Victoria flood victims to be housed at Mickleham ‘white elephant’ quarantine facility


Finally it gets put to use! Victoria’s $580MILLION ‘white elephant’ Covid quarantine centre will be used to house flood victims

  • Victoria’s quarantine facility in Mickleham could be used to house flood victims
  • Premier Daniel Andrews said there was ‘every chance’ the hub would be used
  • He revealed he had spoken with Anthony Albanese about reopening the facility
  • It comes days after the hub, which cost $580million to construct, was closed

Victoria’s deserted $580million quarantine facility on the outskirts of Melbourne may be used to house flood victims as wild weather devastates the state.  

Premier Daniel Andrews announced that he was considering using the ‘white elephant’ Mickelham quarantine facility, while providing an update on the floods crisis on Friday.

More than 500 homes have been inundated and a further 500 cut off by the floodwaters, with one person missing on Friday afternoon.

Mr Andrews revealed he had spoken to the Federal government about using the Mickleham facility to house Victorians, if necessary.

Ironically, it comes just days after the state government closed the facility after eight months housing quarantined Covid patients.

Victoria’s $580million quarantine facility in Mickleham (pictured) may be used to house flood victims

Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) revealed that he had spoken to the federal government about preparing the hub to be used to house displaced Victorians

Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) revealed that he had spoken to the federal government about preparing the hub to be used to house displaced Victorians

‘We think there’s every chance that we’ll need to house people at that (Mickleham) facility,’ Mr Andrews said. 

‘We’ve got 500 homes where they’ve got water over the floorboards, and also another 500 that are cut off. That number will definitely grow.’ 

‘I have spoken with the Prime Minister this morning, and he has assured me that Victorians will have everything (they need).’

The 1,000-bed quarantine centre in Mickleham, 50km north of Melbourne, was initially designed as a secure space to host people isolating with Covid-19. 

Ironically it comes just days the facility was closed. There was controversy over its high cost and the fact it was opened towards the end of the Covid pandemic.

The facility was used by just 2,168 people in total, while 500 of its beds were never even used.

Construction costs worked out at $267,527 per person who stayed there, not counting running costs of around $1.5million per week in its early months. 

But Craig Lapsley, Victoria’s emergency management commissioner from 2014-2018, had called for the facility to be adapted to house those fleeing disasters such as floods. 

Wild wet weather has devastated Melbourne and central Victoria as residents flee towns (pictured, people seen evacuating a pet dog through flood water In Rochester, Victoria)

Wild wet weather has devastated Melbourne and central Victoria as residents flee towns (pictured, people seen evacuating a pet dog through flood water In Rochester, Victoria)

The Mickleham quarantine hub (pictured) was initially constructed to host people isolating with Covid-19

The Mickleham quarantine hub (pictured) was initially constructed to host people isolating with Covid-19

‘I know when we went through ’09 (the Black Saturday bushfires), we spent a huge amount of time asking: ‘How many caravans could we get? How many houses could we get?’,’ he told The Sunday Age.

Mr Lapsley said Mickleham’s well-built accommodation has government services on site and could be a safe haven for families affected by bushfires and floods.

‘To have something that is pre-planned and ready to go, and it might not suit every scenario, but it certainly is a very positive piece of infrastructure in building those emergency plans for the state,’ he said.

Mr Lapsley added that its position made it accessible for anywhere ‘from the Dandenongs around to the coast’, though he cautioned that it was built to be functional, not community friendly. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk