Quarantine facility near Wellcamp Airport.
Quarantine facility near Wellcamp Airport.

Inside Qld billionaire’s planned 1000-person quarantine hub

Queensland billionaire John Wagner is ramping up his bid to build a quarantine complex in Toowoomba which could house up to a thousand overseas returnees.

The Australian reported the owner of Wellcamp Airport in Toowoomba could build a quarantine facility which could take up 1000 returnees and only taking 14 weeks to finish.

Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner is hoping to build a quarantine facility in Toowoomba. Picture: Kevin Farmer
Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner is hoping to build a quarantine facility in Toowoomba. Picture: Kevin Farmer

Mr Wagner said the facility could have 500 rooms built in just six weeks and has been backed by the Palaszczuk Government and is currently being considered by the Federal Government.

The facility would be built just a four-minute drive from the Airport, with quarantine to be run by the Palaszczuk Government and guests charged a capped fee.

The capped fee would be paid for by the Federal Government with guests to reimburse them but construction and dismantling of the facility wouldn't rely on Government funding.

While the Airport would be used mostly for charter flights, Mr Wagner said it could easily home commercial flights.

"They can actually land commercial flights at Wellcamp, they don't need to go to Brisbane or the Gold Coast," John Wagner told the Australian.

"I'd certainly like it to happen."

Mr Wagner estimates the complex could be completed within 14 weeks, with staff to live onsite for a week at a time and undergo regular testing.

 

The proposed quarantine hub would be located near the Wellcamp Airport. Picture: Kevin Farmer
The proposed quarantine hub would be located near the Wellcamp Airport. Picture: Kevin Farmer

 

 

"The passengers would disembark the aircraft and get on buses waiting on the tarmac and get transferred to the quarantine accommodation facility, approximately four minutes away," he wrote.

"The passengers would have no interaction with the public or our staff (and they) would not go into the Wellcamp terminal.

"They would be bussed to the quarantine facility and be cleared for customs and immigration by Border Force officials and then go straight to their rooms."

 

 

Mr Wagner said every facility would have its own airconditioning system to preventing the spread of the virus, and rooms would be cleaned regularly to Queensland Health standards.

"Every room will have it's own airconditioning system to reduce the risk of airborne interaction between the passengers," he said.

"Queensland Health will administer the facility from a health perspective and Queensland Police will look after all security.

 

The airport would mainly be used for charter flights. Picture: Bev Lacey
The airport would mainly be used for charter flights. Picture: Bev Lacey

 

 

"There will be extensive CCTV cameras and also on the perimeter fence, Wellcamp roads and there will be only one entry and exit.

"(Our) role in this facility will be to construct the facility, maintain it, and look after the food and beverage.

"The cleaning, which is overseen by Queensland Health, will be done by a local COVID-approved organisation."

Mr Wagner, who took aim in the same post at critics of the proposal, said no passengers would pass through the airport terminal, and would instead jump from a chartered flight and onto buses.

 

John Wagner has taken aim at critics of his quarantine hub proposal. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen
John Wagner has taken aim at critics of his quarantine hub proposal. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen

 

 

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said in a press conference on Friday the border closures across Australia could have been avoided with the proposed scheme.

"One thing we can say is Victoria wouldn't be going into this kind of lockdown if there was dedicated national quarantine facilities," Mr Miles said.

It comes as a Victorian billionaire Lindsay Fox, who's company Linfox owns Avalon Airport in Geelong, is proposing a similar facility.

The businessman is negotiating with the Victorian Government around a facility that would also house 1000 people 55km southwest of Melbourne.

Originally published as Inside Qld billionaire's planned 1000-person quarantine hub


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