Under a joint agreement between the Queensland Government and Wagner Corporation, a new dedicated regional quarantine facility will be built at Wellcamp, Toowoomba.
Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said it was clear there was an urgent need for more fit-for-purpose quarantine facilities throughout Australia.
“As Australia contends with the dangerous Delta variant, Queensland must have alternatives to hotel quarantine that offer enhanced public safety,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“That’s why we’re getting on with building the Queensland Regional Accommodation Centre, a 1000-bed, dedicated facility near 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.”
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. Wagner Corporation expects the first stage of the facility to be delivered for use by the end of 2021.
Queensland Deputy Premier, Steven Miles, said the State 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.
“This facility will help Queensland to continue to open up and avoid expensive lockdowns.
“The Queensland Government will continue to work collaboratively to progress the Commonwealth’s Pinkenba facility, but we need more options to get returning Australians home safer.”
Queensland Minister for Health, Yvette D’Ath said, “With more than one facility in Queensland, we will be greatly reducing our reliance on hotel quarantine.
“That means a lower risk of COVID spreading from facilities that were never designed for secured quarantining.”