I am delighted that the Morrison Government has reached agreement in principle with the Victorian Government to construct and operate a purpose-built state of the art quarantine facility in Victoria.
I have been a very strong supporter of an Avalon quarantine facility since it was first proposed by Avalon Airport. Not only would this allow returning travellers to fly directly into Avalon and travel a short way to their accommodation, it would be a huge boost for jobs and our local economy.
As announced by the Prime Minister today, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between the Federal Government and the Victorian Government providing that the Commonwealth would be responsible for construction of such a facility, with the state government responsible for its operations.
While the details of this agreement are to be finalised over the coming weeks including as to the location, I am very hopeful that Avalon Airport will be selected.
The Morrison Government has already developed a 2,000 bed facility at Howards Springs in the Northern Territory at a cost of a half a billion dollars.
The Avalon proposal would add significantly to this capacity and build on hotel quarantine services offered by the Victorian Government.