The announcement that Wellcamp will host a quarantine facility similar to the zero-COVID escape Howard Springs quarantine hub has been welcomed by many in the local community.
Voices of Groom health spokesman, Dr Miles Brodie, said the possibility of a quarantine hub at Wellcamp has been an issue regularly raised in the group’s community consultation as a way of minimising some of the problems experienced by people both within the electorate of Groom and the wider Queensland community.
“The people that Voices of Groom has talked to are concerned about a number of issues that a safer quarantine hub such as Wellcamp will solve, so we are looking forward to seeing the details of this proposal and its health protocols,” he said.
“These include getting our 1,800 USQ international students back into the Toowoomba economy, more Australians home from overseas, restoring farmers’ access to workers for the picking, harvest and planting seasons, and preventing escapes from the current quarantine system that puts all of our lives and livelihoods at risk.”
Dr Brodie said the Howard Springs facility in the Northern Territory had been much more successful in containing COVID-19 from infected travellers quarantining than current hotel quarantine arrangements.
“The facility built at Wellcamp has potential to be purpose-designed with air circulation systems that minimise virus spread, and should be better able to reduce the chance of service workers spreading the virus,” he said.
“The current Sydney outbreak, resulting today in 1,029 cases, was spread by one air crew limousine driver. If we had a purpose built facility, staff structures and rostering should minimise these types of casual outbreaks from occurring.
“We’d like to see the Federal government support the quarantine facility and the nearby entertainment precinct proposed for near the airport. Toowoomba needs more jobs, and these would not only create jobs, but attract people to the region,” Dr Brodie said.
“We have terrific medical facilities here that surpass the level of Howard Springs access to medical facilities in terms of hospitals, beds and skilled staff - even though these are unlikely to be needed.
“There are five specialist COVID wards in Queensland.”
Voices of Groom is a non-partisan group that has formed to promote open discussion on issues that affect the electorate of Groom. Among the key issues raised with the group have been the effect of climate change on the region, re-use of waste, and building the quarantine hub
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See the ABC news story here.