Gladys Berejiklian warns hotels CAN’T be used for quarantine once the international border opens and tells Scott Morrison to build new facilities like super-safe Howard Springs camp
- Gladys Berejiklian said hotels will return to normal use once tourism restarts
- This means that federal government will need new facilities for quarantine
- She said NSW would not offer to run a quarantine facility like Victoria has done
Hotels cannot be used for quarantine once the international border re-opens, Gladys Berejiklian has said.
The New South Wales Premier pointed out that once tourism restarts, CBD hotels will want to take regular customers like they did before the pandemic.
She said if the federal government wants to keep a system of managed quarantine in place then it would need to build its own facilities.
Gladys Berejiklian is pictured on Monday with NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler (centre) and fullback James Tedesco (right)
‘Once international borders are open and international travel resumes obviously those hotels can’t be used for quarantine,’ Ms Berejiklian told radio 2GB on Monday morning.
‘You can’t have a hotel built for tourism forever being a quarantine facility.’
New South Wales is currently taking 5,000 passengers every two weeks into its quarantine hotels.
The premier said that is the maximum safe capacity and if the federal government wants more people to go through quarantine then it would need to organise that itself.
‘I said to the feds ”5000 is all we can do in NSW and we’re doing it”. I don’t know any state that comes close to that and we do it without complaining,’ she said.
Scott Morrison has agreed to build a 500-bed federal quarantine facility in Melbourne after the Victorian government demanded an alternative to hotel quarantine amid fears the hotels are not safe enough to stop the virus escaping.
New South Wales is currently taking 5,000 passengers every two weeks into its quarantine hotels. Pictured: A soldier looks after cricket bags outside a quarantine hotel
On Sunday NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said New South Wales would look at proposing a similar facility in Sydney.
‘That is something we should look at,’ he told reporters.
‘The federal government has said it will support these types of facilities in other states and we want to work to a proposal that makes sense and keeps our people safe.’
However, Ms Berejiklian said any federal facility would need to be operated by the federal government.
Under Victoria’s proposal, the federal government will build the quarantine site but the Victorian government will run it.
‘The federal government, if they want extra capacity in NSW they’re going to have to build and run it themselves … we’re not in the business of operating a federally-built quarantine facility,’ the premier said.
Ms Berejiklian also warned that Victoria should not be given more coronavirus vaccines because of its lockdown which was extended for another week on Thursday.
‘Fair is fair, we should just proceed by the size of every state,’ she said.
‘We have a lot on our shoulders as well here in NSW and I think it’s only fair that we get our fair share of vaccine.’
Mr Morrison sent an extra 100,000 doses to Victoria over the weekend but officials have slammed the state government for keeping too many doses in reserve rather than rushing them into people’s arms.
The federal government has already set up a quarantine facility in Howard Springs near Darwin and has expanded it to take 2,000 travellers every two weeks.
Meanwhile, Queensland remains out in the cold over its plan to construct a 1,000-bed centre near Toowoomba.
The federal government has already set up a quarantine facility (pictured) in Howard Springs near Darwin and has expanded it to take 2,000 travellers every two weeks
Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud described the Queensland proposal as half-baked and said the state government needed to go back to the drawing board.
He called on NSW to do the leg work before submitting a quarantine proposal, saying the facility would need to be near a major airport and hospital.
‘Like Victoria, it would have to bring forward a proposal that meets the requirements as agreed by the national cabinet,’ Mr Littleproud told Sky News.
The minister said it was up to state governments to pitch purpose-built quarantine sites.
‘Obviously they are going to do this in addition to hotel quarantine,’ Mr Littleproud said.