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A message from the Department for Energy and Mining
Tuesday 24 March 2020

Download a copy of this message (PDF 561 KB)

As part of measures for controlling the transmission of COVID-19 in our community, today the South Australian Government has released its Cross Border Travel Direction.

This Direction (PDF 119 KB) applies immediately to all people entering and leaving South Australia including employers and employees operating in South Australia’s energy and mining sectors.

Key points:

Reducing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the health of South Australians is the key objective of this Direction, and the tools required to pursue this objective are evolving at a rapid rate.

Mining, oil and gas production operations and electricity generation and supply in South Australia are considered ‘key industries’.

Accordingly, interstate employees and contractors of these operations across the State are exempt if they:

  • are essential to operations
  • must undertake time-critical work
  • must work on-site, and
  • cannot be temporarily replaced with workers sourced from within South Australia.

To enable cross-border transit to work sites: 

  • Workers will be assessed at border control points and should carry photo identification such as a drivers’ licence to show to border control staff.
  • Employers are encouraged to provide transiting employees an authorisation letter stating their name, working dates, transit path and work location to show to border control staff as required.
  • Workers who live in South Australia and work interstate must satisfy the requirements of their destination State or Territory.

To support your continued operations, the Department for Energy and Mining recommends resources companies provide to SA Health:

  • detailed transmission prevention control measures in accordance with SA Health advice and the Minerals Council of Australia/Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association Resources Sector National COVID-19 Response Protocols
  • evidence that strategies have been put in place to reduce the movement of workers to essential staff only
  • detailed measures that will support isolation and contact tracing in the event it is necessary.

Companies are encouraged to submit these plans and a key contact to Angela Lee, Clinical Nurse Consultant (Infection Control) at SA Health by email to angela.lee@sa.gov.au as soon as possible and no later than close of business Thursday 26 March 2020.

Other than in exceptional circumstances, which require an application for specific exemption, exploration activities do not satisfy the criteria for exemption for interstate workers.

Workers who commute to production operations elsewhere in South Australia will be managed under the arrangements established by their employer (as above).

Non-residential transport and freight services are exempt from the border control arrangements.

All energy and mining sector employers must stay abreast of the requirements for COVID-19 management available at SA Health

Further detail will be provided as the situation evolves.

The Department for Energy and Mining’s contact is Martin Reid, Director Mining Projects, at martin.reid@sa.gov.au and SA Health’s contact for further advice is Angela Lee, Clinical Nurse Consultant (Infection Control) at angela.lee@sa.gov.au

Paul Heithersay
Chief Executive
Department for Energy and Mining