The idea of a COVID-19 quarantine facility in the South West emerged as a central issue last week, but Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino has remained quiet on the matter. The Busselton-Dunsborough Times last week approached the Liberal MP’s office after Premier Mark McGowan identified Busselton as a viable option for a quarantine hub and called on the Federal Government to fund it. However, Ms Marino had “no response for this”, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison refuses to accept Commonwealth responsibility for quarantine arrangements. Mr Morrison said the States were coping adequately with their own quarantine arrangements, despite repeated hotel quarantine bungles in Perth. WA is one of many States, including Victoria, considering how and where to establish a purpose-built quarantine facility in the wake of coronavirus leaks from hotel quarantine. While Ms Marino remained quiet, Vasse MLA Libby Mettam slammed the idea of a dedicated quarantine facility in Busselton. Ms Mettam dubbed the Premier’s comments a “political stunt” and said the WA Government should focus on providing support to regional frontline health services and infrastructure. “This is ... to deflect attention from his own failings in hotel quarantine,” she said. “We support dedicated alternative quarantine facilities, but it should follow health advice. “The McGowan Government doesn’t have a great track record in providing regional communities with this kind of funding.” Ms Mettam said she was glad the Premier had identified the potential of Busselton Margaret River Airport but questioned how it could support international arrivals without a proper terminal after the McGowan Government withdrew funding for an upgrade last year. City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley threw his “in-principle” support behind a purpose-built facility near the South West city, provided the State funded upgrades to the airport and hospital. Mr Henley said neither he nor the council had been approached by the State Government. “If the proposal is seriously suggested, we would have to conduct broad consultation with the community,” he said. “(But) if the Government could guarantee extremely strong protections for the community, then I would support it in principle. “We have the runway capacity for these aircraft, but we do not have the terminal capacity. “The State Government is sitting on a whole pot of money that could be used to upgrade the terminal, so we would probably see the terminal upgraded. “Also, the hospital facilities, the medical facilities, would probably need upgrading.” WA Health Minister Roger Cook said potential quarantine hub options would be presented to the Federal Government soon, and urged it to get more involved.