WANNEROO has postponed the 2020 Global Beats and Eats Festival, scheduled for Saturday, March 21 at Paloma Park until further notice.
The City of Wanneroo said it regretted any inconvenience caused to those who had registered to attend the event, which was to be headlined by Indigenous singer-songwriter Thelma Plum, but its highest priority was the safety of community members, performers and the public.
In a statement issued on Friday, March 13 the city said as part of its normal risk mitigation planning it was updating its response to a range of possible scenarios that could affect the city’s people, services and communities.
But at this stage normal services remained operational while the city continued to closely monitor the situation.
The city’s decision to postpone the event, which this year was to be held on Harmony Day, came after the Morrison Government announced that from Monday the government would be advising against organised, non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the advice did not include schools, university lectures or people getting on public transport or going to airports or things of that nature.
Mr Morrison said there were still many issues to work through before Monday as the government got the advice to Australians around the country.
Australia’s chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said there was now early evidence of small cases of community transmissions.
“We’re still not saying that there is a significant risk at all to the Australian community,’’ he said.
“But all the international evidence suggests that if you have some community transmission, the way in which it can be spread more rapidly is in very large events.
“You might only have one or two people at a very large event who might be carrying the virus, and the chances of that being spread at those large events accelerates the rate of progression of this virus.
“We have seen increases in numbers every day and we feel that they will be at such a point over coming weeks that it’s time to take precautionary advance measures to limit those large events where the incidence of transmission can be supported.’’
Dr Murphy said they were not suggesting that people should interrupt their normal daily work.
“It’s just avoiding those particular circumstances where transmission can be accelerated,’’ he said.
“The risk to the Australian community in general still remains low.
“Most of our cases still are imported, but we know that some of those imported cases have led to some (community) spread.
“We want to be as far ahead of the game as any country and control the spread of this virus and make sure that we keep its outbreaks in Australia as limited as possible.’’
A few hours later it was revealed that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton had tested positive for coronavirus and had been hospitalised according to the policies of Queensland Health.
Mr Morrison said Queensland Health would undertake the appropriate contact tracing.
Mr Dutton attended Tuesday’s meeting of the Federal Cabinet in person and Thursday’s meeting of the National Security Committee via video link.
Mr Morrison said only people who had close contact with Mr Dutton in the preceding 24 hours before the minister became symptomatic needed to self-isolate and that did not include himself or any other members of the Cabinet.
So far there have been 14 confirmed cases in WA while 3788 Western Australians tested for COVID-19 in WA have returned a negative result.
For information about locations visited by confirmed WA cases visit
For information about protecting children and supporting safe school operations visit https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/10-03-2020-covid-19-ifrc-unicef-and-who-issue-guidance-to-protect-children-and-support-safe-school-operations