Queensland resources sector responds rapidly to January threat

Thursday, 28 January, 2021 | Supplied by: Queensland Resources Council

In response to the Queensland Government’s January announcement of a 72-hour lockdown for Greater Brisbane, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) affirmed the resources sector’s committed to doing everything it could to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Based on the QRC’s recommendation following the announcement of the Greater Brisbane lockdown, mining and gas companies 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. Additionally, after the lifting of the Greater Brisbane lockdown, most resources companies continued to limit non-essential fly-in fly-out (FIFO) travel until 22 January.

“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,” QRC Chief Ian Macfarlane said. “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 also received high praise from Queensland Chief Health Officer (CHO) Jeannette Young and Resources Minister Scott Stewart, with both congratulating the QRC on the sector’s community-minded approach to the outbreak.

The QRC has continued to offer employees of member companies pre-flight health checks and temperature testing at Brisbane Airport, with many companies also offering onsite testing. Macfarlane 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 protocols, which are maintained in consultation with the CHO. Macfarlane also urged people who work in the resources sector to maintain social distancing and strict hand hygiene where possible, and to cease all non-essential social contact or group gatherings. “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,” Macfarlane said.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/evgenii

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