Regional quarantine facility proposal hits PM’s desk
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has submitted the State Government’s proposal for a regional quarantine facility – of which Toowoomba and Gladstone could be possible sites – to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
A spokeswoman for the Premier’s office said consideration of a regional quarantine facility was consistent with a recommendation of the Halton Review – a national review of hotel quarantine – which said the Commonwealth should consider establishing a national facility for quarantine.
The review also recommended the development of new models of quarantine for consideration by National Cabinet.
“As such, the Premier has recently sent further correspondence to the Prime Minister on the matter,” the spokeswoman said.
“No decisions have been made.”
The Premier first publicly spoke of the option of establishing quarantine hubs at Gladstone and Toowoomba on January 22.
Behind the proposal for a Wellcamp quarantine hub is the Wagner family.
Groom MP Garth Hamilton confirmed further correspondence from the Premier had reached the Prime Minister’s office yesterday.
Mr Hamilton reiterated his earlier request, that the Premier make the trip to Toowoomba to present the plan to the community.
“The Premier needs to reassure the people of Toowoomba there is a plan so we can move ahead,” he said.
“You’ve heard a lot from the Wagners, but we’ve heard nothing from the Premier.
“I’m not closing off options. I just can’t oppose or support something I haven’t seen the details of.”
Gladstone Regional Council Mayor Matt Burnett has since written to the Premier, saying his community was against the idea.
The Wagner family’s proposal at Wellcamp Airport includes a 1000 room demountable accommodation facility, 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.
The Premier’s office said the State Government would continue to work with the Commonwealth “to explore all available options to keep people safe, particularly as Australia contends with the highly infectious strains from the United Kingdom, South America and South Africa”.
Originally published as Regional quarantine facility proposal hits PM’s desk