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COVID Lockdowns: WA Premier Says CE Retailers Not “Essential” Businesses

Consumer electronics retailers like Harvey Norman may not be “essential” businesses under Western Australia’s lockdown, according to Premier Mark McGowan.

In a press conference today, the WA Premier was asked which retailers would be considered “essential” during Perth’s four-day lockdown. He highlighted Target, Bunnings, and Officeworks as businesses he would consider essential, while dismissing Harvey Norman as “non-essential” upon learning it is still trading.

“I don’t think they would be considered to be ‘essential’ at this point in time, and therefore I’d urge them to look at the rules and comply with them.

“Some people regard electronics as essential; others don’t. My children would say electronics are essential, I’d probably say they’re not,” he said.

McGowan was pressed on whether definitions of “essential” businesses are confusing for retailers, and agreed that they would be, but insisted that the state would not take a “heavy-handed” approach.

“I’ve spoken to the police commissioner about it; he doesn’t want to have police officers going in and arresting people, locking down shops, or whatever. We rely upon the innate common sense of West Australians to do the right thing,” he said.

Perth and the Peel region entered a snap four-day “circuit breaker” lockdown on Tuesday following the arrival of the highly infectious COVID-19 Delta strain in WA from Sydney’s Bondi cluster.

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