04 July 2023



Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman


Minister for Housing
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon


  • The Karingal facility will house First Nations patients travelling to Townsville for medical care.
  • The Palaszczuk Government is providing $6.9 million over three years in operational funding. 
  • The former federal government failed to provide operational funding for the Commonwealth built facility.


The Palaszczuk Government has stepped in to provide almost $7 million in operational funding for the Karingal Patient Transition Accommodation Centre in Townsville.


The operational funding, split between the Department of Housing and Queensland Health, will help First Nations people living in remote areas access healthcare while reducing the risk of homelessness after treatment.


Although the Karingal facility was originally built by the Commonwealth, the former federal government failed to allocate operational costs leaving the multi-million facility vacant.


The Palaszczuk Government's $6.9 million investment will be provided over three years to Townsville-based First Nations organisation Yumba-Meta Limited (YML).


YML will run the Karingal facility, helping residents to navigate the health system, engage with health services, continue treatment, and return to stable housing.


The 24 bed and four-unit facility was designed to improve health outcomes for First Nations people, and to reduce the risk of First Nations people becoming homeless.


Patients will be able to access the facility when it opens in the coming months.


Quotes attributable to Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper:

“I have been working closely with Yumba Meta and the Health and Housing Ministers to have this issue resolved as quickly as possible, so this is a fantastic outcome,” he said.


“This is a great facility that will help take pressure of Townsville University Hospital.


“I do not want to see vulnerable people stuck in hospitals when we have quality facilities like this in Townsville.


“I will always fight for a good and sensible outcome for organisations like Yumba Meta in our community.”


Quotes attributable to Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon:

“The Palaszczuk Government’s funding will provide First Nations patients with a smooth transition from hospital to home.


“This facility is more than just a roof, it will provide a supportive environment where patients can heal, access care, and regain stability in their lives.


“The former Morrison Government neglected to provide operational funding for the Karingal facility, which is why we’ve had to step in,” Minister Scanlon said.


“And let’s not forget Phillip Thompson’s role in leaving this facility vacant, who is now blocking the Albanese Government’s Housing Future Fund which would deliver 30,000 more homes across Australia.


Quotes attributable to Health Minister Shannon Fentiman:

“I met with Yumba Meta staff in my first weeks as Health Minister to discuss the vital work they do and committed to ensure First Nations people travelling to Townsville for treatment have access to the accommodation services they need and deserve,” Minister Fentiman said.


“I’m proud to announce the operational funding for this important service which will provide patients with culturally appropriate support to navigate their way through what is generally a difficult time.”




Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz - 0420 592 078