Resource companies to fly essential family members, health officers to regional communities

17 April 2020

With significant cuts to commercial air services to regional Queensland, resource companies operating charter flights for Fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers into regional areas have advised Queensland Health and other essential agencies of opportunities to travel on charter flights where there are spare seats said the Queensland Resources Council.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said spare seats would also be offered to members of regional communities in urgent need of air travel for health or family reasons.

“Our sector is committed to a ‘people first’ response to COVID-19 and is not only ensuring we protect our workers but also the communities in which we operate,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“While maintaining social distancing on board charter aircraft, companies where they can will offer spare seats, on a priority basis, to local essential service workers and people in need of urgent travel.”

Movement of medical and pathology samples have also been significantly impacted by cuts to regional commercial air services and resource companies can offer local hospitals, medical centres and pathology collection centres in regional towns and cities the opportunity to have samples and urgent packages transported on FIFO charter flights.

Mr Macfarlane said thresholds for the testing of resource industry workers for the coronavirus have also been removed.

“Any worker who displays any symptoms of fever, runny nose, headaches can now be tested immediately. Testing pre-requisites for contact with a diagnosed person or a person who has travelled interstate or overseas will no longer apply to resource industry workers,” he said.

“While these are difficult times amid the COVID-19 response, the resources industry will continue to strictly adhere to the advice of the State’s Chief Health Officer and play a central role in the economic productivity of the state and lives of all Queenslanders.”

Media contact: Anthony Donaghy 0412 450 360