Acting Premier says Victorian quarantine hub location ‘not yet landed on exactly’
The federal government will fund the construction of a village-style quarantine facility in Victoria.
Yesterday, while on air with Neil Mitchell, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hinted the federal government would chip in for a facility at Avalon.
Acting Premier James Merlino this morning confirmed the federal government will commit $200 million to the construction of a 500-bed quarantine facility.
“I’m very, very pleased that today we have reached agreement, both the PM and I have signed a memorandum of understanding and we’re going to get cracking and deliver this facility,” he said.
But the location still hasn’t been decided.
“We have not yet landed on exactly which site, but either one will work. Our preference is Mickleham,” he said.
Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding sent to the state government, Victoria would be responsible for operating costs of the centre.
The state and federal governments were last night negotiating on key principles for the memorandum.
Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Swinburne University, Professor Bruce Thompson, says a facility at Avalon “makes a lot of sense”.
“It’s almost like an airport hotel. You fly straight in,” he told Ross and Russel.
Professor Thompson says if the facility is built other states will likely want to send their returned travellers there, too.
But if it works properly, that won’t be an issue.
“I can imagine the other states … trying to shove them down to us,” he said.
“If they’ve demonstrated that this is actually safe, it’s state of the art, it works really well, then it doesn’t really matter where it is.”
Press PLAY below to hear more of Professor Thompson’s thoughts on an Avalon quarantine hub