution, saying a second wave of COVID-19 infections would be catastrophic.

“We need to get back into business — we can’t stay like this for the rest of our lives,” Mr Wellington said.

“It is good to see some easing of the restrictions. Hopefully everyone will still be mindful of self-distancing to make sure we don’t get a second wave.

“That would be catastrophic.”

Mr Wellington said he believed Monday’s relaxation of restrictions would present the region’s tourism industry with an opportunity to target the metropolitan market.

The expanded regional boundary zone will allow residents to move freely between Perth, Peel, the Great Southern, South West and Wheatbelt. His message to Perth residents with itchy feet was simple: “You’ve got to holiday in WA this year and we’re the greatest place to come to”.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the city and tourism industry to start advertising into the metropolitan area,” Mr Wellington said. “I know people in the tourism industry are starting to get bookings already, people are looking to get away.”

In his capacity as chairman of the WA Regional Capitals Alliance, Mr Wellington said some regional communities would be feeling hard done by after they were excluded from the regional travel zone surrounding Perth.

In particular, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie and Esperance would not be pleased with their exclusion, Mr Wellington said.

“I’m not sure of the exact reasoning behind it but I would have thought probably a line from Geraldton downwards would have made more sense,” he said.

“But so far I think the Government has done a pretty good job, and you have to accept the information that they’ve been given for the decisions that are being made.”

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