QLD Continues Stoush With Federal Govt Over Regional Quarantine in Toowoomba

May 19, 2021 Updated: May 19, 2021

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has accused the Prime Minister of “cherry-picking” after the federal government did not approve a regional quarantine proposal located in Toowoomba, the state’s largest inland city.

The debate over the quarantine proposal has been an ongoing issue for Palaszczuk. However, there has been little movement from the federal government.

“We will continue to put our case to the federal government, but it’s a bit rich cherry-picking which ones the federal government likes and which ones they don’t like,” Palaszczuk said on Wednesday.

“(Prime Minister Scott Morrison) doesn’t need any more detail … the threshold question here is are they going to allow flights to land into the airport, yes or no?”

The Wagner Corporation has said it has offered the federal government all the information needed to build a quarantine facility that can host 1000 tourists and 300 staff. Still, the Morrison government has said the plan lacks detail.

“They won’t tell us how much it costs,” Prime Minister Morrison told ABC radio on Tuesday.

“How it’s going to operate? Who is going to operate it? Where’s the workforce going to come from? Who’s running the infection control procedures, or where is the security workforce coming from? All of this needs to be established.

“But the Victorian government, like the New South Wales government, is working with us,” he said, referring to a Victorian proposal to build a quarantine facility about 40km north of Melbourne and the NSW’s plan to bring international students back to universities.

“They’re not doing it as some sort of political show … they’re just working with us, and I would encourage the Queensland government to do the same thing.”

Morrison noted the federal government was also concerned about the inclusion of the state’s plan to land international passenger planes at Wellcamp Airport and the response this development will bring from the Toowoomba local community.

“The planes don’t fly there; they fly to Brisbane,” he told the show.

“This is why the Victorian proposal is a far superior one; it’s actually in Melbourne, close proximity to the hospital. It enables you to attract workforce to that proposal.”

“People in Toowoomba don’t want it either; the community has not been on board with this proposal,” he said, referring to Clive Berghofer, a businessman and former politician who openly opposed the Wagner family’s plan.