The time for political posturing is over, the Commonwealth must take immediate and urgent action to strengthen our quarantine system.
Australia has, by and large, faired relatively well throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but these new strains present us with new and ongoing challenges.
In an absence of leadership on the Federal level, our States have shouldered the burden and done the best that they could in managing quarantine at a state-by-state level using hotels.
However, it is incumbent on the Commonwealth to immediately move towards establishing built-for-purpose quarantine facilities in every state.
The model of hotel quarantine will no longer be sufficient as we continue to see the spread of new variants on the COVID-19 virus - including strains that are more readily spread through aerosol.
Housing new arrivals in high-rise hotels that constantly recirculate air through air conditioning, is simply a disaster waiting to happen.
Placing responsibility on the States is unfair, and will continue to put our public health at risk without adequate resourcing from the Commonwealth.
Purpose built quarantine facilities are desperately required, if we are to have any hope of opening our borders up over the next 12-18 months.
Purpose built quarantine facilities are, of course, an adjunct to a properly implemented immunisation program and immunisation awareness program, that should be approached with urgency to make sure we protect Australia from COVID outbreaks.