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OPINION: Tracking devices a step too far in COVID war

Raelene HallMidwest Times
The Premier is suggesting that “high-risk” individuals in quarantine should be made to wear an electronic tracking device.
Camera IconThe Premier is suggesting that “high-risk” individuals in quarantine should be made to wear an electronic tracking device. Credit: StockSolutions/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Are we convicts again?

It isn’t difficult to find historical stories and photos of people being chained together, like our convicts and Indigenous Australians. The Jews were marked by tattooed numbers. The fear, shame, pain and humiliation must have been horrific.

We’re now in 2020 and the Premier is suggesting that “high-risk” individuals in quarantine should be made to wear an electronic tracking device.

The Opposition Leader went one step further and suggested all those in quarantine should wear one! Really? Just as an aside, how is “high risk” determined?

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I know we have had some incidences of people coming into the State without permission and escaping or not entering quarantine. Fortunately, they have been free of the coronavirus.

This is something all West Australians would like to see prevented but is a tracking device the answer? Do we really need to go to this extreme?

The idea of every person in quarantine having to wear one is completely over the top. Consider the woman who was given an exemption to enter the State to attend her mother’s funeral. She quarantined as per requested, intended to attend the funeral and return to quarantine before flying home. Any funeral is hard enough, let alone your mother’s.

To treat people like a criminal when they’ve done nothing wrong would be absurd.

What about those people who have spent months and countless dollars trying to get home from overseas finally to arrive back in Perth and be slapped with a monitoring device as a welcome?

I believe the bracelets set off an alarm if you try to take them off or move somewhere you are not meant to? How many people are required to constantly monitor the alarms and how long will it take someone (police, I assume) to apprehend the person out of their permitted zone?

Many people will disagree, I know. They see the border lockdowns and these proposed monitoring devices as keeping us safe. For me, it’s beginning to look like over-reach and over-control on the part of our Government. I’m starting to feel like a prisoner in my own State.

If these electronic tracking devices do work, let’s start using them on those who perpetrate domestic violence to keep them away from their victims and prevent them from destroying lives. That’s something I would back the Government every inch of the way on, especially with domestic violence on the rise.

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