25 June 2020 | QRC COVID-19 Working Group meeting

  • QRC COVID-19 Working Group spoke about the following:
    • There has been a general easing of COVID protocols. QRC advises that the recently released guidance to assist members with the gradual easing of restrictions is only guidance, not enforceable, and companies should change protocols in line with their own risk-based assessments. The guidance document is available on QRC’s COVID website. Any comment or suggested changes can be provided to David Allinson: davida@qrc.org.au
    • QRC advises that, generally, companies are allowing staff to return to town.
    • No guidance from Qld government about protocols for the transition from charter to commercial flights, companies should develop their own protocols. Staff travelling in high-vis safety clothing should still wear masks, undertake temperature testing, and still undertake health assessments.
    • Incoming workers including those who DIDO, should be temperature tested upon arrival at site and before they visit the town.
    • Seafarer crews are arriving from overseas, including the Philippines for shift changes. QRC has been working with MSQ and the Chief Health Officer to get an interim quarantine procedure in place for seafarer crew changeovers. Chief Health Officer has advised that a mandatory protocol is being developed and will soon be announced.
    • No formal guidance available about lift capacity but CHO indicates 4 people is satisfactory with appropriate social distancing.
    • There has been no change in the number of applications for critical worker and exploration permit relief.
    • From 10 July, remote biosecurity areas will be open for travel, provided a healthcare check is passed.
    • Question from Nigel Webster from Adani: noting questions from sites and contractors about easing of staggered transport arrangements on site.
      • QRC advises: charter flights are requiring mandatory wearing of masks when flights are filled to capacity, especially when in high-vis to increase public visibility of safety standards. Temperature testing to be undertaken prior to boarding
      • Other staggered transport arrangements – companies should complete risk assessments which may lead to procedures such as wearing of face masks, recording of personnel and seating arrangements in buses, vehicles etc
    • Some companies are requiring declarations of residence in a COVID hot spot, especially when coming out of Melbourne. Those companies that are including this question are excluding workers flying into Queensland from hot spots.
    • The meeting was advised that representatives from Queensland Health have been doing site inspections including of mine camps and if a site has not been visited yet, it likely will.
    • Elsa Dalessio from Qantas: provided an update: new schedule from 12 June, where social distancing has been removed and capacity added. Services increased to central Qld (e.g. Emerald and Moranbah), Mackay and Mt Isa and noting good pickup from the resources sector. Will continue to add capacity to Rockhampton and Bundaberg. Also noting interstate travel is not booking far in advance. The Flywell (safety) program is functioning well, including the provision of safety equipment (masks and sanitiser) to passengers. Staff will be monitoring passengers for symptoms, but not enforcing wearing of masks. Boarding 4 to 5 rows at a time. Returning to 40% domestic capacity by July 20, 70% by the end of the year.
      • BMA asked about Qantas’ cleaning protocols between flights. Qantas advises that there is not additional cleaning at destination for short turn around flights but extra cleaning when aircraft return to key bases. Elsa to send cleaning protocol information.