Chair of Local Disaster Management Group calls for tougher FIFO restrictions

Published: 26th March 2020

In response to the community’s ongoing concern over fly-in-fly-out workers continuing to enter the city amidst COVID-19 restrictions, Mount Isa Local Disaster Management Group Chair Mayor Joyce McCulloch is calling for urgent action on FIFO restrictions to protect the community against COVID-19.

Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group Mayor Joyce McCulloch said FIFO operations had been identified as high risk for the coronavirus entering the community.

“I’ll make it perfectly clear that we are not asking for mining operations to halt, but there must be contingencies put in place now to stop people travelling from outside of our region and walking straight into our workplaces,” Cr McCulloch said.

“While these workers continue to cycle through work camps and mine sites and our community, amidst all the restrictions placed on everyone else, it poses a great threat to our community.”

Queensland closed its state border on Thursday morning to restrict the movement of people from interstate and the spread of coronavirus. The state has exempted FIFO workers in mining and other industries.

Mayor Joyce McCulloch said there were still hundreds of workers coming in from other parts of Queensland and other states. 

“While our government is telling us not to go out to cafes and to work from home if we can, we are still flying in workers by the plane load – it just seems ludicrous,” she said.

"Glencore have told the community that they are checking the health of workers before they leave their home destination, but why even take the risk? Let’s protect the people who live in the mining community year-round."