Send those in Covid quarantine to beautiful Dunk Island
Federal MP Bob Katter is proposing the government invest in rebuilding the derelict Dunk Island Resort located off Mission Beach in North Queensland as a slam dunk solution for international quarantine rather than mine sites which pose significant risk of exposure to the industry.
He says the island’s existing, operational air strip, the vicinity to Cairns International Airport, distance from local community and the island’s resources, space and capacity make the project a no brainer.
“Why do they want to quarantine people in the cities where there are rabbit warrens just perfect for viruses to get out of control, or mining camps which are located so close to our nation’s biggest money makers.
“You need to find ways to get the economy working again effectively and from what I am told, the locals near the mine sites don’t want it. If it got out, the local hospitals couldn’t cope and it would do untold damage to the indigenous population not to mention the more than 3000 FIFO workers.”
Mr Katter said that discussions have already taken place with the island’s current owners and had also spoken with general aviation businesses that back his proposition to get Dunk Island operating as a quarantine centre.
“These discussions have already taken place and I would be confident there will not be any difficulty in getting an agreeable outcome.
“Getting places like Dunk Island working again changes everything. Backpackers think that they can’t travel anymore. Well, this arrangement means we can provide you with safe access to Australia for both backpackers and Pacific Island workers so they can get back out on our farms where they are so desperately needed.”
“Dunk can take 200 people every two weeks, and with demountables we could step this up to even more. You could do hundreds every month without any difficultly at all.
“All the essentials are there. There are functioning kitchens, existing staff quarters and an operating air strip. It would mean construction of the main resort which would boost the local economy that haemorrhaged more than 200 jobs when the Island closed after Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
“For the arrivals, it would mean having a good time at a premier resort in paradise. For the locals, they will still have access to the popular Spit area as it is separated from the main resort. What more could you want!
“Plus, the resort would be fully restored and ready to go after quarantine. It’s a slam dunk.”
The Labor Party Chief Executive Comrade Annastacia Palaszczuk said today she was not in favour of using the island for quarantine but preferred to spend money on quarantine measures for international travelers in Labor-held electorates.