2TM LOCAL NEWS

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Tamworth quarantine station 'should definitely be considered' says NSW Premier


The option for Tamworth to host a COVID-19 quarantine station at the empty pilot training facility is still on the table according to NSW Premier Gladys Berijiklian.


The Premier was in Tamworth on Friday 29th January when she confirmed Tamworth was in a 'strong position' for hosting a quarantine station.


"I think that the model for the NZ Warriors in Tamworth has been fantastic, " Premier Berijiklian said, "If there is a one-off opportunity I think we should definitely look at that."


On the other hand local Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson last week told 2TM's Breakfast with Sally Anne Whitten he would rather see the facility return to its original purpose.


"First and foremost I would like to see pilot training return," Mr Anderson said, "It would be great to see organisations come back to Tamworth to train pilots and drive our economy."


Mr Anderson said he understands the facility has been used for several other reasons over the past 12 months including as a boarding house for students, however, said there would need to be a clear plan laid out before any decisions are finalised.


As the owner and operator Tamworth Regional Council are still in negotiations with state and federal departments in regards to how the operation would work.


"Council has approached both the NSW and Australian Governments seeking support to have the accommodation facilities used as a quarantine hub until international cadet pilots are allowed to return and start their flying instruction," said Tamworth Regional Council in a statement.


Mayor Col Murray confirmed to 2TM's Breakfast with Sally Anne Whitten that discussions are underway.


"Those discussions are happening behind closed doors," Mayor Murray said, "I would like to reassure the community the Council and the Councillors will make a final decision on if or when or how that might unfold."


The Mayor reiterated that Council would consider all risks when making their decision.


"I can assure you that our Councillors won't be putting any massive risk onto the community," Mayor Murray said, "The Councillors and the staff are definitely not looking at exposing our community to anything big."


Mayor Murray said nothing had been finalised and the community should wait to see the proposal should one arise within the next few weeks.