24/09/2021

Resources and energy sector update on cross-border travel exemptions application process, including vaccination requirement

The revised cross-border travel exemptions process the Department for Energy and Mining and SA Health put in place from 9 September is working relatively smoothly, although a significant volume of exemption applications continue to be submitted across all sectors and the community. Any issues with individual and group energy and mining sector applications should continue to be raised directly by email to Health.DEMtoHealth@sa.gov.au so Department staff can assist in providing a timely resolution.

Updates on the exemptions application process since my previous advice dated 9 September 2021:

  • Exemption templates should now only be sent to Health.DEMtoHealth@sa.gov.au which is monitored by Department for Energy and Mining staff who are currently operating at the State Control Centre. The SA Health address referred to in previous advice has now been switched off.
  • Exemptions continue to be required for all New South Wales, Victoria, and Australian Capital Territory travellers, determined by the ‘restricted zones’ defined in the Cross-Border Travel Associated Direction, rather than areas in lockdown as previously indicated.
  • The Associated Direction has been updated to align the Direction with the process: with Remote or Isolated Workers, and Specialist Workers in Essential Sectors prohibited from entering South Australia unless an exemption is obtained. This alignment does not modify the current exemption or essential traveller processes.

Other feedback from applications received in the past fortnight:

  • The submission of multiple separate applications for workers for the same site or project, as well as late changes, is slowing down the process. Your assistance in streamlining applications is appreciated.
  • Applications continue to be submitted for short duration rosters involving frequent cross-border travel from restricted zones into South Australia. These are not supported at this time.
  • Applications are commonly lacking detail on any proposed quarantine and transit accommodation arrangements.
  • For workers applying to return home from interstate travel, detail about both the work site and home arrangements should be provided.
  • The ideal timing for an application is about two and half weeks before the proposed travel date.

Vaccinations

Vaccination roll-out at OZ Minerals' Carrapateena copper-gold mine

The requirement for inbound travellers to provide evidence of at least one vaccination dose for inbound essential travellers will now begin from 11 October, to ensure the process for providing evidence of vaccination is streamlined at the border. Updated advice on the required evidence will be provided to industry in due course.

As jurisdictions around the country head toward 80 per cent vaccination rates, SA Health has highlighted the importance of vaccination rates being evenly distributed across our communities ahead of the relaxation of restrictions, and this concept is relevant to operations across the resources and energy sector. This, along with the fact that contact tracing going forward is expected to focus on unvaccinated personnel, highlights the significance of the quality of vaccination data held by each site.

Collaboration on vaccination programs between industry and SA Health has seen programs successfully rolled out at Roxby Downs, Carrapateena and Prominent Hill in the past fortnight, with Beverley to follow shortly. Any sites interested in an on-site vaccination program are encouraged to contact Rebecca Knol at South Australian Chamber of Mining and Energy via rknol@sacome.org.au who continues to work closely with industry and SA Health on the vaccination roll-out.

Stay well,

Paul Heithersay
Chief Executive
Department for Energy and Mining

Friday 24 September 2021

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