Inside Qld’s possible four-star quarantine camp
A workforce accommodation site in Central Queensland once considered to house NRL players during the pandemic has been tipped as a potential quarantine camp for returned travellers.
The four-star Homeground Villages accommodation site in Calliope, west of Gladstone, has 1392 airconditioned rooms with balconies.
The village is decked out with a pool, tennis and basketball courts, life-size chess board, cinema, and licensed tavern with pool tables, darts and games room - although it is unknown if these recreational facilities will be available to returned travellers as part of any proposal.
On Wednesday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government was exploring "a number of options" for a rural quarantine proposals to be discussed at National Cabinet this week, however she refused to disclose which locations were being considered.
"We are putting together a proposal, seeing if it can work, but remember, the reason that we are putting this proposal forward is that we are trying to minimise the risk with this incredibly infectious UK strain," she said.
"I'm looking forward to speaking with the Prime Minister later this week to put forward some suggestions and ideas."
The comments follow concerns raised by Gladstone Regional Council councillors over several unanswered questions about the potential Homeground quarantine facility - including what support would be provided to the region, how local medical facilities would cope, what impact it could have on industry, real estate and tourism.
"The community has spoken through all of us and that they would like answers sooner rather than later, the public consultation process must begin and begin immediately," Cr Chris Trevor said.
"There is no room ignoring a community that you want … to embrace a proposal that you are proposing, it's a simple as that.
"I don't think any of our community want to be seen as resisting the need to embrace and protect our returned overseas people … but at the same time this is a life and death issue."
Mayor Matt Burnett yesterday agreed to write to the Prime Minister and the Premier ahead of National Cabinet with twelve questions about the potential Homeground quarantine facility.
"If we're going to be told that we're going to be using a facility, we need to look at all options - not just the negatives, but the positives as well," Cr Burnett said.
The Mayor also flagged that local government needed representation when this issue was discussed this week at national cabinet.
"We don't have a seat at the table and they're meeting on Friday to discuss an issue that's going to affect local communities and yet there is no local government representative at the table," he said.
Homeground Villages general manager Matt Jones has been contacted for comment.
Originally published as Inside Qld's possible four-star quarantine camp