February 8, 2021
More details about a proposed quarantine facility for returning travellers to be built near Wellcamp Airport have been aired by Wagner Corporation chair John Wagner.
The proposal, put forward by Wagner Corporation several weeks ago, is under consideration by both the State and Federal governments.
If it goes ahead, the facility could house returning travellers for 14 days within minutes of the international airport.
Speaking on ABC RN Breakfast on Monday morning, Mr Wagner said it would be a 1300-bed facility.
“(There would be) 1000 rooms for repatriated travellers and 300 rooms for staff,” Mr Wagner told announcer Fran Kelly.
“International aircraft would come into our international airport, people would disembark the plane; three minutes later they are at the quarantine accommodation facility.
“No interaction with the public, no interaction with our terminal and no interaction with our staff.
“We think that is a very safe way to go.”
Mr Wagner said the fact the workers would live at the facility would significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 getting out into the community.
“Everyone who works there would stay on site,” he said.
He said it would operate like a mining camp, and the workers would not be “roaming around the community”.
“Every room would have its own air-conditioning system so there would be no cross-contamination through air-conditioning,” he said.
Doors would open to fresh air, not into a hallway.
“I think it is a much better system than being in a motel,” Mr Wagner said.
Mr Wagner said his corporation would work with Queensland Health to develop the facility, but he would not be seeking any government grants.
“We can have a very efficient, streamlined system to get people into their rooms and keep them safe,” he said.
Wagner Corporation has previously stated the first 500 beds in the facility could be built within five or six weeks of approval.
Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio has publicly supported the proposal but wants the facility to have its own onsite medical services to avoid people being transferred to Toowoomba Hospital.
He has also urged that Toowoomba be considered as an early vaccination centre.