Jan 15, 2021

Concern over quarantine plan’s impact on mining communities

Concern over quarantine plan’s impact on mining communities

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has called for the Queensland Government to rule out moving returning travellers to camps in mining communities for COVID-19 quarantine.

Ms Landry said she did not want to see vulnerable regional communities potentially being put in harm’s way.

“I am wholeheartedly against moving potential cases of the UK strain of COVID-19 to quarantine in mining camps in regional communities,” she said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced this week that she would take a proposal to national cabinet to use isolated camps in regional and rural Queensland to house returned travellers.

News Ltd reports indicated at least three workers camps were under consideration, including the Decmil-owned Homeground Accommodation Village, at Calliope, southwest of Gladstone.

The proposal was mooted after an outbreak last week of the UK variant of COVID-19 in a Brisbane quarantine hotel.

Ms Landry said metropolitan areas were more capable of handling quarantines of COVID-19.

“Metropolitan areas are where the majority of medical resources and medical personnel are, based on population size,” she said.

“Regional communities have difficulty accessing health specialists at the best of times even without a pandemic, so it would be counter intuitive to potentially put regional Queenslanders potentially at risk without the best medical resources available to minimise the risk of an outbreak.”

The Queensland Resources Council this week said it was working with member companies to provide feedback on a proposal to use worker camps as quarantine facilities for returning overseas travelers.

“Keeping our workers and the Queensland community safe, particularly in regional areas, will continue to be our priority,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“We will work closely with the government to provide input into any decisions that impact on our workforce and the communities in which we operate.”