Residents of a town on the West Australian South Coast say the state’s new regional borders have split their town in two, with some people forced to travel through police checkpoints multiple times a day as they head to and from home.
- Ravensthorpe Shire has become part of the Goldfields-Esperance region as WA’s Phase 2 regional borders have reduced from 13 to four
- Checkpoints have been established 2km outside of Raventhorpe, and people living outside the checkpoint must by checked by police each time they drive through
- Great Southern Police said Ravensthorpe Shire residents would be waved through by police and did not have to apply for a G2G Pass
As of Monday the Ravensthorpe Shire, 500 kilometres south-east of Perth, became part of the broader Goldfields-Esperance region as the State Government reduced the amount of regional borders from 13 to four as it entered Phase 2 of the roadmap to recovery following strict COVID-19 lockdowns.
Ravensthorpe is one of the most western towns in the new Goldfields-Esperance region.
But, as checkpoints have been set-up just 2km to the west of the town centre, residents outside of town have said it has caused stress and inconvenience as they have been stopped for simple trips to the local supermarket.
One local, Sharon, who did not give her surname, said the border checkpoint took her by surprise.
“No celebrations for us, just stress,” she said.
Erica, who works at the Ravensthorpe IGA, says she is hearing many frustrated customers talking about the checkpoints.
“If any locals go past, for instance going to work … they have to show their pass. And they have to do that going back and forwards.”
It has also prompted confusion about whether or not people who lived west of the checkpoint needed to apply for a permit.
No permits required
Police Superintendent for the Great Southern, Ian Clarke, said residents who lived within the Shire would not have to apply for a G2G Pass.
He said residents of Ravensthorpe would be waved through checkpoints as police became familiar with their vehicles.
“Certainly, as time goes on, the [police officers] will know who is a local travelling through and they’ll be waved through pretty quickly,” Superintendent Clarke said.
He said the location had been chosen as it captured both northern and western travellers who were travelling into the region via the South Coast Highway or Newdegate-Ravensthorpe Road, and it was also a safer part of the road to set-up a block.
“It’s really been put in the best location we could find to provide a wide-open space, safety for our officers but also safety for the community travelling through there,” Superintendent Clarke said.
“It largely captures all the travellers that will be travelling through there so that we can comply with the job that we need to do to look after those regional boundaries.”