QLD gov spends big on hotels as Quarrantine facility sat empty

In Community, Featured Home Page News, Government, Queensland

It has been revealed that the State Government spent over $200k to house displaced flood victims in hotels as its Wellcamp quarantine facility sat largely empty.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said “In general, people like to stay close to their home, job and family support networks,”

“A small number of individuals from evacuation centres who had been identified as Covid-positive were transferred to Queensland Regional Accommodation Centre.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said displaced people could stay at Wellcamp, “I think it will be difficult for families where they have close-knit community with schools (to stay at Wellcamp) but Wellcamp is there,”

The Tourism News Related Stories

Related: Yes!, The hospitality venue that bucked the trend

Related: Queensland tourism revival continues

Related: Gladstone is transforming into Australia’s green hydrogen capital

from cairns post 

The State Government spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to house displaced flood victims in hotels as its Wellcamp quarantine facility sat largely empty.

It can be revealed not a single flood victim opted to stay at the Toowoomba site despite the Government offering the rooms.

Instead the Government spent $278,457 on hotel rooms for 288 displaced households so they could stay closer to home.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the Government had offered places at Wellcamp to people impacted by the devastating February weather event, but that decisions were made based on the specific needs and preferences of individuals and families.

“In general, people like to stay close to their home, job and family support networks,” he said.

“A small number of individuals from evacuation centres who had been identified as Covid-positive were transferred to Queensland Regional Accommodation Centre.”

The Government announced it was going it alone and building the Wellcamp quarantine facility – which it’s currently leasing for a period of 12 months for an unknown cost – last August.

However as the state’s vaccination rate increased, the facility’s original use shifted, with the Government looking at other ways to use the beds.

In early March, following the floods, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said displaced people could stay at Wellcamp.

“I think it will be difficult for families where they have close-knit community with schools (to stay at Wellcamp) but Wellcamp is there,” she said at the time.

“It is there to be utilised.

“It would be something that they could consider in the short term.”

The facility was effectively rendered useless last week after the Government revealed unvaccinated international arrivals and close contacts would no longer need to quarantine.

Deputy Opposition Leader Jarrod Bleijie claimed the Government “clearly have absolutely no idea what to do with Wellcamp.”

“Queenslanders deserve to know how much Wellcamp has cost us and what it’s going to be used for in the future because we are going to be paying for it for a very long time,” he said.

But Mr Miles said Wellcamp allowed the Government to “tackle what comes next.”

“The primary use of the QRAC at Wellcamp remains as an isolation facility in the support of Covid-19 pandemic response, protecting vulnerable people in our community who don’t have alternative accommodation in line with the Public Health Directives that positive cases must isolate for seven days,” he said.

“The pandemic will continue to evolve and so will our response.

“Alternative uses of the QRAC facility are being considered, but the primary purpose remains to support the pandemic response.

“We will continue to work with a range of Agencies on potential alternative uses of the QRAC facility for any remaining months of the state government lease.

“The Government’s priority remains identifying a range of short and longer-term housing solutions enabling affected Queenslanders to stay in or near their local areas where they have community connections including workplaces, schools and social supports.”

You may also read!

Residents near Plenty River demand environmental action

The newly-incorporated Upper Plenty Action Group has raised concerns that water from the Plenty River could be contaminated by

Read More...

Wotton Skate Park redevelopment

The construction of the new Wotton Skate Park has begun and will feature WA’s biggest half-pipe with additional roll-ins

Read More...

Feastival of football attracting football Royalty to Perth

Football powerhouses Manchester United, Leeds United, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace will host a two-night International Festival of Football

Read More...

Mobile Sliding Menu