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The Queensland Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Australian Government’s Pinkenba quarantine facility bringing it a step closer to reality.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said it was a significant milestone.
“The Queensland Government continues to work collaboratively with the Commonwealth to further the Federal Government’s proposal for a quarantine facility at the Damascus Barracks,” Mr Miles said.
“On Friday, the Premier signed an MOU with the Australian Government to allow them to proceed with construction of the Commonwealth quarantine facility at Pinkenba.
“That means the Australian Government can get started building it, and once constructed, the Queensland Government will provide services to the facility.
“Following countless breaches from the nation’s hotel quarantine system it’s clear there is an urgent need for more fit-for-purpose quarantine facilities throughout Australia.
“With NSW and Victoria in lockdown, we cannot afford more leaks from hotel quarantine.”
The Commonwealth Government has proposed a 1000 bed facility to be built on a 30-hectare Army barracks located in the industrial area of Pinkenba, just metres from Brisbane Airport.
The Commonwealth Department of Finance identified the Damascus Barracks as a suitable site, due to its size, access to an international airport, proximity to a principal referral (tertiary) hospital and because it is Commonwealth owned.
The proposed facility would be constructed by mid-2022.
Mr Miles said in order to reduce use of hotel quarantine, the Queensland Government also supports a regional quarantine facility at Wellcamp.
“Until all Australians have been offered a vaccination, quarantine facilities will remain Australia’s frontline in preventing deadly new strains of COVID-19 from entering our community.”