Time for talk is over, action needed now to prevent industry shut down

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Cr Anne Baker has brought nation-wide attention to the continuing influx of workers into regional areas where threat of outbreak could shut down industry.


Isaac Regional Council Mayor Cr Anne Baker has brought nation-wide attention to the continuing influx of workers into regional areas where threat of outbreak could shut down industry.

“All stakeholders need to act urgently before there’s an outbreak effectively crippling the national economy”, Mayor Baker said.

“An outbreak in a single mining operation will shut down one site. Outbreaks in mining communities shuts down an entire industry.

“There must be clear, concise instructions heeding the health advice to drastically slash the mass workforce movements in and out of our virus free region.

“I’m appalled at the length of time this is taking, the time for talk is over.

“We must keep the mines open and people in jobs, but not at the expense of lives.

Mayor Baker asserted State Government need to instruct the operators on cutting mass movements with companies to provide the solutions to significantly reduce mass movement. The solutions must incorporate stringent health screening protocols and should fast-track options for workers to remain housed locally and not return to their hometowns for the time being to inhibit the chance of a widespread COVID-19 outbreak.

“Before it is too late, lessons must be learnt from their counterparts in Western Australia and Northern Territory where mining companies have implemented workforce models that drastically slash the volume of mass movements in and out of region”, Mayor Anne Baker said.

Mayor Baker urged operators to identify their essential workers while at the same time opening up every camp, donga, duplex or house on the mining companies’ books. Workers should be screened well before departure, arrive in an orderly manner, conduct regular health assessments and provide appropriate support while they continue to remain in region in a secure and safe environment.

“It will be hard for workers to live away for extended periods of time however this may be a small price to keep families safe, workers employed and doing their essential role to support an economy desperate for productivity”, Mayor Baker said.

/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.