Mount Isa to Townsville regional development organization, MITEZ says it is concerned the COVID-19 pandemic will create a serious economic downturn that will affect mining in North West Queensland.
MITEZ President David Glasson said they were keeping a watchful eye on the impacts to its members and commends the state and Commonwealth governments for deeming the mining industry to be an essential service that needs to maintain operations.
"These are the same companies that even in the best of times have to operate in a high cost environment with energy, transport, water and labour all being among the highest in the world," Mr Glasson said.
Mr Glasson said the additional challenges and extra costs arising from the decision to limit interstate non-essential FIFO workers who can come to the region could threaten the viability of some mines.
"The last thing we need is to see any of them having to mothball or close their operations,' he said.
"At times like this we need some continuity and security in the knowledge that all of our mines will be able to continue to operate right through the Covid-19 crisis which will hopefully end sooner than first anticipated."
MITEZ members say their measures such as regular screening of their workers seemed to be working well as there have been no reports of infected workers at any the mine sites.
Mr Glasson said that MITEZ would be making strong representation to both governments in support of our mining members and the need to look after their interests as they are indeed essential for our local economies as well as the Queensland and Australian economy.
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