May 17, 2021
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected Wagner Corporation’s proposal to build a quarantine facility for returned international travellers near Wellcamp Airport.
Speaking to media in Brisbane on Monday, Mr Morrison said the Toowoomba proposal was too far away from Brisbane Airport, and too far away from a major hospital.
“The idea that you can just put these out in the desert somewhere – and I know Toowoomba’s not in the desert – but the point being they need to be close to major capital city airports,” the Prime Minister said.
“The planes aren’t going somewhere else, they’re coming into Brisbane, and that is a very long trek over to Toowoomba.”
The Wagners’ proposal was for returning aircraft to land directly at Wellcamp, which already caters for international cargo flights.
Returning travellers would be transferred via bus to their quarantine accommodation within minutes.
The plan was to build a 1300-bed facility, ie. 1000 rooms for repatriated travellers and 300 rooms for staff.
Mr Morrison said the Federal Government had never received a detailed proposal about Wellcamp.
In comparison, the Victorian State Government had put forward “a very comprehensive” proposal for their quarantine facility.
“The details, when you compare what’s been put forward by the Victorian Government, is chalk and cheese,” the Prime Minister said.
“Victoria has put a very comprehensive proposal to us, something we can actually work with, and we are.”
The Victorian proposal is to build a joint State / Federal-funded, 500-bed facility, north of Melbourne.