QLD tightens workforce movement into state

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane.

Queensland has prepared for the possibility of border closures for months, and it is not allowing the entry of workers except in special circumstances.

An exception applies only when there is a potential safety incident, serious failure of equipment or a critical maintenance issue on a site.

As a result, Queensland’s latest protocols allow only for a small number of safety personnel and specialist maintenance workers to enter the state.

This decision is made on a case by case basis as assessed by the chief health officer Jeannette Young, but only under “extremely strict conditions”, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“The resources industry has been preparing for the possibility of more border closures for months, so bringing in specialist workers from interstate will only be necessary in the event of an unforeseen or unavoidable incident,” he said.

“From Saturday (August 8), interstate fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers from New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory either need to be based in Queensland, or they will not be allowed to work here until restrictions are lifted.”

According to Macfarlane, the industry is working closely with the state government and office of the chief health officer to prevent the spread of the virus, especially into regional areas, and will do whatever is necessary to protect workers and the community.

“For everyone’s sake, we need to continue to work together to keep the mining and energy sector healthy and fully operational, to help Queensland recover financially from COVID-19,” he concluded.

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