Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett at the September 2 council meeting.
Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett at the September 2 council meeting.

Burnett opposes Gladstone quarantine camps

Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett has penned an open letter to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, opposing the opening of COVID-19 quarantine camps in the Gladstone region.

Just weeks after news first broke that the Federal Government was considering opening a COVID-19 quarantine camp at Calliope at Home Ground Workforce Accommodation, the Mayor personally handed Mr Morrison a list of questions while he was visiting Gladstone recently.

But on Monday, with no answers to those questions in sight from the PM's office, Cr Burnett took to Facebook in order to air his grievances at potential COVID-19 cases on his doorstep.

Here was the contents of his latest letter to the PM and Premier:

"Further to my letter dated 19 January 2021, I write to advise that the proposal to use the Home Ground workers accommodation in the Gladstone Region as a COVID-19 quarantine facility is not supported by the local community.

"I have personally kept an open mind on this proposal as myself and my fellow Councillors await your response to our concerns.

"However, during the past two weeks our community has expressed its views on the matter and has made its opposition clear.

"As Mayor, it is my responsibility to convey that message to you both.

"The potential for an increased risk of community transmission locally, and the shutdown of our industrial economy that could cause, as well as the lack of appropriate medical services, are concerns shared by many in the region including both the Gladstone Industry Leadership Group and the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"I understand all options need to be considered to ensure the safe return of Australians stranded overseas and I trust both the State and Federal governments will take my community's concerns into consideration before making a final decision."