Kimberley explorers to benefit from eased WA travel restrictions

Browns Range pilot plant at night. Image: Northern Minerals

Projects in the Kimberley region of Western Australia are set to benefit from the the state government’s lift on interstate travel restrictions.

Certain parts of Western Australia, including Kimberley, Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku and parts of the East Pilbara, are declared as biosecurity areas under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act 2015.

These areas had strict travel restrictions in place since March 26 to help protect the 274 remote Aboriginal communities in the area  from the coronavirus.

The Federal Government agreed with the Western Australian Government’s request to remove the Commonwealth biosecurity restrictions, meaning the region will reopen to all Western Australians as of tomorrow.

A number of mines active in the region had their operations impacted by the travel restrictions since March.

Panoramic Resources had to suspend its Savannah nickel mine in the East Kimberley region due to the coronavirus’ impact to operations.

Northern Minerals also temporarily halted operations at the Browns Range mine in East Kimberly on account of the restrictions and health and safety of its workers.

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said the ease on restrictions was a “significant step in our roadmap to recovery”.

“I want to thank the Kimberley community for their patience and understanding throughout this process, it’s been extremely difficult for many people and many small businesses,” he said.

Western Australian Health Minister Roger Cook cautioned that the state must continue to practice physical distancing and good personal hygiene.

“Our regional travel restrictions have been an important measure in helping limit the spread of COVID-19 – it’s been effective and resulted in low infection rates in regional WA.

“We will continue to listen to the best of health advice that is unique for our state.”

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