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Jan 14, 2021

Mining industry talks over work camp quarantine plan

Mining industry talks over work camp quarantine plan QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane says the decision on the use of isolated mining camps for quarantined travellers will come down to the Premier and the CHO.

The Queensland Resources Council says it is working with member companies to provide feedback on a proposal to use worker camps as quarantine facilities for returning overseas travelers.

News Ltd reported today that Queensland Health, police and managers of the proposed facilities – some set up to accommodate workers during the development of the state’s liquefied natural gas industry – were meeting to discuss logistics of the move.

It came after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called for an overhaul on how international arrivals are quarantined after Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor cluster of six people testing positive for a highly infectious COVID-19 variant.

Peak group for the State’s mining and gas companies, the Queensland Resources Council, said today it would continue to work with the Chief Health Officer (CHO), QRC members and the State Government on the matter – to be discussed at National Cabinet next Friday.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the QRC and its coal, metal and gas members had worked tirelessly and successfully to protect industry workers, their families and mining communities from COVID-19 over the past 11 months.

“Our diligence has meant the resources sector has been able to continue to operate and earn for Queensland,” Mr Macfarlane said. 

“This diligence and vigilance and the industry’s willingness to go above and beyond Queensland Health requirements was recognised by the CHO at a meeting earlier this week with the Premier and QRC.”

Mr Macfarlane said the decision on the use of isolated mining camps for quarantined travellers would be made by the Premier and the CHO.

“The resources industry will co-operate and assist where requested,” he said.

“Keeping our workers and the Queensland community safe, particularly in regional areas, will continue to be our priority.

“We will work closely with the government to provide input into any decisions that impact on our workforce and the communities in which we operate.”

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