Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he “welcomes” the state government’s proposal for a 500-bed COVID-19 quarantine hub in Mickleham.
Last week, Acting Premier James Merlino announced a site on Donnybrook Road was the state government’s preferred location for the hub for returned travellers.
The site is next to the existing federal government-owned Mickleham Post Entry Quarantine Facility.
Construction of the quarantine hub in Mickleham is subject to federal approval and funding. The state government estimates that the facility will cost $200 million to construct.
The state government has provided $15 million to design the hub.
Star Weekly was contacted by many community members who opposed the announcement.
Yesterday, Mr Morrison said federal government agencies were in the process of assessing the proposal from the Victorian government.
“[The proposal] is, in contrast to some others we have received, it is a very detailed and comprehensive proposal,” Mr Morrison said.
“I welcome the fact that the Victorian government understands that, in any facilities when it comes to enforcing their public health orders, which is the quarantine order, that they would be running the operations and providing the support for those facilities to operate.”
Mr Morrison said the federal government would consider the request for funding “in good faith”.
He said he is treating the state’s plan for the hub “with respect”.
“I am treating that proposal with respect that it should have, because it has been, it is a very comprehensive and detailed proposal,” he said.
“A lot of effort has gone into it and we will look at it seriously, any of the fiscal issues, I am sure we would raise and discuss those first with the state government.
“But I am not getting ahead and nothing should be read into that.
“We will just take it on its merits and will consider it as part of our broader policy position.”
Mickleham residents have launched a petition against the Mickleham location for the hub, which now has 700 signatures.