Scott Morrison has been urged to explain why he rejected a quarantine proposal in Queensland, with one outspoken senator calling him “bloody-minded”.
Pauline Hanson on Monday blasted the Prime Minister after he revealed his opposition to a privately funded facility at Wellcamp Airport, west of Brisbane.
“Why are you so bloody-minded about not allowing the camp to go ahead in Toowoomba when that is what people want, at no expense to the taxpayers,” Senator Hanson told Sky News.
“It will work far better.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese on Tuesday said the government needed to fix the mess.
“Whether it’s the establishment of appropriate quarantine facilities, they just haven’t delivered,” Mr Albanese said.
“Mr Morrison, who is visiting Queensland … yesterday was talking about his opposition to the Wellcamp proposal.
“It was a proposal for quarantine facilities right at the airport site and close to the Toowoomba health facilities that could have been used.
“He needs to explain to Queenslanders why it is that he simply has rejected their proposal which is practical.”
But during a visit to Queensland this week, Mr Morrison said the proposal for a 1000-bed facility on land owned by the prominent Wagner family lacked details.
“When you compare what has been put forward by the Victorian government (it) is chalk and cheese,” he said.
“It is not near a major capital city, where there’s a major hospital. That’s the big problem with it, amongst many others.”
Mr Morrison said Victoria’s proposal for cabins in Melbourne’s north was about supplementing hotel quarantine.
But he said the government couldn’t get a straight answer on whether Queensland’s proposal would replace the hotel system.
“There was just not enough detail, not enough answers to the questions that we need to properly assess this,” he said.
“It is for them to put proposals and it is for them to do the homework … and if they were to do that, they could expect the same sort of hearing that the Victorian government is getting.”
Queensland Senator Matt Canavan on Tuesday backed Mr Morrison’s response.
“I don’t think it is right to put quarantine facilities away from major health services,” the Nationals senator said.
“If there were to be an outbreak in a regional city like Toowoomba, they have very limited ability to handle that.
“If the Queensland government is serious about doing an open-air quarantine facility, why don’t they sit down and talk and work out where the best place for that is.”
Mr Morrison was on Tuesday asked whether Grand Prix drivers and tennis players could avoid the mandatory two-week quarantine period if they had been in a bubble.
“It is a bit premature to be making those decisions at this point,” Mr Morrison said.
“But I think we will be practical about those things.”