The Queensland Government has announced it will build a COVID-19 quarantine hub near Toowoomba.
The regional facility is expected to be up and running by the end of the year, after the state government struck an agreement with Wellcamp Airport owner, John Wagner.
The federal government has repeatedly rejected Queensland’s proposal for the centre at Wellcamp – instead agreeing to a site at Pinkenba near the Brisbane Airport.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk says, she’s been pushing for the Toowoomba hub since January.
“Regional quarantine facilities are the second part of the answer – the first part of the answer is vaccine”, said Ms Palaszczuk.
“So we need the vaccine rollout, and we need to make sure that we have good quarantine regional facilities, away from our densely populated cities”.
Ms Palaszczuk admits she didn’t warn the Prime Minister about the Toowoomba hub, but Scott Morrison says, the Queensland government can do as they want.
“We’ve made it very clear that, that facility did not meet the national guidelines, and that’s why we’re going forward together at Pinkenba,” said Mr Morrison, “but the Queensland government is in a position to go ahead with that facility if that’s what they wish to do”.
As far as costs are concerned, Premier Palaszczuk says that’s ‘commercial in confidence’, but stressed it will rule out the need for quarantine hotels.
The facility is planned to provide 500 beds – increasing to 1,000 by next year.
Photo credit: US Department of Defense / Public domain