7 August 2020 | Chief Health Officer Direction for NSW/ACT border close

Following our member call yesterday, QRC has been engaged in further discussions with Minister Lynham’s office and DNRME on the Border Restriction Direction for the NSW/ACT border close from 1am, Saturday 8 August.

Thank-you to members for their input for QRC’s representations to the Government.

Overnight (1:45am today) the Chief Health Officer released the Border Restrictions Direction (No. 11).

In summary, the Chief Health Officer Direction reinstates the designation of “critical resource sector employee” under the definition of “specialist worker”.

“specialist worker” (Section 5(4) of Schedule 1 of the Direction) is determined to be a person entering Queensland for an “essential activity” and must only remain in Queensland for the time necessary to carry out the activity.

Furthermore, the requirements on the “specialist worker” are to:

  • keep and retain written records of close contacts for a 14-day period commencing on their date of arrival in Queensland, or, if they remain in Queensland for a period of less than 14 days, for that period; and
  • provide the records to an emergency officer (public health) if directed by an emergency officer (public health) or to a contact tracing officer; and
  • minimise contact with the community for a period of 14 days; and
  • to the extent reasonably practicable, practice physical distancing including by remaining at least 1.5 metres from other people.
QRC has now met with DNRME and Minister Lynham’s office about the operationalising the “specialist worker” designation for the NSW-ACT border close.
DNRME reaffirmed that the expectation is the exemption will only be sought for absolutely critical workers.
DNRME will be doing the initial assessment and processing the applications. Bulk applications, applications by individuals and for administration staff exemptions will not be accepted.
All approvals will be made by the CHO and in part based on a recommendation from DNRME.
DNRME is finalising the exemption application form and guidelines, and this will be available as soon as possible.
DNRME have also offered pre-lodgement assistance for applications.