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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 616 asked in the Legislative Council on 10 August 2022 by Hon James Hayward

Parliament: 41 Session: 1

Answered on 10 August 2022


616. Hon JAMES HAYWARD to the Leader of the House representing the Premier:

I refer to reported plans to use the Centre for National Resilience in Bullsbrook to accommodate people from outside Western Australia.

(1) Does the Premier believe it is appropriate to provide accommodation for interstate and overseas workers when a large number of Western Australian families are living in their cars or in tents?

(2) Why can the facility not be used to assist Western Australians who are struggling to find rental accommodation and with the cost of living?

(3) Can the Premier confirm that the WA state government strongly supported the construction of the quarantine facility in August 2021 and that it requested the facility be built in Bullsbrook by the commonwealth government?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

(1)–(3) The commonwealth government built-and-owned Centre for National Resilience at Bullsbrook was designed as a quarantine centre for international arrivals. The state and commonwealth governments are still actively managing the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergence of Omicron sub-variants demonstrates that Australia needs to retain readiness to respond to changes in the pandemic. During this time, the commonwealth is supportive of the state utilising the centre for an alternative purpose as long as there is an ability to stand up accommodation for quarantine purposes if required. A number of alternative uses have been considered, including short-term accommodation for international and interstate skilled labourers, crisis accommodation for people at risk of homelessness, and emergency response accommodation for natural disaster relief. No final decision has been made about an alternative use.