The Australian Government has met with State and Territory Ministers and the resources sector by teleconference to ensure critical projects keep operating during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said they discussed the shared goal of ensuring the sector keeps operating and continue to supply the essentials for major businesses like smelters and refineries.
“Our exports will be critical in keeping international economies going as they too deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The resources sector has developed a set of health and safety protocols to protect workers and local communities. They include strict standards on transport and procedures on mine sites.
Where possible jurisdictions will work together to maximise the ability of workers to move between states and territories, noting that each state is regularly reviewing its requirements in accordance with the advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and respective State and Territory Chief Medical Officers.
Western Australia has already stopped all fly-in fly-Out (FIFO), a decision made by the WA resources sector in the interests of community safety. WA’s biggest source of FIFO workers come from Queensland.
“Ministers agreed that officials would undertake further work to ensure specialist personnel from overseas and within Australia continue to be available to respond in the event of an emergency.
The resources sector remains well positioned to lead Australia’s economic recovery, which was confirmed in latest figures from Western Australia which showed a 28 per cent increase in the state’s resources sales last year and importantly, the number of people employed in the industry rose to 133,094.