FIFO worker put on plane after WA border exemption attempt
A fly-in, fly-out worker who had been facing a criminal investigation after police rescinded his permission to enter Western Australia when he stepped off a plane has been flown back interstate.
Police arrived at his hotel room during the night and told him they were taking him to the airport.
The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was treated like a prisoner after police interrogated him over the exemption he received last week to WA's 'hard border' restrictions.
An excerpt from an exemption received by a FIFO worker to enter WA.
He said he was held by police for several hours on Wednesday night before they sent him to a hotel under mandatory quarantine orders.
"[Police] more or less asked what are you doing here and I explained to him about Robyn [his partner] and he said what other proof do you have or reason for being here?" he said.
"He even questioned, do you even have a job. I'm pretty sure they thought I was spinning them a story."
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said the man was now facing a criminal investigation because his approved application said he was returning to WA, whereas a previous application had him listed as living in Tasmania.
"That's why he was rejected at the airport, because the circumstances that have been put in the subsequent application are different than the information that was earlier provided and that is now the subject of a criminal investigation," he told Gareth Parker on 6PR.
"Clearly we have grounds to have an investigation based on our advice and on the information that has been provided.
"We're not going to approve people who change their circumstances on applications and if we don't believe them to be valid, then we will knock it back and that's exactly what's happened here."
The man, who said he was in the process of moving to the state to live with his partner in Perth when the pandemic hit, has been staying in South Australian hotels to be near the mine where he works waiting for restrictions to lift.
"I was a little bit upset, emotionally," he said.
"It was all a bit too much for me. I actually said, while he was writing out my rejection, I actually tried to explain to them that they were doing the wrong thing, but that was straight over the top."
The man said he was escorted by police and Australian Defence Force personnel to a bus where he waited to be sent to a quarantine hotel.
"I sat on that bus for I reckon an hour easily, and I wanted to go to the toilet, like desperately needed to go to the toilet," he said.
"So I told the driver and he told the police officer that was standing guard and he said, nup, won't be able to get off, you have to wait."
The man said a police officer boarded the bus when he insisted he had to urinate.
"I said I need to go to the toilet now otherwise I'll end up going to the toilet on the bus," he said.
"[The police officer] said, 'You go to the toilet on the bus and you will be fined'.
"And I actually go a little bit annoyed about that and said to him, why are you wearing that uniform, you're not even helpful.
"He said, 'I'm here wearing this at the moment because of pieces of s–t like you'.
The man said he urinated into an empty water bottle on the bus.
"They were treating me like a prisoner and anyway the bus left I think around 10.30ish," he said.
"Two and a half hours when I had an application signed and stamped.
"There were guards and military personnel standing around as if I was some sort of prisoner going to jail."
The man said he was annoyed and upset at his treatment.
"I think it's disgraceful that I am not allowed to come home to Robyn, to come and see her," he said.
"How can they do that to people in these situations."
Mr Dawson said wanting to come to the state to visit a romantic partner was not sufficient grounds to enter the state.
Jane Marwick is a Perth broadcaster and hosts The Jane Marwick Show.
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