QRC COVID-19 Working Group spoke about the following (actions in bold):
- There is a low vaccination rate in regional Queensland, partly due to vaccine hesitancy.
- This exposes risk to those communities when borders open in December.
- It is acknowledged that companies are doing all they can to encourage workers to get vaccinated.
- Resource industry vaccines have been mandated in NT, WA & Victoria. There is, reportedly, no appetite at all from the Qld Government for a similar mandatory vaccine requirement, which may be due to opposition from the unions.
- It has fallen to companies to mandate vaccines for workforces. Some companies are setting up vaccine hubs within workplaces.
- The Essential Worker border exemption is still in place. QRC is asking for Specialist Worker border exemption to be brought back. QRC is awaiting feedback from the Department of Health on this and will continue to seek opportunities to advocate for double-vaccinated workers to enter Queensland safely, under revised quarantine protocols & procedures.
- Department of Resources is exploring the scope of a potential Specialist Worker border exemption, including for statutory positions.
- Premier has announced that by 19 November and 17 December there will be more free movement across borders for double-vaccinated people, and the Department anticipates this will eliminate the need for any special border exemptions.
- Please contact the QRC if you have any questions or concerns.