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QLD considering mining camps as quarantine facilities

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Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the QRC will continue to work with the Chief Health Officer (CHO), QRC members and the Queensland Government to provide feedback on the Premier’s proposal to use mining camps as quarantine facilities for overseas travellers, to be discussed at National Cabinet next Friday.

The proposal comes after a cleaner at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane tested positive to a highly contagious UK strain of COVID-19, leading to a three days lockdown.

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Mr Macfarlane said the QRC and its coal, metal and gas members have worked tirelessly and successfully to protect industry workers, their families and mining communities from COVID-19 over the past 11 months.

“Our diligence has meant the resources sector has been able to continue to operate and earn for Queensland,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“This diligence and vigilance and the industry’s willingness to go above and beyond Queensland Health requirements was recognised by the CHO at a meeting earlier this week with the Premier and QRC.”

Mr Macfarlane said the decision on the use of isolated mining camps for quarantined travellers will be made by the Premier and the CHO.

“The resources industry will co-operate and assist where requested,” he said.

“Keeping our workers and the Queensland community safe, particularly in regional areas, will continue to be our priority.

“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.”

Greater Brisbane’s strict lockdown will end at 6pm tonight.

But the need for some sensible precautions will remain in the Greater Brisbane hotspot, and for people who have been in the Greater Brisbane hotspot since January 2, for a further 10 days.

Until 1am, Friday January 22:

MASKS

  • Must be worn in indoor places including shopping centres and supermarkets, gyms, workplaces where people cannot socially distance and where it is safe, places of worship, libraries, public transport, taxis and ride share vehicles 
  • Must be carried at all times
  • Are not required to be worn when outdoors at a safe distance from other people (for example, walking a dog), in private vehicles or doing strenuous exercise

BUSINESSES AND VENUES

  • Indoors: 1 person per 4 sqm
  • Outdoors: 1 person per 2 sqm
  • Seated eating and drinking only
  • Smaller venues up to 200 sqm: 1 person per 2sqm up to a maximum of 50
  • No dancing except for weddings

GATHERINGS

  • Up to 20 in homes and public spaces
  • Weddings: up to 100. No restriction on dancing
  • Funerals: up to 100
  • Indoor concert venues or theatres: 50% capacity or 1 person per 4 sqm whichever is greater
  • Outdoor stadiums: 50% capacity with COVID-safe plans

Restrictions on visits to hospitals, aged care, disability accommodation and prisons remain.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the gradual easing of restrictions follows the best health advice.

“The evidence tells us the lockdown has done its job,” the Premier said.

“Dr Young has asked for these further 10 days of measures in the Greater Brisbane area.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry and it’s better to be sure.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said this was the first step in easing out of the lockdown restrictions.

“We must not get complacent,” Minister D’Ath said. 

“This decision was not made lightly. We know this new variant is much more contagious, which is why it is so important we continue to have some restrictions in place for a short period of time.

“We must remember why we are doing this – to protect ourselves, and the people around us, especially those most vulnerable.” 

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the measures mirror those in other states.

“The pandemic is still with us,” Dr Young said.

“We have achieved so much this past weekend.

“It’s important we come out of it carefully and sensibly.”

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AMSJ April 2022