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Feds unmoved by Qld quarantine proposal

The federal government has agreed to help coronavirus-hit Victoria build a quarantine facility but appears to have no intention of heeding Queensland's request for a similar site.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk insists her plan for a 1000-bed facility near Toowoomba is not dead, however AAP has learned the sunshine state's proposal isn't up to federal expectations.

The plan for the site near Wellcamp airport does not meet the requirement of proximity to an international airport, nor is it close to existing hotel quarantine venues.

The proposed site, about 150km from Brisbane, is also considered to be too far from a tertiary hospital.

It is understood the federal government first became aware of a proposal for the Wellcamp location on Friday, having not heard anything else on the matter since early March.

This is at odds with Ms Palaszczuk who has told reporters: "We've actually been speaking very regularly with Commonwealth officials. There's a lot of negotiation still happening."

At a Queensland Labor conference on Saturday, she called directly on the prime minister.

"A regional quarantine centre could be built right now with planes landing next door if only Scott Morrison could answer a simple question: Do you support it or not?"

The facility would help stranded Australians come home from overseas, allow Pacific Island labour to help farmers and give universities a small cohort of international students, the premier said.

"Victoria is OK. Why not Queensland?" she asked

Mr Morrison confirmed on Friday the Commonwealth would meet the capital costs for a 500-bed facility in outer Melbourne, while Victoria would cover operational costs.

The federal government is understood to favour a site near Avalon Airport as the ideal location for the facility compared to the Victorian government's preferred Mickleham site, which has an animal quarantine facility on it.

Queensland needs the federal government's support for its quarantine camp because it would have to allow international flights to land at Wellcamp Airport.

It's proposal is believed to have been scant on detail compared to a lengthy document from Victoria.

Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek told 4BC radio in Brisbane on Saturday that the federal government could simply ask Queensland for more information, rather than rejecting the proposal.

Meanwhile, Australians over 40 will have access to coronavirus vaccines from Tuesday as the nation ramps up its behind-schedule rollout.

This brings the immunisation program into line with several states including Victoria, which have already widened to over-40s.

All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 16 and above now have access to vaccines, along with National Disability Insurance Scheme recipients and carers.

Victoria will receive an extra 142,000 Pfizer doses over the next week, responding to soaring demand triggered by an ongoing outbreak.

Melbourne is in its second week of strict lockdown, with five new cases recorded on Saturday bringing the outbreak to 70 cases.

The Delta strain, which has caused devastation across India and the UK, has been found in a Victorian family and has grown to a cluster of nine.

It is unclear where it came from but genomic sequencing expert Sharon Lewin from Melbourne's Doherty Institute has hypothesised that it came from hotel quarantine.

Other cases in the outbreak, which has now reached 70 infections, have been classified as the Kappa variant, which also caused havoc across India.

Australia's expert medical panel has been asked to detail how to make vaccines mandatory in aged care without putting the sector under strain.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said a balance would need to be struck, given that some people may decide to leave the industry if vaccines become mandatory.

© AAP 2021