WA premier expects few vaccine hold-outs

·2-min read

Western Australia's premier is confident critical industries won't be disrupted as the deadline nears for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.

Fly-in, fly-out resources workers, police officers and fire and emergency services staff are among those who must have received their first dose by December 1.

A larger cohort including retail and hospitality workers have until the end of the year to get jabbed.

WA is expected to reopen its borders in late-January or early-February, subject to 90 per cent of people aged 12 and over being fully vaccinated.

About 85 per cent of West Australians have now received at least one dose but there has been backlash over the mandates from a vocal minority, some of whom have levelled violent threats against the premier and other leaders.

Premier Mark McGowan expects most people will agree to get vaccinated when faced with a threat to their livelihood.

"We had exactly the same issue in the aged care workforce," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"As the deadline approaches, people see sense. They get vaccinated, life goes on, they keep themselves safe, they continue to be employed and in due course they wonder what all the fuss was about."

WA Police deputy commissioner Col Blanch said officers who refused to get vaccinated before the deadline would likely lose their jobs.

He told Perth radio 6PR he expected the number to be fewer than two dozen.

The state government will this weekend launch a summer vaccination drive including targeted promotions and events and pop-up clinics at selected supermarkets.

Clinics will also open at cricket matches at Optus Stadium, beginning with Saturday's WBBL final.

Remote communities remain a continued focus with only about a third of Aboriginal people in WA being fully vaccinated.

Police have increased Mr McGowan's personal security after two young men allegedly threatened to behead the premier and his family.

The men, aged 18 and 20, are alleged to have phoned Mr McGowan late on Saturday and left a number of threatening messages. They are due to face court next month.

Mr McGowan, who has indefinitely closed his electorate office amid security concerns, is also weighing whether to move his family from their nearby home in Rockingham, south of Perth.

"The people involved in all of this share my address all of the time, so it's a bit of a problem," he said.

"I'm not too worried about it in a personal sense, (although) it's not pleasant.

"The main thing I'm worried about is making sure people get vaccinated before they catch COVID."

Police Commissioner and vaccine commander Chris Dawson said threats had also been made against his life, resulting in charges being laid.

He said police were monitoring back roads between WA and the Northern Territory, whose outbreak has grown to more than 50 cases.

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