Premier admits to errors in the handling of Al Kuwait and pledges to “do better”

By Helene Fung

WA Premier Mark McGowan admitted that when he addressed the media yesterday about the six COVID-positive sailors on live export ship Al Kuwait docked at Fremantle Port, “the full picture was not clear”.

Mr McGowan claimed yesterday that the relevant Federal agencies who cleared the ship to dock, the Department of Agriculture and the Australian Border Force, did not notify the State Government that the sailors were ill.

However, an email surfaced this morning, appearing to be sent from the Department of Agriculture to the state Public Health Emergency Operations Centre last Friday, informing them that there were three crew members on the Al Kuwait with elevated temperatures.

Mr McGowan said he was disappointed that the email did not raise red flags within the state Department of Health; but said in defence that the email also explicitly stated there was “no concern for COVID-19 on the vessel”.

Mr McGowan explained that yesterday he didn’t have some of the information he now has, and said “There have clearly been some errors made all around. We can and must do better, and we will.”

Mr McGowan has contacted Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to discuss the issues, and said he sees a need to “improve communications between all parties”.

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Ivan Leung began his media adventure in 2007 with DHK News Chinese, he worked as a journalist and the senior newsreader in Hong Kong. In 2009, he becomes the DHK English News Executive Producer and the Chief Newsreader in-charging a 20 people news team in HK and Perth, presenting "Evening News" together with Ana Godden. Ivan becomes WAMN's Editor-in-chief after resigned from DMHK due to personal reasons. Ivan can speak fluent Cantonese, Mandarin and English.


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