The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has forecast a 60 per cent reduction in fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers at the state’s resources projects this week due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said despite the Greater Brisbane lockdown ending at 6pm AEST tonight, several resource companies would take a cautious approach by limiting non-essential FIFO travel until January 22.
The 72-hour lockdown, which commenced on Friday, saw the state’s mining and gas companies put a three-day hold on regional travel from Greater Brisbane.
Macfarlane said the number of FIFO workers would fall from 3500 to under 1500 under the cautious approach, but was proud of how companies were responding to COVID-19.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The resources sector is considered an essential industry, with eligible FIFO workers allowed to continue to travel within Queensland and interstate under strict protocols.
Macfarlane has encouraged resources workers to maintain COVID-19 health and safety practices to stop any potential spread of the virus.
“I am urging people who work in resources to continue to maintain a high level of COVID awareness by social distancing where possible, maintaining strict hand hygiene and ceasing all non-essential social contact or group gatherings,” he said.
“Our industry and every Queenslander depends on all of us doing the right thing.”
The QRC will continue to provide pre-flight health checks and temperature testing to employees of member companies at Brisbane Airport.