Western Australia’s re-opening plan and recommitment to a safe transition

Published on Monday, 24 January 2022 at 11:24:23 AM

The Shire of Derby/West Kimberley would like to acknowledge the change to Western Australia’s re-opening plan and recommit to a safe transition at an as yet unknown date.

Shire president Geoff Haerewa  said his team were working closely with local health bodies and various agencies to work towards a safe re-opening plan for the Shire of Derby/West Kimberley, where vaccination rates remain low.


A COVID subcommittee has been meeting on a regular basis in Derby since the start of the pandemic and includes representatives from Derby and Fitzroy Crossing Police, Derby Aboriginal Health Service, Department of Communities, National Indigenous Australians Agency, West Kimberley Regional Prison, Horizon Power, Water Corporation, RAAF, Main Roads, Winun Ngari, Residential Aged Care operators and the West Australian Country Health Service, who are charged with leading the region’s response to the virus.


These meetings have allowed the Shire to keep abreast of what critical pieces of the response and recovery aspects of the COVID pandemic. It has included looking at various aspects of daily life and how to foreshadow issues once covid enters the community, including the health system, transport and freight logistics and a continuing a reliable supply of essential goods and services. It has also allowed the committee to raise its concerns through the Local Emergency Management Committee and from there to the district and state committees respectively.


Haerewa acknowledged that many families in the Kimberley would be feeling distressed at the delayed re-opening, and urged them to hang on just a little bit longer.


“I understand the delayed re-opening will come as a setback to many and I absolutely empathise with you. This pandemic is sad and exhausting for everyone living through such an unusual time in history.”


“But let's spend this time focusing on our readiness as a community for when the border does open and we begin to live with the virus,” Haerewa said.


According to DAHS, vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19, with three jabs offering the strongest protection against the virus and virulent new Omicron strain. The Covid-19 vaccine is free to anyone in the region, and available via DAHS or at the hospital’s specialist vaccination clinic.


“If it has been three months since your second jab, get your booster now,” said Haerewa, who is himself double vaxxed, and about to get his booster shortly.


“When the time comes to re-open and reunite with our loved ones, we want the people of our Shire and the greater Kimberley region to be safe and protected for this new phase of life.”

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