State and territory leaders will go head to head at National Cabinet today, with hotel quarantine set to be a major issue.
The federal government’s been clear about their priority being the roll out of the coronavirus vaccine, but various leaders are calling for more action on our hotel quarantine defence.
It comes after three recent incidents around the country where the new highly-infectious strain was able to escape hotel quarantine and infect workers who were then able to carry it into the community.
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Brisbane was able to escape and outbreak, after locking down the entire city for three days.
Perth is currently undergoing a five day lockdown, where no new community cases have been recorded just yet.
And Melbourne has re-isolated hundreds of Australian Open players and officials after a hotel worker there tested positive two days ago.
Some Premiers are now asking for the federal government to become more involved in the program, and to seriously consider moving quarantine facilities to more regional areas.
It’s understood the Victorian Premier, the Western Australian Premier and the Queensland Premier are currently behind the call.
But New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has told the ABC this morning that it probably won’t help at all.
“I mean, operationally, the systems are already up and running.
“We have some federal agencies supporting the New South Wales efforts, whether it’s Border Force or the ADF, support what we’re doing in the system.
“I don’t understand what they mean by increasing the support.
“Of course, financially that would be useful, but operationally, the systems are already there, and it’s joint efforts.
“The New South Wales Police Force is in charge of our quarantine system and they have been from day one in New South Wales, but they’ve worked very closely with Health, with the ADF, with Border Force, with the local cleaning staff, the hotels themselves.
“It is a mammoth effort involving thousands of people. And I think to disrupt that system now would be very – it actually would be detrimental.
“It wouldn’t be useful. You don’t want to disrupt the operations,” she told the ABC.