Wellcamp quarantine facility to shut as full cost finally revealed

The controversial Wellcamp quarantine facility at Toowoomba will be mothballed next week after so far costing taxpayers almost $240 million.

But taxpayers are set to keep paying for the empty facility for another nine months.

The true cost of the centre has finally been revealed during budget estimates this morning after the government had previously refused to, citing commercial-in-confidence.


The state’s acting Auditor-General confirmed on Tuesday that she was investigating the deal.

Deputy Premier and State Development Minister Steven Miles on Wednesday outlined the money the government has already spent on the facility.

He confirmed the cost of capital works to establish the quarantine facility and lease it from the Wagner Corporation is $198.5 million.

It has cost another $16 million for health services, and $9 million for catering, cleaning and security services.

The taskforce overseeing Queensland’s quarantine system has cost a further $14.3 million.

Dr Miles has also confirmed Wellcamp will no longer take guests from next month after accommodating just 730 people since opening in February.

However, taxpayers will still be forking out money with the lease not due to expire until April.

“With increased vaccination coverage and community acceptance of COVID-19, the need for dedicated isolation facilities or for any contingency capacity to be held has decreased,” Dr Miles said.

“Queensland’s Chief Health Officer and Queensland Health have advised the Queensland Government there is no longer a public health requirement for dedicated government-provided quarantine and isolation facilities.

“It (Wellcamp) will cease hosting guests from 1 August, but will remain available should the pandemic response settings change.”

The state government has also informed the federal government that it no longer requires its quarantine facility being built at Pinkenba in Brisbane.

The opposition has labelled the facility a complete waste of money done for political purposes.

“The Wellcamp waste will forever be remembered as the price Queenslanders pay when this government prioritises politics over the genuine needs of Queenslanders,” Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said.

“The Wellcamp waste happened while the State Government was still paying tens of millions of dollars for empty hotel rooms and with a Commonwealth-owned facility coming online at Pinkenba.

“Queensland taxpayers have so far paid $237 million for a facility we will never own and we are handing back the keys months early.”