Mar 25, 2020

‘Island Isaac’ virus response mooted

‘Island Isaac’ virus response mooted

A central Queensland local government leader is pushing miners to lock down their FIFO workforce within the shire’s boundaries.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Cr Anne Baker has called on all stakeholders, particularly industry and government, to play their part to secure a localised workforce model.

Isaac Mayor Cr Anne Baker

Keeping the mining industry going was a national issue said Isaac Regional Council Mayor Cr Anne Baker.

“Mining companies must change their workforce model away from reliance on non-residential workers and large-scale movement of their workforce. They need to make their residential model work by utilising their existing accommodation resources. 

“Be it camps, dongas, duplexes, houses there’s many options available to the mining companies to utilise the resources they already have on their books. It’s up to them to make this work. 

“A residential model effectively retards the risk of the virus being introduced to our region from workers commuting via planes and through airports. The model must include identifying the essential staff and working these roles into the residential model.

The existing FIFO workers would be stationed in the shire for the duration said Cr Baker.

“Get these essential workers to region now, screen and assess their health to ensure safety and house them into the existing industry accommodation,” she said.

“State government’s own advice to all of Queensland is for people to stay in their own suburbs, we strongly agree. A local residential model will protect our communities with workers being housed locally. 

“We want the workers on the front line to be safe. A residential model will keep this critical industry going to effectively underwrite our declining economy, ensure communities are safe from movement of workers and people with jobs are spending their money within the local businesses that need their support.

The Isaac region accounts for around half of all of Queensland’s operating coal mines. 

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