The Commonwealth and Western Australian Government have today reached an agreement to move forward with the delivery of a 1,000 bed purpose-built quarantine and emergency response facility in the state.
Under the agreement, the Commonwealth will fund the construction of the facility and the Western Australian Government will operate the facility and meet operational costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said this agreement was another important step in building longer-term resilience capabilities that can also help with the management of the COVID-19 pandemic into next year, particularly the safe management of international arrivals into Western Australia.
“This agreement paves the way for a purpose-built quarantine and emergency response facility to be built in Western Australia,” Minister Birmingham said.
“It will increase our ability to respond to future emergencies or disasters, including the continued management of the COVID-19 pandemic into next year.
“The project will also create jobs in the state, support economic recovery and provide an enduring asset to enhance the state’s medium and long-term capability to respond to future natural disasters or future health crises in the years to come.
“I thank the Western Australian Government for the very constructive partnership on this project so far. We will now work quickly to finalise an agreed design for the centre and commence construction.”
WA Premier Mark McGowan said he was pleased a formal agreement had been met to progress a purpose-built quarantine facility by the Commonwealth Government.
“WA has always stood ready to support the Commonwealth to deliver on its proposal for a dedicated quarantine facility to ensure more Australians can safely return to our shores following the devastating impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr McGowan said.
“Over the past year and a half, we’ve had to introduce a range of measures, including hotel quarantine, to crush and kill the virus and to keep COVID out of WA.
“We look forward to this Commonwealth facility progressing as quickly as possible, to help keep WA safe.”
Planning for the facility aims to secure the first 500 beds being ready by the end of March 2022.
Today’s announcement means Australia is now on track to have four dedicated quarantine and emergency response facilities, one in each of the Northern Territory, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.