Glenn Butcher speaking this morning about Gladstone becoming a regional quarantine hub for returned Australian travellers. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Glenn Butcher speaking this morning about Gladstone becoming a regional quarantine hub for returned Australian travellers. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Quarantine camps ‘like five star resorts’: Butcher

GLADSTONE is still firmly on the radar to become a regional quarantine hub but the port city's hotels have refused to accommodate returned Australian travellers, says Deputy Premier Steven Miles.

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said he had talked to the Deputy Premier this morning and the plan was for mining and accommodation camps in the Gladstone region to be established as quarantine hubs, managed by a joint response from Queensland Police Service, Queensland Health and the Australian Defence Force.

He said this will require all workers or people being accommodated in the camps currently, to move into Gladstone hotels.

 

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Brisbane. The Premier announced Queensland will open its borders to five NSW local government areas. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Brisbane. The Premier announced Queensland will open its borders to five NSW local government areas. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

 

"This has come as a result of National Cabinet last week, last Friday, where Premiers from all states have made an agreement, as a collective group, to open up for more international Australians coming back to places like Queensland," he said.

"Mr Miles sent out an expression of interest to communities in Queensland that would be up to having a look at potentially hosting a COVID hub.

"The Minister is looking for those potential (locations) it was mentioned that Gladstone was one of those."

Premier Palaszczuk said hotels in Gladstone, Cairns and Brisbane were being considered as potential locations but according to the Queensland Government, the hotels weren't interested.

"He has confirmed that the motels in Gladstone aren't part of an expression of interest that they want to see for a COVID hub here in the region," she said.

"Motels in the Gladstone region aren't going to be considered for a hub here in Gladstone."

 

Deputy Premier Steven Miles and Regional Development and Manufacturing Minister Glenn Butcher announcing Queensland Health will purchase the Mater Hospital at Gladstone.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles and Regional Development and Manufacturing Minister Glenn Butcher announcing Queensland Health will purchase the Mater Hospital at Gladstone.

 

Mining and accommodation camps in the Gladstone region were now on the radar, Mr Butcher said.

"There are certainly facilities right throughout regional Queensland, they have been built for construction, for shut down work, that could be used as one of these facilities going forward."

Mr Butcher indicated any facility established locally would follow a similar model to the controversial Howard Springs concentration camp in Darwin.

"Gladstone, with mining camps and construction camps that are in our region, they are looking to get an expression of interest from those companies, that have these facilities to potentially use them," he said.

"If they are currently hosting people who work and are staying in those facilities then they could be based in hotels in Gladstone and that would be an outcome that would be very beneficial to businesses here in the Gladstone region.

"There's two international airports that we have in Queensland, one is in Brisbane and one is in Cairns, so obviously you would suspect that they would be the first preference so people can fly into those areas and utilise facilities in those locations."

 

BCM Property An artist's impression of The MAC Services Groups Calliope Accommodation Village
BCM Property An artist's impression of The MAC Services Groups Calliope Accommodation Village

 

"There's multiple around, there's work camp sites we know of between here and Rockhampton and there's certainly others south of here that can be utilised.

"Some of these facilities that we know of are like five star resorts."

Mr Butcher said he clarified with the Deputy Premier how such a camp would run.

"They will be self contained and they will have Australian Defence Force, Queensland Health and Queensland police and they (returned Australians) would be contained in one place," he said.

Mr Butcher assured locals what happened in Victoria, which saw more than 760 deaths and death tolls eclipsing 40 per day, won't happen in the Gladstone region.

"Totally different scenario … Victoria put in a contractor who, obviously, and has we have seen, let the communities down of Victoria," he said.

"Anything that is utilised in Queensland will have the Australian Defence Force, Queensland Police, Queensland Health, and they will have a raft of different levels of governments making sure that these facilities are safe and the people coming back home to Queensland are looked after."

 

Related stories,

Gladstone quarantine hotels would support jobs: Butcher

 

Do you want quarantine in Gladstone?

 

Flight with positive COVID-19 case continued to Gladstone


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