Covid-19 WA: Quarantine hub to be built near contaminated site in Bullsbrook


A purpose-built quarantine facility will be just a few kilometres from a toxic site, but the Prime Minister insists he would let his family stay there.

The federal government is moving the location for a new purpose-built quarantine facility in Western Australia — and it is just a few kilometres from a contaminated site.

An area near Jandakot Airport had been the frontrunner, but it was revealed on Thursday that WA’s Centre for National Resilience would instead be built on land within the Bullsbrook Training Area.

The new spot is near the contaminated RAAF Base Pearce, in Perth’s outer northeast, where groundwater cannot be used.

Asked if he would let his family stay there, Scott Morrison said: “If we were flying into Perth and we were quarantining in Perth and that’s what we had to do, then of course I’d go there if that’s what was required.”

The Prime Minister also told reporters that the new location was a necessary decision.

“The facility that we are now looking at has proven necessary because the one at Jandakot wasn’t able to be secured on the appropriate terms and conditions,” he said.

“So we have moved with another facility that meets the national guidelines that we set out for getting that program moving forward.”

Once construction on the 1000-bed facility is completed, it will be operated by the WA government during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the facility would initially enhance the nation’s ability to continue to safely return overseas travellers and will be used in future natural disasters or health crises.

“This centre will be there to help us respond to ongoing curve balls that Covid-19 may continue to throw our way,” he said in a statement.

“Whilst a number of sites around Perth were considered, the Bullsbrook site provides the best option for the centre to be delivered quickly and cost effectively so that more international travel can be safely facilitated sooner.”

Multiplex, which is also working on a site in Victoria, will deliver the project in WA.

Construction is due to begin in October, with the first 500 beds expected to be operational in the first quarter of next year, although Premier Mark McGowan has previously indicated it is an ambitious plan.

“I am looking forward to working with the City of Swan to maximise the opportunities for businesses in this new part of my electorate,” Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said.

“This support from the Morrison government will help to ensure that WA, and indeed Australia, can open so that we can get the local and national economy firing on all cylinders.”

Originally published as Western Australia’s quarantine hub to be built near contaminated site

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