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Resources Ministers united in response to COVID-19

31 March 2020

The Australian Government is continuing to work with State and Territory Ministers and the resources sector to ensure critical projects keep operating during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said Australian Resources Ministers met by teleconference again last night to discuss the shared goal of ensuring this vital sector keeps operating.

“The Australian resources sector is a key part of the Australian economy,” Minister Pitt said.

“The commodities Australia mines keep the lights on here. They supply the essentials for major businesses like smelters and refineries, and our exports will be critical in keeping international economies going as they too deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The resources sector has developed a set of health and safety protocols to protect workers and local communities. They include strict standards on transport and procedures on mine sites.

“State and Territory Ministers have committed to keep working together as each jurisdiction updates its border rules,” Minister Pitt said.

Where possible jurisdictions will work together to maximise the ability of workers to move between states and territories, noting that each state is regularly reviewing its requirements in accordance with the advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and respective State and Territory Chief Medical Officers.

“Ministers agreed that officials would undertake further work to ensure specialist personnel from overseas and within Australia continue to be available to respond in the event of an emergency. 

“The resources sector remains well positioned to lead Australia’s economic recovery, which was confirmed in latest figures from Western Australia yesterday.

“They showed a 28 per cent increase in the state’s resources sales last year and importantly, the number of people employed in the industry rose to 133,094.

“The Australian Government is also supporting workers and businesses with the historic announcement of the $130 billion JobKeeper payment.”

As always the focus of the Australian Government will be the protection of people’s health, their jobs and their livelihoods and positioning the Australian economy and our communities to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Media contact: Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180