Despite the escalation of restrictions in Victoria due to the impact of COVID-19, oil and gas extraction and petroleum production is permitted to keep operating with on-site work and a COVIDSafe plan in place.
On Monday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced which businesses could continue to operate during stage four restrictions, with the businesses and services that remain open required to enact a COVIDSafe plan by Friday.
The plan must focus on safety, prevention and response in the event that the virus is linked to the workplace.
As a result, the restrictions will be in place for six weeks, with coal mining, metal ore mining, non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying remaining open in the resources sector with a COVIDSafe plan.
However, on-site mineral exploration work has been closed and fly-in-fly-out workers restricted as well as industry-specific obligations.
The premier announced a state of disaster on Sunday, with stage four coming into place in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire and stage three for the rest of Victoria.
“All open businesses and services will have until 11:59pm, Friday 7 August to enact a COVIDSafe plan focused on safety, prevention and response in the event that coronavirus is linked to the workplace — because beating this virus requires a rapid response wherever it rears its head,” Andrews said.
Andrews added that all business operations listed to close for on-site work will have until 11:59pm on Wednesday, August 5 to shut shop for the next six weeks, “unless they have specific circumstances that mean they need longer to shutdown safely”.
“Businesses in regional Victoria can apply for a $5000 grant while those in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire can apply for up to $10,000 in recognition of spending longer under restrictions,” Andrews said.