Premier urges WA jobseekers to take offers

Rebecca Le May
Premier Mark McGowan has urged WA residents on JobSeeker payments to accept new job offers

West Australians who are knocking back work because they're comfortable on JobSeeker are being urged to get off their backsides, with Premier Mark McGowan saying "our economy needs you".

While employees on JobKeeper are meant to accept any reasonable offer to return to work, the usual Centrelink penalties for those on JobSeeker who don't accept suitable offers are on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If you can get a job, take it," Mr McGowan told reporters on Saturday.

"This is a time when our economy needs you, our state needs you.

"There's lots of roles out there that a lot of people haven't traditionally done - we've relied upon backpackers or we've relied upon people with certain visas - they're not here now.

"So we need West Australians to do all sorts of roles out there across the state, particularly in the regions. It's a great opportunity to do something different."

While the state government was planning for mass deaths three months ago, WA is instead now in phase four of eased restrictions, with big queues forming outside nightclubs when they reopened at midnight.

The gaming floor at Crown Perth reopened at 6am, with spacing requirements in place, and the venue now has about 4200 staff back at work.

When phase five kicks in on July 18, depending on infection rates, the two square metre rule will come to an end. Full capacity will be permitted at major sport and entertainment venues such as Optus Stadium, up from 50 per cent.

Mr McGowan said the state had so far avoided a catastrophe but when an outbreak inevitably occurred, WA would be prepared.

Lifting the interstate border closure under phase six has been put on hold due to the spike in cases in Victoria.

Success or failure was in the hands of the community, Mr McGowan said.

"People need to be confident but not complacent. We need to be aware but not frightened. We need to do the right thing by each other."

No new cases emerged in WA overnight and four cases remain active in hotel quarantine.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the state would in coming weeks adopt a recommendation by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee to test people in 14-day quarantine on day two.

Currently, they are only tested on day 12.

Mr McGowan's popularity has soared for his good-humoured handling of the crisis, prompting a pub in his Rockingham electorate to hold a "Mark Eats Free" promotion for anyone named Mark this weekend.

The venue also offered to shout all patrons a pint "if the man himself turns up for his free feed".

Mr McGowan was spotted at the venue having a beer after his press conference.