WA’s Health Minister Has Declared Xbox Isn’t An ‘Essential Good’

WA’s Health Minister Has Declared Xbox Isn’t An ‘Essential Good’
Image: Microsoft/Xbox

If you’re living in Western Australia, here’s a handy tip: the humble Xbox is not considered “an essential good”.

The question came up during a press conference this afternoon in Western Australia, where the Premier and local Health Minister were giving an update on proceedings.

Western Australia has currently placed all residents in Peel and Perth into a “minimum 4 day lockdown”. Like Sydney, the health orders mean that residents are only supposed to “shop for essentials,” which includes medicine, necessary supplies, groceries and other things people need to get by.

But like in NSW, there’s been some confusion among retailers as to what does and doesn’t constitute an essential business. At the conference, WA Premier Mark McGowan explained that Officeworks would probably fall under the definition of an essential business because of some of the goods it does provide.

“Some people regard electronics as essential; others don’t. My children would say electronics are essential, I’d probably say they’re not,” Premier McGowan added at the conference.

That triggered a more specific line of questioning about what did and didn’t constitute essential goods, at which point WA Health Minister Roger Cook clarified what fell into the categories of essential goods.

“So an Xbox doesn’t cut it,” one journalist asked.

“An Xbox wouldn’t cut it, but perhaps sanitisers and other office cleaning equipment may cut it,” the Minister clarified.

So, there you have it. If you’re stuck in lockdown and haven’t got something to keep you busy, grabbing a quick console from the shops isn’t a valid reason. Getting a Xbox Series X and PS5 in Australia is still harder than getting a COVID jab, but on the bright side, at least the Xbox Series S is available.


  • I admit I hadn’t been paying much attention to Xbox until the last week or two, but it really is hard to find a series X.

    The Federal government would probably say that the Switch is essential so they can keep playing Animal Crossing. 😀

  • something to keep the ‘kids’ distracted during a lockdown is important, otherwise they run around the street.

  • Well he isnt wrong, while recreation is thoroughly important, as is a good state of mind, is going to buy games or a machine worth risking your health and the health of others? Yeah nah.

  • I’m currently using video game controllers for hand physio to bring back strength and flexibility to my thumb after a veeery broken wrist. (for those asking: Days Gone good, Control too hard)

    I wonder if I could get a medical exemption to buy an Xbox..

    • Video gaming through the pandemic was fully endorsed by the WHO, as an effective means to promote physical and mental health.

    • I did the same when bloodborne came out, had a very serious wrist/arm/elbow break, due to nerve damage couldn’t move my fingers but be dammed if it didn’t stop me playing

  • I don’t know why people are so upset about this, it isn’t like you can actually buy a Xbox Series X in Australia these days. I have been looking since around February and zero stock anywhere except for scalpers like Cash Converters…

    • Get on Twitter mate I see them usually every week, have to be quick though. And they are actual stores not scalpers.

  • This seems a little bit confusing, and perhaps unfair.
    An ‘essential job’ is deemed as one that contributes to a person’s income, so working at EB Games counts as an essential job.
    But going and buying 95% of what EB has to offer is considered non essential.
    EB workers would need to go to work but the reasoning behind EB staying open would be to sell ‘essential’ clothing to their customers.

  • Meanwhile states have been all too happy to see shit like the AFL as ‘essential’, so they really should just shut their mouths as they have no credibility at this point.

    I recall one of the Victorian lockdowns when they kept the tennis going in Melbourne too. It was a running joke telling essential workers like nurses, doctors, childcare/teachers, etc, not to forget their tennis rackets when they left the house.

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