Published on Friday, 20 August 2021 at 2:39:00 PM

This week I experienced for the first time what our fellow Australians have been subjected to in recent weeks; I was in a lock-down and I didn’t like it.

The quarantine was only for three days and ended when I got a negative swab result.

It all started on Sunday when I flew into Darwin for a regional development conference and a meeting of Australian Mining Cities Alliance - of which I am the chairman.

I woke up the next morning to the news of the Northern Territory outbreak, told to stay in my room for two days, get to the airport and then on arrival in Perth go into quarantine again for 48 hours until I happily got my negative result.

I was amazed at how confronting and challenging the isolation was and I spared a thought for those who have to do 14 days and that included four of our Olympic heroes returning to Perth on the same flight after doing a fortnight’s quarantine at Howard Springs. It was nice to see them being cheered wherever they went.

Despite my dislike for quarantine, at no stage did I ever waiver in my support for Mark McGowan’s hardline on border control and I was also reassured that I’d already had my two COVID-19 inoculations.

My Darwin experience makes me think that at some stage the happy bubble we are enjoying in Kalgoorlie-Boulder will one day burst and that the only way to prepare for that eventuality is to get our two jabs.

There are increasing calls around Australia to restrict access to public transport and major venues to those who have been inoculated, and as Mayor I will take a similar hard stance provided all local residents have been given an opportunity to get a vaccine. We should be in a position to do that early next year.

Once we know every local has had the chance to get their preferred brand of vaccine, then if they chose not to then as far as I’m concerned we should chose to not let them on planes, trains and buses, and even in cafes and restaurants.

The Councillors may also have to make a decision about venues such as the Goldfields Arts Centre, the Oasis or other City facilities.

This will be unpopular with a section of our community, but it will be even more unpopular with a much bigger number of locals if our family members and friends get sick and even die because we don’t take such a hard stance.

There’s a lot of talk about deprivation of freedom. There is no greater deprivation of freedom than taking away a person’s life.

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