WA minister lashes doctor's 'Nazi' analogy

Michael Ramsey
WA Health Minister Roger Cook has slammed a doctor who likened the state's lockdown to Nazi Germany

Western Australia's health minister has slammed "disgraceful" comments made by a prominent doctor who likened the state's border controls to Nazi Germany.

The stoush came as WA recorded two new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, both from returned overseas travellers who are in hotel quarantine.

WA now has four active cases following one recovery overnight.

Infectious diseases specialist Clay Golledge, a notable critic of the government throughout the coronavirus pandemic, lashed out at Premier Mark McGowan after he declined to name a date for reopening the interstate borders.

Labelling Mr McGowan a "messianic megalomaniac", Dr Golledge suggested the premier was using the crisis to gain political traction.

"Good people can be brainwashed in to believing the spin. We saw an extreme example of this in Germany in 1933," he posted on Twitter.

Health Minister Roger Cook said Dr Golledge, a senior doctor at Perth's Hollywood Private Hospital, should apologise.

"I find those tweets deeply offensive, not only to myself and the premier but also to all those people for whom it touches upon very personal issues," he told reporters on Tuesday.

"This is a serious matter. We're here through the pandemic trying to save lives and trying to save jobs and really, it's disgraceful that Dr Golledge should belittle that debate by making these sort of comments that are deeply offensive."

Mr Cook said he was troubled by the fact that Dr Golledge was also an advisor to the AFL on infectious diseases, as negotiations continued between the league and the government on a potential hub in Western Australia.

"I would seriously reconsider seeking his advice on this issue," he said.

The premier on Monday revealed his government had been planning to reopen the interstate borders from August 8.

But an outbreak in Victoria, where there has been significant community transmission, has led WA to abandon any border changes for now.

All other coronavirus restrictions within WA will be removed from July 18, paving the way for capacity crowds of up to 60,000 when AFL games return to Optus Stadium.

"These are obviously really exciting developments and very important ones but with this reward comes a great deal of responsibility," Mr Cook said.

"It's important that Western Australians continue to make sure that they observe physical distancing, make sure that we do all these things which have made us successful."