11 January 2021 |  Resources sector pulls out all stops to keep regions COVID-safe

Queensland’s resources sector has continued to go “above and beyond” to keep workers, their families and regional communities safe following the Queensland Government’s announcement on Friday of a 72-hour lockdown for Greater Brisbane.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said today 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.

After the Brisbane lockdown lifts at 6pm tonight, Mr Macfarlane said most resource companies would continue to limit non-essential FIFO travel until January 22.

“As a result, 60 percent 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.”

The resources sector’s swift response today received high praise from Queensland’s Chief Health Officer (CHO) Jeannette Young and Resources Minister Scott Stewart, with both congratulating the QRC on the sector’s community-minded approach to this latest outbreak.

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’ means eligible FIFO workers can 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.

“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.”

CLICK HERE to view the Queensland Government’s latest roadmap and updated restrictions, information effective from 6.00pm Monday 11 January 2021.

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Media contact: Caroline Morrissey 0417 770 893