News State QLD News Qld premier renews push for regional virus quarantine

Qld premier renews push for regional virus quarantine

regional quarantine
Annastacia Palaszczuk in Longreach on Tuesday. Photo: AAP
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Quarantine facilities in places such as Christmas Island and regional Queensland are “good avenues” for the safe return of Australians stuck overseas, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.

Her comments come as the federal government deflects criticism of its travel ban in response to a rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases in India.

“These are issues for the federal government. The federal government needs to sit around their cabinet table and work this out,” Ms Palaszczuk said following a state cabinet meeting in the western Queensland town of Longreach.

There are about 9000 Australians in India who want to return home, with 650 considered vulnerable.

The Queensland government has been campaigning for a quarantine facility near Toowoomba that needs Commonwealth approval for international flights to land at the nearby Wellcamp airport.

“I cannot understand how you cannot have a simple answer to a very simple question: ‘will you allow international flights into Wellcamp, yes or no?’,” Ms Palaszczuk said on Tuesday.

“We cannot get a simple answer out of the federal government and out of Scott Morrison.”

The Wagner Corporation wants to build the quarantine facility that would host up to 1000 travellers and 300 staff, and the federal government has previously called for more details on the state’s plan.

Meanwhile, the federal government is assessing a Victorian proposal to construct a purpose-built quarantine facility at a Commonwealth site about 40 kilometres north of Melbourne.

The 500-bed facility would cost about $200 million to build, with the state government committing $15 million to get the project ready for construction.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the “detailed and comprehensive” proposal is currently under review.