ANNOUNCED: Dedicated regional quarantine facility

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Steven Miles announce a regional quarantine facility will be built at Wellcamp Airport. Picture: Facebook Live Stream

Work has started today on a dedicated regional quarantine facility at Wellcamp Toowoomba, just under two hours south of Kingaroy.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement during the cabinet meeting on Thursday, 26 August.

The Premier said it was clear there was an urgent need for more fit-for-purpose quarantine facilities throughout Australia.

“This is further action my government is taking to keep Queenslanders safe,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“As Australia contends with the dangerous Delta variant, Queensland must have alternatives to hotel quarantine that offer enhanced public safety.”

The Queensland Regional Accommodation Centre will be built under a joint agreement between the Palaszczuk Government and the landowner Wagner Corporation.

It will be a 1000 bed, dedicated facility near the Wellcamp Airport that will greatly reduce reliance on hotel quarantine.

“This decisive action will keep Queenslanders safe and support our economic recovery to keep people in jobs,” she said.

Wagner Corporation will build the facility, with the accommodation modules to be manufactured in Queensland. The Queensland Government will operate the facility once it is up and running.

The first stage of the facility is expected to be delivered for use by the end of 2021.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the Palaszczuk Government had been calling for a dedicated regional quarantine facility to be built in Queensland since January 2021.

“Following countless leaks from the nation’s hotel quarantine system, it’s clear there is an urgent need for alternative facilities in Australia,” Mr Miles said.

“We need a facility like this urgently, and the Wellcamp proposal will be ready months before any other proposed facility in Queensland.

“Quarantine facilities will remain one of Australia’s frontline defences in preventing deadly new strains of covid-19 from entering our community.”

Mr Miles said the facility would help Queensland continue to open up and avoid expensive lockdowns, and the government would continue to work collaboratively to progress the Commonwealth’s Pinkenba facility.

Health minister Yvette D’Ath said the new facility at Wellcamp would help continue to keep Queenslanders safe.

“With more than one facility in Queensland, we will be greatly reducing our reliance on hotel quarantine,” she said.

“That means a lower risk of covid spreading from facilities that were never designed for secured quarantining.”