“We want the community to know what’s going on there, we want the community to be part of that program and that process,” he said.
“But we’ve got to get this built. There’s much greater risk to people across Victoria, Mickleham included, by having thousands of people in hotels that are not built to quarantine them.
“That’s the site that’s been chosen and everyone, including locals, will be better off because of that.”
The centre is being built on Commonwealth land and construction costs will be funded by the federal government, with the Victorian government to run the facility.
The site was chosen by the federal government after it was presented by the state government with two preferred options: Mickleham and Avalon Airport.
The size of the property, its proximity to an airport and the location of medical facilities were among the primary considerations for finding a suitable location.
Hume City Council mayor Joseph Haweil said the facility was not following a full consultation process if people were unable to oppose it.
“I would say it’s less being consulted, more being informed,” he said.
Another concern raised by residents was the potential impact on traffic, with surrounding roads often choked by cars due to an influx of new housing.
Cr Haweil said the community was entitled to be rewarded with infrastructure funding if it was going to do the heavy lifting of quarantining travellers. “That contribution should be recognised,” he said.
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