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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 221 asked in the Legislative Council on 17 March 2020 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon W.J. Johnston
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 17 March 2020

CORONAVIRUS — RESOURCES SECTOR

221. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum:

The mining industry and the oil and gas industry are critical to the economy of Western Australia.

(1) Has the minister met with both the mining industry and the oil and gas industry to discuss strategies on managing the impact of the coronavirus?

(2) How is the McGowan government assisting the mining, oil and gas industries to manage the impact?

(3) What advice has the minister offered to industry regarding the protection of fly in, fly out workers?

Hon DARREN WEST replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. On behalf of the Minister for Regional Development representing the Minister for Mines and Petroleum, I provide the following answer.

(1) Yes. The Minister for Mines and Petroleum, in addition to senior representatives from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, continues to engage with the resource sector and its peak bodies to ensure a consistent and unified approach to managing the response to COVID-19 to safeguard the health and safety of the resource sector workforce.

(2) DMIRS is assisting by ensuring that resource operations are aware of the need to use the most appropriate information in their considerations of their individual response. Updated information and protocols for managing COVID-19, as defined by the Department of Health, is distributed to all sites as new information comes to hand. DMIRS is also in close contact with resource operators to discuss their response to COVID-19 and, in particular, DMIRS activities, such as visits and inspections, to ensure that the most appropriate interaction is undertaken.

(3) DMIRS has advised resource companies to follow Department of Health protocols. Additionally, the State Mining Engineer has directed mining operations to have an infectious diseases management plan, recommending that companies appoint an infectious diseases manager to coordinate company responses. These protocols are to protect all workers and the general public.