Plans to be Drafted for Pinkenba COVID-19 Quarantine Facility

Pinkenba
Photo Credit: Google Maps

A COVID-19 quarantine facility for travellers coming to Queensland has been earmarked for Pinkenba with infrastructure consultancy group AECOM assigned to draft and develop the plans to accommodate at least 1,450 people.



The project’s construction will be funded by the Commonwealth but managed from day to day by the State Government. Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said that the Pinkenba site was chosen because of its proximity to Brisbane’s international airport and at least four major hospitals. 


 


The proposed site, the Damascus Barracks, which spans 35 hectares, is owned by the Commonwealth and has been used as a storage for the Department of Defence. The Federal Government hopes to begin construction by the end of 2021, alongside a similar proposal for Victoria’s quarantine facility.

A feasibility study for the Pinkenba facility has started to help both Commonwealth and State determine the size of the operation.

Photo Credit: Ozatwar/Australian Government

However, the Queensland Government is also pushing to build a Wellness Camp in Toowoomba, which could be built in two months, ahead of the Pinkenba site. Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressed hesitation for the Toowoomba facility as it does not meet the criteria for quarantine sites, which should be built on Commonwealth-owned land.

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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that if both sites will be up and running, there will be no more need for hotel quarantines, the current system in place for travellers going into Queensland. 



As of 14 July, Queensland has five new cases acquired overseas and detected in hotel quarantine. The national cabinet has also cut down the cap for international arrivals to Australia to 3,000, which has the support of Ms Palaszczuk. The cap could remain in place for the rest of the year.