West Australian Premier Uses Slur Against Residents Over Vaccine Passports

By Daniel Khmelev
Daniel Khmelev
Daniel Khmelev
Daniel Khmelev is an Australian reporter based in Perth covering energy, tech, and politics. He holds bachelor's degrees in math, physics, and computer science. Contact him at daniel.khmelev@epochtimes.com.au.
January 7, 2022 Updated: January 7, 2022

Western Australia (WA) Premier Mark McGowan has attacked residents who have adamantly refused to show their proof of vaccination.

McGowan referred to some West Australians as “dropkicks”—Australian slang for a stupid or worthless person—for refusing to show proof of vaccination and being rude to staff shortly after the state enacted vaccine requirements in pubs, taverns, hotels, and major events with a capacity of more than 500.

The premier alleges that some venues had been met with angry resistance from those unwilling to show their vaccination status.

“If you’re asked to show your proof of vaccination, don’t be a dropkick,” McGowan said in a Facebook post on Jan. 6. “There is never an excuse to be rude to staff—not now, not ever. It’s not the Western Australian way.”

The snap restrictions requiring customers to be fully vaccinated were given on Jan. 3 after the state recorded two new cases of community transmission of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.

McGowan stated that improved vaccination rates would improve the health and wellbeing of event attendees and control the spread of the virus.

“Requiring a proof of vaccination for higher risk venues means that everyone in attendance is safer. It’s already been rolled out in some other states, and there is no reason WA can’t do it too,” McGowan said. “Remember, this is to keep you and everyone else in attendance safe. So please, don’t be a dropkick.”

This is not the first time the state’s premier has insulted residents opposing the health orders, having previously told anti-lockdown protestors to “grow a brain” on Sep. 18, 2021.

Unfortunately, the colloquialisms have not reached out to those opposing the vaccine mandates. Instead, the comments have worsened tensions with tens of thousands of West Australians who have come out to protest the vaccination mandates over the last several months.

Epoch Times Photo
Protestors rally against vaccination mandates during the World Wide Rally for Freedom event in Perth, Australia, on Nov. 20, 2021. (The Epoch Times)

Former law reform commissioner and head of law at Sheridan Institute of Higher Education, Augusto Zimmermann, believes the comments were profoundly inappropriate and spoke of disregard towards the state’s residents.

“A person who behaves like that has ceased to have a proper legitimacy as a ruler because one of the primary requirements of constitutional government is that the person who leads the country represents the people,” Zimmermann told The Epoch Times.

Zimmermann, who has spoken at multiple anti-vaccine mandate protests, said McGowan tended to denigrate citizens opposing the state’s health directives rather than respond with a more diplomatic approach.

“It’s not normal behaviour for a person to attack and provoke the population. He’s offending people rather than wanting to have a rational debate and normal dialogue. It is simply unacceptable.”

Recent public appearances of McGowan have been met with hoards of angry West Australians, with staff at the premier’s office allegedly receiving death threats.

Additionally, since October, the premier’s residence has been guarded by police 24/7.

This comes following the state’s decision to be one of the first to implement sweeping mandatory vaccinations, and most recently a third booster dose, for 75 percent of its workforce—equivalent to more than a million people.

Regions in the state that lagged behind in vaccination rates were the first to become subject to proof of vaccination requirements.

But reports have revealed that the mandates could see an estimated 39,000 workers lose their jobs and livelihoods, a figure which is estimated to cost the state’s economy around $2.9 billion (US$2.1 billion).

The Epoch Times reached out to WA Premier Mark McGowan’s office for comment over the statements but did not receive a reply by the time of publication.

Daniel Khmelev is an Australian reporter based in Perth covering energy, tech, and politics. He holds bachelor's degrees in math, physics, and computer science. Contact him at daniel.khmelev@epochtimes.com.au.