Ian Macfarlane and representatives from DoR provided an update to the QRC Covid-19 Working Group as follows (actions in bold): There are no significant changes to report this week. As expected, positive case numbers are continuing to rise across the State. A total of 238 and 274 positive cases from PCR tests have been reported in Rockhampton and Mackay PHUs respectively today. Reported numbers may be understated as RAT’s test results are contained in a full state database and not included in these numbers. There is no indication of when more Rapid Antigen tests will be available as yet. Members attention was drawn to the recent negative news article by CFMEU regarding the Resources industry’s management of the current crisis. QRC has released a statement in response and has subsequently had a discussion with CFMEU Steve Smyth to discuss further. It was noted that the PHUs have been very complimentary regarding the industry’s handling of the crisis to date. DoR also congratulated members on the management of the crisis under difficult and testing circumstances. A review of the procedure to remove resource workers who test positive whilst on site is currently being undertaken by DoR and QH and will be distributed once it is finalised.
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The recently introduced Critically Essential Role Direction means a resources industry employer can ask workers, who are considered close contacts and are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, to leave quarantine to work in a critically essential role. Employers who need to engage this measure are required to undertake a self-assessment process to identify which roles within their organisation are critical to the continuation of services, and then notify Queensland Health.
On 9 January 2022 the Queensland Government announced that some workers who work within a narrow range of critical industries can now provide essential services, provided they meet strict health criteria. Resources has been identified as a critical industry.
Further to the Department of Resources (DoR) Update circulated to members last night outlining exemptions from quarantine to attend work for Critically Essential Workers, QRC has today had a further discussion with the DoR regarding the final criteria relating to defining a Critically Essential Worker in the resources sector.
Please find below a class exemption from Dr Lynne McKinlay, Queensland Deputy Chief Health Officer, Queensland Health for the movement of diagnosed cases and close contacts from Queensland.
Your urgent attention to this survey would be appreciated. The survey link is here. Please complete and return to the MCA by 1pm today.
Please find below the latest information on COVID-19 from Department of Resources and how it relates to the resources sector: Easing of Greater Brisbane restrictions From 6pm tonight, Monday 11 January, Greater Brisbane’s strict lockdown will end. Resources workers who have been within the Greater Brisbane region since 2 January are allowed to move outside of their homes and the lockdown area, but must adhere to the following precautions until 1am, Friday January 22:
Discussed: Current restrictions in place, applications for specialist workers in hotspot areas, temperature testing at Brisbane airport.
As you would be aware, the Premier has today announced that the QLD border will be closed as of 1am Saturday to travellers from all of NSW and the ACT. Both NSW and the ACT have been declared Hotspots by the Qld Government. QRC is still waiting to see the details of the Qld Health directive coming from the Premiers announcement this morning and is in discussions with DNRME and the Qld Government in regard to accessing essential resource industry workers from interstate.
From midday today, two Local Government Areas in New South Wales are declared COVID-19 hotspots. Queensland’s border restrictions mean that anyone who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot within the last 14 days will no longer be able to quarantine in Queensland and will be turned away at the border.