Not sensible to own quarantine centre: Qld

·2-min read

Queensland's Wellcamp quarantine hub will be mothballed with months to run on the lease, but the deputy premier's only regret is it wasn't built sooner.

The facility is costing just under $200 million in capital and leasing fees and will be shut to guests on August 1 after opening in February.

The government lease will run out in April next year, and Deputy Premier Steven Miles says it doesn't make sense for the government to be saddled with the asset.

"Nobody supports public ownership more than I do, but there are certain facilities you want to own, and there are certain facilities you want to have access to," he said on Thursday.

"A facility that is likely to be only needed once every 100 years, we don't want to own that, there are costs in ownership."

The state government's deal with the Wagner Group, who own the facility, was a one year lease with an option for a one year extension.

"The terms of the lease are very clear, we could terminate it sooner but that would incur very similar costs," Mr Miles said.

If an alternative use for the site can be found between now and April, the government will consider early termination.

"We have received approaches for other alternative uses, and we will consider those," he said.

Meanwhile, the termination of the contract to supply health services, provided by Aspen Medical, will be negotiated by Queensland Health.

Mr Miles said it was on a "as used" basis, with about $7 million spent.

The deputy premier's only regret regarding Wellcamp is that it wasn't built sooner.

"If we built it sooner it would have been available sooner (and) Queenslanders would have been safer," he said.

"Throughout the entire pandemic we took a be prepared approach, and I don't regret anything about that."

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