Jan 12, 2021

Resource sector steps up to help curb COVID spread

Resource sector steps up to help curb COVID spread

Resource companies have put a clamp on the number of workers travelling to regional Queensland this week following the announcement of the Greater Brisbane lockdown due to COVID concerns.

After the lifting of the Brisbane lockdown last night (January 11), Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said most resource companies would continue to limit non-essential FIFO travel until January 22.

“As a result, 60 per cent fewer workers will be travelling to regional Queensland this week, falling from the usual 3,500 people to under 1500,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“I’m really proud of the way mining and gas companies have responded to this latest COVID challenge because the state economy and hundreds of thousands of people are depending on us to do the right thing.

“The resources sector contributed $82.6 billion to the Queensland economy in the past financial year and employs an estimated 420,000 people, so that’s a lot of people who are affected by our decisions.” 

Mr Macfarlane said the resources sector was committed to doing everything it could to prevent the spread of COVID. 

Based on the QRC’s recommendation following the announcement of the Greater Brisbane lockdown, mining and gas companies immediately and voluntarily put a three-day hold on regional travel from Greater Brisbane, unless essential from a safety or operational perspective, to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

The resources sector’s swift response has been praised by Queensland Chief Health Officer (CHO) Jeannette Young and Resources Minister Scott Stewart.

Mr Macfarlane said the QRC would continue to offer employees of member companies pre-flight health checks and temperature testing at the Brisbane Airport, with many companies also offering on-site testing. 

He said the resources sector’s status as an ‘essential industry’ meant eligible FIFO workers could continue to travel within Queensland and interstate in line with previously agreed strict protocols, which are maintained in close consultation with the CHO.

“We are not taking anything for granted and will continue to do everything in our power to keep people safe by following all the necessary protocols,” he said.