As concerns about remote workers bringing COVID-19 into the North West grow, KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the mining industry could destroy its social licence to operate if FIFO continues unchecked.
Mr Katter said mining communities were furious FIFO was allowed to continue amid the perceived lack of government and industry efforts to safeguard the towns put at risk.
"While I would prefer a total ban on FIFO, at the very least the government should be enforcing strict protocols that provide these communities with some sense of surety that the mining companies are acting responsibility whilst they are still being able to operate," Mr Katter said.
"My office is getting anecdotal reports coming in daily of mine workers flying into site and working with locals, after coming in from all over the country."
Mr Katter said there was growing anger among local residents, such as in Mount Isa, against this practice still being tolerated and an e-petition to parliament close off North and West Queensland from FIFO has received over 2000 signatures.
"I have voiced my concerns on this issue directly with the Premier and Minister Anthony Lynham's office. But in the absence of action of government on this we need to the mining companies to stand up and act responsibly on behalf of their workers, and the local communities."
Mr Katter said mines with FIFO workforces must:
- Thoroughly assess new arrivals to site, including fever testing and in-depth medical and travel questioning.
- Make available quarantine facilities for mild to moderately un-well (COVID-19 or otherwise) patients
- Ensure all FIFO or DIDO crews are travelling to and from site via the same mode of transport at the same time, so to limit exposure risks to the outside community.
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