The Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan announced on Tuesday that COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for FIFO and other resources sector workers from December.
McGowan explains that FIFO and local workers on Western Australian mining and resources sites, as well as workers in rural and remote locations or run critical infrastructure, must have had at least one dose of the vaccine by 12:01 am on 1 December, and must be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.
This decision is based on public health advice to protect workers, Aboriginal communities and the wider community, and the new direction addresses the risks posed by the movement associated with resources sector workers.
It also follows mandates that have been placed on other industries.
“Resources sector workers potentially come into contact with Aboriginal people from remote communities, which means there is a risk that COVID-19 could enter a community from an infected worker,” the statement read.
“The sector is also the largest employer of Aboriginal people in the regions.”
There are factors that increase Aboriginal people’s susceptibility to complications from COVID-19, such as higher rates of chronic health issues, poor access to healthcare, and high levels of mobility.
According to the Premier, it will be the responsibility of employers to collect and maintain records of vaccinated workers.
The move to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for the resources sector follows similar mandates in industries such as ports, transport, freight and logistics.
“We’ve worked with industry along the way and what is not lost on all of us is that because the resources sector was able to operate during the height of the pandemic, Western Australians have benefited and enjoyed freedoms other places in the country cannot,” McGowan said.
“As a result of the resources sector being able to continue their operations safely this has created dividends for the entire nation.”
State-run COVID-19 vaccination clinics are available in more than 100 locations across WA, including walk-in opportunities across regional towns.
Vaccinations are also provided by GPs, respiratory clinics, and pharmacies across the state.
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