EXEMPT: FIFO workers who live in a hot spot will only be allowed to enter Queensland for work if they meet the criteria of a specialist worker.
EXEMPT: FIFO workers who live in a hot spot will only be allowed to enter Queensland for work if they meet the criteria of a specialist worker.

Full list: Specialist workers exempt from border closure

REVELATIONS that specialist FIFO miners would be exempt from Queensland's hard border closures has sparked debate over whether these critical workers should be allowed to bypass the rules.

FIFO miners in NSW, Victoria and ACT are now banned from flying into Queensland after all areas were declared hot spots as of 1am Saturday, August 8.

An exemption to this has been granted for emergency specialist resource workers.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said the council did not support the exemptions in the current border restrictions, including the "specialist worker" category.

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said FIFO workers who live in a hot spot will only be allowed to enter Queensland for work if they meet the criteria of a specialist worker.

 

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"A specialist worker needs to have their status as a specialist worker approved by the Chief Health Officer … (and) must abide by any conditions required by the Chief Health Officer as part of the exemption," the spokeswoman said.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker. Picture: Daryl Wright
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker. Picture: Daryl Wright

There will only be a very small number of FIFO workers who will be able to be classified as a specialist worker.

FIFO workers who do not live in a hot spot are able to enter Queensland by road or air if they have not been in a COVID-19 hot spot in the past 14 days.

A specialist worker must also comply with any conditions forming part of their approval as a specialist worker.

For example, a person may be required to quarantine or remain isolated at their work site for 14 days as a condition of their approval.

Who are considered 'specialist' workers?

They are workers employed to provide a service in the following industries or sectors essential to the continuing operation of the state:

• construction, including construction of transport infrastructure

• manufacturing

• resources, as a critical resources sector employee

• energy

• agribusiness or commercial fishing

• emergency services

• continuity of critical government or government funded services, infrastructure, or utilities

Fly In Fly Out miners walk out to their waiting plane at Moranbah airport.
Fly In Fly Out miners walk out to their waiting plane at Moranbah airport.

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A specialist worker must be able to prove that:

• the services they provide cannot reasonably be provided by someone in Queensland

• the services must be provided without delay

• they need to be physically present in Queensland to provide the service or perform the duty

• they are employed by a company or service provider that has a health plan to manage preventing the transmission of COVID-19 among its employees and the community