MOVING THE PROBLEM: Shadow health minister Ros Bates said there needs to be more community consulation for a proposed quarantine hub in Toowoomba. Picture: Scott Powick
MOVING THE PROBLEM: Shadow health minister Ros Bates said there needs to be more community consulation for a proposed quarantine hub in Toowoomba. Picture: Scott Powick

‘Moving the problem’: MP slams Toowoomba quarantine hub

The Queensland shadow health minister has said the State and Federal Governments "shouldn't move" the problem of coronavirus to Toowoomba following the announcement of a proposed quarantine hub on the outskirts of the Garden City.

Speaking at a press conference outside Dalby Hospital on February 18, Member for Mudgeeraba Ros Bates said the problems surrounding the Grand Chancellor cluster in Brisbane needed to be resolved before it could be moved to the Darling Downs.

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The six person cluster which included a hotel quarantine cleaner and her partner triggered a three day lockdown in Greater Brisbane in January, 2021.

Ms Bates said as a former nurse, she was "disgusted" in how the situation was handled by health officials and the Palaszczuk Government.

"It was reported that basic infection protocols weren't followed … cleaners weren't trained properly, and weren't using PPE gear properly," Ms Bates said.

"Moving the problem out to Toowoomba is not the solution until we know what happened in the first place."

Located less than an hour east of Dalby, the Wagner family's proposal was to create a 1000 room demountable accommodation facility at their airport, with 300 separate rooms for staff.

International flights would fly in to Wellcamp Airport under the proposal, and passengers would disembark onto buses to be taken direct to the accommodation facility.

There would be a testing facility, and all staff would work and stay on site.

When asked if residents from towns outside Toowoomba should be concerned about the proposed camp, Ms Bates said there needed to be more "community consultation".

Warrego MP Ann Leahy, Mudgeeraba MP Ros Bates, and Southport MP Rob Molhoek, at Dalby Hospital on February 18, 2021. Picture: Sam Turner
Warrego MP Ann Leahy, Mudgeeraba MP Ros Bates, and Southport MP Rob Molhoek, at Dalby Hospital on February 18, 2021. Picture: Sam Turner

"From what I've seen there hasn't been very much," she said.

"It's a dot point plan that Palaszczuk has presented to the feds, and we need to have more information.

"If Covid is going be around for the next couple of years we do need to look for other alternatives, but you just don't move the problem somewhere else."

More than 1000 hotel and health workers will be inoculated this week following Australia's first vaccination yesterday, overseen by Prime Minister Scott Morrison who promised every day from here on in "gets more normal".

Ms Bates said there needed to be vital education campaigns as part of the vaccine rollout, citing a minority of Australians who were "concerned" about the new Pfizer inoculation.

"We know that we're going to vaccine at least 75 per cent of the population to get herd immunity," she said.

"The quicker that we do that, the quicker we will get this under control and hopefully get back to some resemblance of a normal lifestyle.

"But the communication of the rollout of the vaccine was up to the government."

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