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Christmas Island locals see sense in island quarantine plan

Photo: Locals see sense in island quarantine plan
Christmas Island residents are disappointed they weren't informed about the plan to use the detention centre for coronavirus quarantine, but say it makes sense.

Using the Christmas Island immigration detention centre to quarantine Australians from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city Wuhan makes sense, but locals are disappointed they weren't informed, a resident says.

Chris Bray, owner of luxury eco-resort Swell Lodge, says the plan is a much more positive use of the costly facility, whose only residents are an asylum seeking Tamil family from Sri Lanka, than "persecuting non-Australians".

"It does make sense to get these presumably healthy people to a remote corner of a remote island, to a centre not being used," Mr Bray told AAP on Wednesday.
Allowing people returning from Wuhan to "disappear into the community" was not an option, but Christmas Island locals would have liked information about the plan before learning about it through the media.

"There's lots of questions flying around the community," Mr Bray said.

"It would be irresponsible for the government not to provide all the answers."

Another resident, Paul Maberly, said he wanted more information from the federal government before forming an opinion.

"We'll see what transpires and hope it works out for the best."

Mr Bray said the mortality rate from coronavirus was obviously horrendous, but it was not the same as flying in people with ebola.

Locals want to know about logistics and how the community will be kept safe, he said.

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan also said he was not informed.

"You would think we might have been advised," he told reporters.

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