Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry in Rockhampton.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry in Rockhampton.

Landry disagrees with deputy PM on mining camp quarantine

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack on Monday disagreed about the proposal to make use of mining camps for COVID-19 quarantine.

Speaking in Rockhampton, Mr McCormack said that although the location of quarantine was something for the State Government to decide, he was "a proponent of other options other than just capital quarantining".

"I think if we're going to get seasonal workers into place to pick fruit and to do other jobs, and certainly the resources industry … could well do with workers as well, but those workers need to have proven negative to a COVID test even before they get on the plane to come to Australia.

"The quarantining has to be rigid; it has to be absolutely above reproach, and that's unfortunately what went wrong in Victoria, and more than 800 of the 909 [national] deaths occurred in that Victoria outbreak."

He said the issue would be brought up at the next national cabinet meeting.

"Commonwealth is always happy to assist states and territories," Mr McCormack said.

"We've got 1500 ADF personnel right throughout the nation at the moment assisting states and assisting territories with quarantining and other measures, but there has to be the right health, has to be the right security measures over any quarantining as we don't want to place, as Michelle Landry has quite correctly pointed out, vulnerable regional communities which don't have perhaps the health and medical services at the ready."

Ms Landry, who also commented on the possible plan last week, commended Mr McCormack's focus on agriculture, but said that the feedback from the mining and tourism sectors was that "we don't want people up here with COVID".

"Okay if people test negative but I think that there is a lot of difficulties in this area with a lack of health resources, and also how many flights they would have to take to get here," she said.

"I'm elected by the people of Capricornia, so I stand up for the people of Capricornia, so no, I don't want to see any of the mining communities with COVID camps."



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