Palaszczuk breaks silence on Calliope quarantine camp
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has broken her silence and addressed speculation that a COVID-19 quarantine camp site had been selected in the Gladstone region.
After yesterday’s shock announcement the Queensland Government was considering a quarantine camp at Calliope for returned overseas travellers, more information has come to light.
Several news sources had reported Homeground Gladstone Workforce Accomodation as the potential site for where the mandatory quarantine periods could take place.
The village has 1,392 airconditioned rooms with balconies and facilities include a swimming pool, tennis court and gym.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a statement to The Observer on Friday afternoon that the Queensland Government had addressed looking at alternative forms of accommodation.
“I want to update everyone that these investigations will continue about looking at different options and, as I said, I will be discussing this at National Cabinet on Friday week,” the Premier said.
“Please give me the opportunity to speak to my Federal counterparts and this was a - this is a proposal that we are looking at and there needs to be a lot of work that’s done there.
“We need to have these options on the table because, as we know, there’s a lot of this UK strain circulating at the moment in UK and parts of the Northern Hemisphere and we do need to make sure that we have the best lines of defence here in Queensland to combat this virus.”
Acting Gladstone Regional Council Mayor Kahn Goodluck said he was not the right man to answer questions regarding the potential quarantine camp location.
“That is a question that should be directed to the Member for Gladstone or the State Government,” Cr Goodluck said.
“All I can say is the Gladstone Regional Council has not been advised of any decisions having been made in relation to that at this stage.”
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Homeground Villages general manager Matt Jones have been contacted for comment.
It is not the first time Calliope has been considered as a hub during the pandemic, with the NRL last year considering it as a training hub for players.
The Gladstone region voiced its concerns on the potential move from the Queensland Government, with a large majority of social media comments berating the rumours.
“No way we don’t have it up here so keep them out,” Cory Heslin said.
“No thanks. We have done a great job of keeping this area covid free,” Nathan Clarke said.
“This is wrong and very dangerous there are a lot of elderlys in Calliope don’t risk their lives,” Kelly Dickson said.
Despite the online backlash, some found positives in the situation and let their opinions be known.
“We would all like to see our Aussie mates home. But why does it not seem that isolating two weeks before flying out and testing for a negative result before boarding plane and then quarantining again on arrival and tests again. Can the government not assist with this. Seems ridiculous to either fly or bus infected person along a highway and then place them in an area which hospital does not have adequate facilities for locals let alone a break out of any kind,” Katrina Bailey said.
“They are just looking at using mining camps that are empty like home ground to use as a quarantine facility,” Jennifer Gibson said.