The Queensland Government’s declaration of the resources sector as an ‘essential’ industry for the COVID-19 response will be honoured with a commitment to slowing the spread of the virus and fast-track our State’s recovery from it.
Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the industry had committed to a ‘people first’ response to the detection of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and a strict adherence to the advice of health authorities.
‘We have worked with the industry across the country to develop national protocols to protect our staff, our families, our suppliers, our communities, our State, and our nation,’ Mr Macfarlane said.
‘With the Queensland border now closed, resources workers travelling from interstate will also wear high-viz. Companies will be encouraged to give their staff a letter detailing their work commitments, where they would be staying and how long.’
‘For an industry that supported one in every seven jobs in Queensland before the coronavirus, we know the responsibility of keeping those 372,000 workers safe and protecting the safety of all Queenslanders.’
Mr Macfarlane said where staff had to travel by car or air transport, companies were committed to additional best practice guidelines including:
- separating workers from the general public at airport departure and arrival;
- social distancing on transport from airport to mine site and mine camp through the use of mine-owned bus or vehicles or chartered bus; and
- separating visiting workers by restricting access from the local community.
Mr Macfarlane hosted a call with almost 100 industry representatives and mayors from across the State and Queensland Government officials today.
‘I want to thank the Mayors and Councillors for continuing to work with the industry. We are all in this together. Their concerns are our concerns,’ he said.
Mr Macfarlane said QRC would also establish a working group of member companies to standardise the additional measures.
These measures are in addition to a range of new procedures deployed and include:
- health questionnaires for visitors/suppliers
- temperature measurement at mine site entries and before flights to mine sites
- improved separation procedures including head office staff working from home
- staggered crib breaks, and
- no non-essential visitors to mine sites.