Miners respond to tough FIFO restrictions

LED by the Queensland Resources Council and BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, the mining industry has thrown its support behind the Queensland Government as it tightens border restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young released further directions on border restrictions to apply from midnight on Saturday, requiring anyone entering Queensland from any state or territory, who is not an exempt person, to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Critical interstate fly-in-fly-out mine workers will be exempt from the new restrictions.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said his sector was considered an essential service by both the federal and state governments to fast-track the economy to recovery and was committed to a "people first'' response.

He said it was strictly following the advice from Queensland Health to protect the communities in which they operate.

He said exemptions applied to critical resources sector employees appointed under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999, the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Act 1999 and the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 or those approved by the Chief Health Officer.

"The new measures do not affect drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) and FIFO workers travelling from within Queensland," he said.

BMA Asset president James Palmer thanked Mines Minister Anthony Lynham and the Queensland Government for their practical approach to ensure the measures were in place to protect Queenslanders while enabling operations to continue in a safe, sustainable way.

He said BMA was actively considering further measures to meet the new restrictions on interstate travel including temporarily relocating workers, amending rosters to minimise travel to Queensland, increasing the use of charter flights and increasing the use of health screening such as temperature checks at mine sites and BMA's Moranbah Airport.

These extra measures include social distancing practices, increased cleaning and sanitation, and strict hygiene protocols.

All controls are in line with advice from the State Government, Queensland Health and Chief Medical Officer.

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