From mothballed village to quarantine site

Sharon Jones and Greg Woodroffe

In just 72 hours, a team led by the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics created a fully operational quarantine site suitable for Australians repatriated from Wuhan and from the Diamond Princess.

For Sharon Jones, Senior Director Crown Land Estate and Greg Woodroffe, Manager Crown Land Management, this was a new take on their usual role as the NT government’s real estate agent – selling, leasing, acquiring and managing the crown land estate.

The Manigurr-ma accommodation village at Howard Springs site needed to be properly prepared to make it safe and secure for the repatriation of Australian citizens arriving from international destinations to quarantine.

After the Commonwealth handed back control of the site to the NT, the team had to locate a new contractor to stand up the village for a second time for use as part of the NT’s Covid-19 response.

“Greg was very involved,” said Sharon. “Lots of people supported this – especially local businesses and the Department’s infrastructure arm. All worked around the clock.”

For Sharon, it was pleasing to see the team’s no nonsense approach: “A just get in and do it attitude; no complaints; no ‘that’s not my job’ comments - people seeing the need and making things happen.”

She and the team learned about working with different cultures in agencies and understanding those cultures to get things done.

“Sometimes people don’t seem to recognise the services they need and want are provided via the public service – roads, hospitals, schools etc,” she added. “Without the public service those services don’t happen.”

Last updated: 01 July 2020

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