Bob Katter touts Dunk Island COVID quarantine plan
THE Queensland Premier has marooned a proposal by outspoken MP Bob Katter to quarantine international travellers on Dunk Island.
Mr Katter on Wednesday announced his proposal, which would see the former resort refitted as a quarantine facility.
He said the plan was an alternative to "irresponsible" plans to use mining camps as COVID quarantine centres.
"An outbreak there (at the camps) can be carried all over Australia," Mr Katter said.
"FNQ has (economically) been the hardest hit in Australia; one of the major resorts was Dunk Island.
"The facilities are still there, they have been knocked around badly by cyclone."
He estimated for an outlay of between $500,000 to $1 million, the resort could be rendered for purpose.
"We can put through about 1000 people each month," Mr Katter said.
"The staff quarters are in good condition.
"It is naturally quarantined because it is an island."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will be raising the proposal at national cabinet on Friday, but at a press conference, gave Mr Katter's proposal short thrift.
"Yeah I don't think that'll work. That's, ah, we're in cyclone season as well and the logistics of evacuating people from that if we had to would be incredible," Ms Palaszczuk said.
To be fair to Mr Katter, his timeline for the facility would assume the travellers begin arriving at Dunk Island once the cyclone season had passed.
"If there is serious will we can move them into employees quarters straight away, a matter of weeks," Mr Katter said.
"By the time we have done this, cyclone season would be almost over."
But Mr Katter could not confidently say whether health staff would be able to surge to the island in the event of an outbreak.
"If you are asking me what facilities would be provided by the (state) government, I'd say very little," Mr Katter said.
He said discussions were ongoing about the issue.
Skytrans has backed the plan and would fly 32 seater Dash 100 and nine seater Caravan aircraft to the airstrip.
Queensland Health has been asked for comment.
Originally published as Katter touts Far North island COVID quarantine plan