The Morrison Government has finally come on board with Victoria's plan to construct purpose-built quarantine facilities for people coming home from overseas.
I'm glad the Prime Minister has realised that we need a better solution to hotel quarantine.
Ask any Victorian going through their 140th day in lockdown and they'll tell you the same.
But these facilities aren't cheap.
At $200 million a pop, signing on to build one will cost the feds big time.
You can understand that after a year that's blown the budget surplus out of the water, they'd want to be sure they put that investment to good use.
I reckon the way through is to build these facilities with a post-pandemic world in mind.
We don't want to pour millions into them only to see them rot in five years' time.
Here's an idea: once this is all over (and let's hope that's sooner rather than later), we could use them to house our homeless population.
It's something Tassie could look at.
We have almost 4000 applications on the waiting list for social housing.
That's increased from around 3000 a year ago, and it's only going to get worse.
Building proper quarantine facilities here would mean we can safely get more visitors to our state, boost the economy and have some more housing available for people who need it down the track.
The other states could look into it too.
We're not the only state that's feeling the social housing shortage.
Victoria has over 45,000 families waiting for social housing and New South Wales has close to 50,000.
State governments are not building houses fast enough to keep up with the number of people who need them.
Using quarantine facilities post-pandemic might be an unconventional solution, but at this point we've got to get inventive to get things done.
Because no matter how expensive these quarantine facilities are, they're going to be necessary for a while yet.
The vaccine rollout hasn't gone well by anyone's measure.
Leaks out of hotel quarantine continue to stop recovering businesses in their tracks.
It's possible to kill two birds with one stone, and fix both problems.
All it takes is a bit of forward planning from state and federal governments.
Hopefully that isn't wishful thinking.
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