10 September 2020 | QRC COVID-19 Working Group meeting

QRC COVID-19 Working Group spoke about the following (actions in bold):

  • Central Qld has gone 3 months with no new COVID cases. This places increased pressure on the resources sector to ensure these good outcomes continue.
  • Central Qld Health has reported turnaround times on COVID tests in Emerald/Gladstone are down to 16 hours, Rockhampton is down to 10-12 hours
  • QRC notes one issue regarding the specialist worker exemptions: last week a 5-day delay in approval for an essential gas worker resulted in a spike in gas prices. QRC is using this case to ask for a clear track to Qld Health for applications for specialist worker exemptions.
  • QRC reiterates its request for members to return the survey regarding specialist exemptions that was recently distributed. If you have not received it, the survey is on the QRC COVID website.
  • QRC notes continued changes to ship crew protocols. Recent changes have identified that if crews come to Queensland from overseas, they will be required to have stayed on the ship for 58 days before disembarking. Crews traveling by air from interstate are required to undergo 14 days mandatory quarantine, among other protocols.
  • There have been 13 specialist exemptions relating to 17 people. 20 further applications currently under consideration. QRC is looking at situations where workers will be able to quarantine in alternative ways, in coordination with state health authorities.
  • Regarding the Qld COVID economic recovery effort: there are a number of exemptions that have been given for exploration and in gas and minerals sector. Please direct questions to QRC.
  • QRC notes that a couple of companies using the QRC temperature testing facility at Brisbane airport have not been enforcing social distancing and allow queues to extend into public areas. Companies are requested to enforce social distancing at all times including when staff are at the airport and to keep all personnel within the designated testing area.
  • Rachel Stewart provided an update about the election campaign:
    • This is the second week of our 4-week campaign.
    • QRC has distributed campaign material through all available mediums.
    • A first video received 20,000 individual views. A second video received 1,400 views. Companies are requested to please share the QRC campaign material, as this makes a significant difference to reach.
    • Communications teams at companies are receiving 3 emails per week with updated campaign materials and messages.
    • QRC reiterates that members’ money is funding this campaign, and their assistance with social media will deliver the best outcome.
  • The Office of the Coordinator General will be writing to member companies seeking information in relation to the post-implementation review of the Strong Sustainable Resource Communities Act (the ban-on-100% FIFO legislation). Members should be aware that this request is on its way, and please contact QRC if any issues.
  • DNRME joined the call, and provided an update that they are continuing to work with Qld health to streamline application processes for exemptions.
  • Tania Kennedy (Kestrel Coal) reported that they were successful in gaining exemptions for two specialist workers from Victoria to enter Queensland. These workers were required to undergo 14 days quarantine.
  • QRC recognised the work of Warwick Squire who has served this committee, and the sector, very well in his role at DNRME. Ian Macfarlane congratulated Warwick on his promotion and wished him well.