Aug 06, 2020

QRC in talks over new border closures

QRC in talks over new border closures

The Queensland Resources Council says it is in discussions with the State Government about arrangements for key mine workers as border restrictions tighten.

Queensland borders will close to New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory from 1am this Saturday, August 8.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said visitors from those areas would be denied entry except for rare exemptions and returning Queenslanders would have to pay for 14 days’ mandatory hotel quarantine.

The QRC said today it was in discussions over allowing a limited number of essential, interstate-based workers – such as mine safety officers and highly specialised maintenance contractors – to be able to enter Queensland, once they had been appropriately quarantined and at no cost to taxpayers.

“These are workers who are essential to our mining and gas operations, and without them the safety and jobs of the 370,000-plus people employed through the resources industry will be put at risk,” he said.

Mr Macfarlane said all other interstate FIFO workers would need to base themselves in Queensland prior to the border closing on Saturday, or would not be able to work in Queensland until border restrictions were lifted.

The QRC says mining and energy companies will continue to strictly follow the advice and protocols of the Chief Health Officer with regards to COVID-19 restrictions and border closures.

Mr Macfarlane said the industry would continue to work closely with government authorities to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The health and safety of our workers, and their families and communities, is our number one priority,” he said.

Mr Macfarlane said the resources industry’s annual $63 billion contribution to the State Budget demonstrated just how important the sector was to Queensland’s economic survival, and to the 370,000-plus people who relied on it for employment.