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From the South Australian Department for Energy and Mining and Queensland Gas Inspectorate
Friday 27 March 2020 

Further to recent advice provided by the South Australian and Queensland Governments regarding border restrictions, the following clarification is provided in respect to oil and gas operations in the Cooper/Eromanga basins.

Continuity of oil and gas operations in the Cooper/Eromanga is consistent with the directions published by both States and the advice of the Commonwealth.

Provided there is no other basis for quarantine (for example, symptoms), employees including contractors and subcontractors reporting for work at these operations in either South Australia or Queensland are:

  • not required to self-quarantine on arrival
  • not required to self-quarantine on return to either State, unless
  • they have been outside the border of Australia in the last 14 days, or
  • have transited/travelled to areas deemed a COVID-19 hotspot area as determined by the Chief Health Officer
  • if the FIFO worker is in/or has been in a hotspot declared by the Chief Health Officer, the person must self-quarantine on return to Queensland

Hotspots will be identified on health department websites

FIFO and DIDO workers in mining, petroleum, energy and other specified industries seeking an exemption will be required to provide evidence that they are FIFO/DIDO workers. To do this companies are advised to provide workers with written authorisation on company letterhead stating:

  • the employees name
  • confirmation they are a FIFO/DIDO worker
  • when they are required to work (dates)
  • the location of their workplace and company contact, and
  • direct a transit path that is the most direct route to the work site.

Requirements specific to operating in Queensland

Non-Queensland residents must possess a Queensland entry pass, which can be obtained online.

Companies must also provide Queensland Health with a Health Plan that complies with requirements set by the Chief Health Officer.

Exemptions also apply to workers across the resources sector supply chain.

  • To be exempt a person must be transporting goods, freight or workers working on maintenance/repair to critical infrastructure in Queensland.

Subject to adherence with company COVID-19 transmission prevention policies - which must be consistent with Health Department advice and should reflect the APPEA COVID-19 Response Protocols - operations that straddle the SA/QLD border and/or involve routine transit within the basins are able to continue as normal.

Industry's significant efforts to mitigate infection transmission and commercial risk by reducing total employee movements, including cessation of non-essential tasks, modification/lengthening of rosters, and collaboration between companies - such as sharing of health assets and providing compliance assistance to sub-contractors - is commended.

In addition to preventative measures, it is strongly recommended that administrative processes are strengthened in support of contact tracing and incident response should the need arise.

As the situation is continuing to evolve, further advice will be provided as it comes to hand.

Contact details for South Australia and Queensland

South Australian Department for Mines and Energy

  • COVID-19 enquiries: martin.reid@sa.gov.au  call: 0411 461 281
  • General enquiries: DEM.Engineering@sa.gov.au
  • Incidents: (08) 8463 6666
  • Emergencies: (08) 8463 6666

Queensland Petroleum and Gas Inspectorate

  • COVID-19 enquiries: Bill.Date@dnrme.qld.gov.au  call: 0408 018 500
  • General enquiries: gassafe@dnrme.qld.gov.au
  • Report incidents or illness: 1300 910 933
  • Emergencies: 1300 910 933