Wellcamp Quarantine Site Which Cost Taxpayers $223 Million To Be Mothballed

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Article heading image for Wellcamp Quarantine Site Which Cost Taxpayers $223 Million To Be Mothballed

Queensland Government

The $223.5 million Queensland Regional Accommodation Centre at Wellcamp will be mothballed in the upcoming days, the State Government confirmed this morning. 

The Pinkenba facility will also no longer be required for use upon advice.

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The controversial facility – which has only accommodated 730 guests – will cease hosting people from August one but will remain available should the pandemic response setting changes.

The cost of taxpayers’ money equated to each guest costing $320,000 to stay at the facility which will close only 160 days from when operations commenced.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said updated advice from the Chief Health Officer meant Queensland would change its approach to quarantine management.

During the pandemic Queensland outperformed the rest of the country on employment, domestic economic growth, workforce participation, retail growth and interstate migration,” he said.

Having a dedicated quarantine facility provided the confidence we needed to open state and international borders, and it provided an insurance mechanism against an unknown future.

The expert advice was that we needed it so Queensland could cope with future unknowns and provide the certainty we needed to open up the state.

We followed the advice of the experts then and were following it now.”

"With increased vaccination coverage and community acceptance of COVID-19, the need for dedicated isolation facilities or for any contingency capacity to have been held has decreased.”

For months, the State Government refused to reveal how much the Wellcamp facility construction cost, however those figures were finally revealed on Tuesday.

The State Government signed a 12-month lease to use the 1,000-bed facility for COVID-19.

Capital and leasing costs have totalled $198.5 million while a contract with Compass Group to provide services including catering, cleaning and security have cost $9 million.

About $16 million had been spent on an Aspen Medical contract which is providing on-site health services.

$14.3 million had also been spent on for the Quarantine Management Taskforce, however this doesn’t only relate to the Wellcamp facility.

Acting Auditor-General Karen Johnson confirmed yesterday the Queensland Audit Office was continuing to look at the costs and contracts related to the facility after receiving a request from Deputy LNP leader Jarrod Bleijie in February.

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27 July 2022

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