Victorians affected by the floods were informed by letter that emergency accommodation at the purpose-built quarantine centre in Melbourne’s outer north would be closing at the end of March. Treasurer Tim Pallas said authorities had attempted to contact all 44 remaining residents from five local government areas, but not everyone could be reached. He said, “Ultimately in the absence of being able to make contact we had to slip a letter under the door, but that was pretty much the exception rather than the rule.”
The 1000-bed centre opened in February 2022 and was used to quarantine people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 250 people were provided shelter, and most have since moved back home or to other accommodation. Pallas said it was no longer cost effective to keep the centre open.
The Victorian government will help the remaining residents to find alternative accommodation, such as private rentals, social housing, hotels, or caravan parks. Some may have temporary accommodation set up on their own properties as part of a pilot program. Pallas said the government would either cover or subsidise the cost of alternative accommodation, and that “nobody’s going to be homeless as a consequence of this.” He ensured that everyone would have appropriate accommodation, even if it is not optimal.