DIGEST

The Informer: What's the difference between tomatoes and meth anyway?

"I would have thought the biggest threat to WA is not tomatoes, it's meth and heroin," said WA Premier Mark McGowan. Photo: file

In the butchered words of fictional TV anchor Ron Burgundy: "That escalated - not so much quickly but, well, alarmingly."

We're referring to Western Australia's apparent consideration of extending the state's border patrols beyond the pandemic.

Premier Mark McGowan (disclaimer: in the midst of a re-election campaign) revealed today he has spoken with the state top cop about retaining increased border checks and tracking of interstate arrivals. The system is known as the G2G tracking pass.

The hard border regime, Mr McGowan said, has led to a dramatic fall in methamphetamine importation and use. And anyway, he argued, travellers at certain points are already stopped, so what's the big deal?

People crossing the border at Eucla and Kununurra are already subject to vehicle checks to prevent them bringing in fresh fruit and vegetables.

"If staff are there checking for bananas, tomatoes and avocados, I don't think it's unreasonable to have other staff there checking and stopping meth, heroin and cocaine," he said. "I would have thought the biggest threat to WA is not tomatoes, it's meth and heroin."

Constitutional law professor Anne Twomey isn't so sure. The academic from the University of Sydney believes establishing new legislation allowing border restrictions on an ongoing basis would be difficult.

"I'm not saying it's necessarily impossible, there might be a possibility that the High Court would say that protecting the state from drugs is a legitimate reason, but you're going to have to meet up the requirements of justification and reasonable necessity," she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Also on the restrictions front, another social media platform has started to call out misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines. Since introducing their COVID-19 guidance last year, Twitter has removed more than 8,400 Tweets and challenged 11.5 million accounts worldwide. Expect to see more labels appearing as repeat offenders run the gauntlet of the five-strike system aimed at reducing the spread of misleading information.

On a less contentious note, the man dubbed the modern-day Godfather of Australian music industry Michael Gudinski died suddenly today.

The man who loved St Kilda's footy team and horse racing equally was publicly defined by his passion for music. From Yothu Yindi to Bruce Springsteen, Kylie Minogue and even Frank Sinatra, Gudinski ensured talent was discovered and shared.

He was responsible for the soundtrack of many a Gen Xers youth. If Skyhooks mean anything to you, relive a blast from the past - courtesy of Michael Gudinski.

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This story What's the difference between tomatoes and meth anyway? first appeared on The Canberra Times.