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Howard Springs moving forward with expansion

30 April 2021

A significant milestone has been reached for the expansion of the gold standard Howard Springs Centre for National Resilience with staff currently undergoing training and orientation this week.

Our successful management of the pandemic will continue to be the highest priority as the expansion of the Howard Springs facility gets underway.

This week Prime Minister Scott Morrison visited the Centre for National Resilience to observe the successful quarantine model in action.

The Territory Labor Government has secured 160 staff as part of the first tranche of recruitment with workers commencing orientation and training this week. The increase in staff means that the facility will be equipped to accept an anticipated peak of around 1200 arrivals in May.

The additional workers are the first tranche of recruitment to scale-up the workforce so that the Centre can gradually increase the number of international arrivals to the maximum of 2000 between May to June as agreed with the Federal Government. Recruitment of these workers is a significant development which brings the Territory Labor Government one step closer to bringing more Australians home, while also keeping Territorians safe.

A further 150 workers will commence orientation in May as part of the second tranche of recruitment, and we will continue to recruit from the 2500 registrants of interest received until positions are filled and we can fully transition to a single model of governance.

The senior leadership team has been appointed to deliver the expanded service. I am pleased to announce that Ms Gabrielle Brown has been appointed as Executive Director Quarantine, who will be supported by Professor Dianne Stephens OAM as Director Medical Services Quarantine and Ms Lisa Vermeulen as Director of Nursing and Midwifery Quarantine.

A Medical Advisory Group has been appointed to oversee clinical governance of the facility to ensure the standard of care and infection control set by AUSMAT is continued throughout the centre.

Overall, about 400 staff will be recruited to expand Howard Springs capacity from 850 to 2000 returning travellers per fortnight.

The Howard Springs Centre for National Resilience will remain the gold standard under the expansion and the clinical model will not change.

There is no deadline for AUSMAT to leave the facility during the transition and we will take as long as we need to get this right.

Quotes from Health Minister Natasha Fyles:

“Territorians can have confidence that we are in the best possible position to manage the transition of the Howard Springs Centre for National Resilience.

“We are working with AUSMAT to ensure Howard Springs remains the gold standard when it comes to repatriating returned Australians.

“The Territory Labor Government’s highest priority has always been keeping Territorians safe and keeping COVID out of our community and this will continue to be the case.”