Queensland quarantine hubs nominated as travel cap lifts
CAIRNS and the Gold Coast have been named ideal quarantine locations as the Federal Government increases the cap on the number of Australians re-entering the country.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has announced up to 2000 more Australians stranded overseas will be allowed back into the country each week, lifting the cap from 4000 to 6000.
NSW is taking the brunt of the arrivals at 350 passengers a day, while Perth is accepting 525 a week.
Brisbane and Adelaide have a limit of 500 passengers a week.
"We will increase the number of Australians coming into Sydney by 500," Mr McCormack said.
"As well 500 more will be coming into Queensland and I urge and encourage (Premier) Annastacia Palaszczuk to look at the Gold Coast and Cairns.
"Likewise, WA is increasing its capacity by 500; SA about 360."
The proposal has elicited a mixed response from the hotel industry.
Queensland Hotels Association CEO Bernie Hogan supported the move but warned businesses had to make their own decisions about whether becoming a quarantine hotel would damage the brand.
"You do have several hotels up there who are shut at the moment, and this could be a long-term contract that would be useful to them," he said.
"I'd be surprised if people didn't at least look at the potential to have a long-term government contract."
Mr Hogan said Queensland had a "pretty good" record on managing quarantine and most hotels in Cairns were currently at less than 20 per cent occupancy.
Crystalbrook Collection acting CEO Geoff York said the prestigious new hotel brand would not be interested in any such contract despite only having one of its three Cairns hotels fully opened.
"It's not a road to riches for a hotel to get that quarantine business," he said.
"By the time you take out all the costs, it's very marginal (and) there could be a high degree of reputational damage."
Originally published as Cairns nominated for quarantine hub as travel cap lifts