Prime Minister Scott Morrison has raised fears that Queensland’s drive to quarantine regional camps for foreign arrivals could disrupt the mining industry.
The national cabinet meeting of federal and state representatives on Friday is scheduled to resolve the proposal of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to use remote sites rather than CBD hotels.
The state government requires national reforms to prevent highly infectious new strains of coronavirus being exposed to capital cities.
Mr Morrison said heavy industries, including mining, were major contributors during the pandemic to Australia’s economic results.
The prime minister has cooled on the idea after consulting with locals in the central Queensland town of Gladstone, which is near to the site floated for quarantined arrivals.
“There are a lot of concerns being expressed up there,” Mr Morrison said.
“If the Queensland government wants to proceed with this then they’re going to have to address those issues up there with the local community.”
Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles highlighted that quarantine is required as per the constitution.
“Why haven’t we got the federal government actually coming up with a plan which has quarantine arrangements around the country which allow stranded Australians to get home?” he told the Nine Network.