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Despite the hefty taxpayer-funded price tag, the centre will fall into disuse within days, just months after opening.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said while the state government’s response during the height of COVID-19 restrictions last year could have been improved, the commissioning of the quarantine facility was necessary at the time.
The state government has declared it no longer needs designated quarantine facilities just months after opening the $220 million Wellcamp centre. (Nine)

Miles pointed to the advice from then-Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young, which stated a need for alternative hotel quarantine arrangements as the Delta strain spread throughout the world.

“This was the right decision at that time,” Miles said.

“It’s easy enough to go back in time and rewrite history, pretend things were different.

“Throughout the entire pandemic we took a prepared approach and I don’t regret anything about that.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the facility should have been built sooner. (Nine)

The state government this week issued a statement saying Queensland no longer needed a designated quarantine facility.

Residents have nicknamed the 1000-bed hub “Wastecamp”, as the federally funded Pinkenba facility, which also cost hundreds of millions of dollars, sits idle nearby.

The state government will continue to pay the multi-million dollar commercial lease on the building until April next year.

When asked if he would do anything differently, Miles said he “would’ve built it sooner”.

“We should have gone ahead and built it sooner.”

Wellcamp facility Queensland
The commercial property is owned by the Wagner Corporation and leased by the state government. (Nine)

The Wagner family now own the Wellcamp facility, accommodation built next to their airport and entertainment precinct.

“The reality is, we offered a deal to the government… they accepted it,” John Wagner said.

“If Scott Morrison hadn’t turned it into political football we would have actually had it built long before we did.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was questioned over the centre’s value for money and level of need from the first day the project was proposed.

“If you build it they will come,” she told 9News on August 26 last year.

The premier has also been accused of announcing the camp without consulting local and federal governments.

The subvariants and mutations of COVID-19

Opposition leader David Crisafulli said the $220 million would have been better spent bolstering the state’s public health response by hiring new staff.

“This money could have put on 2500 new nurses, 950 ambulance vehicles, 230 intensive care beds,” he said.

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