02 April 2020
BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) is taking further steps to protect the health and safety of its people, their families and Central Queensland communities, by using only charter flights to transport FIFO employees and contractors, restricting non-residential workers from visiting townships near its mine sites, and increasing health screenings.
This new measures were decided this week, alongside an announcement by the Queensland Government to limit interstate FIFO travel to those working in business critical roles in the mining sector to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The government restrictions will come into effect from midnight on Saturday, 4 April 2020.
BMA Asset President James Palmer said: “We are all in this together, and we are absolutely committed to playing our part in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In doing so, we hope to help keep Queensland strong by supporting jobs and local businesses where safe to do so as we work through this difficult period.”
“We thank the Queensland Government for the practical approach they are taking to ensure the measures in place to protect Queenslanders will also enable our operations to continue in a safe, sustainable way.”
The move to charter flights and restricted access to townships comes in addition to the many controls already implemented across BMA sites, accommodation camps and offices, which include social distancing practices, increased cleaning and sanitation, and strict hygiene protocols. BMA is also assessing the potential to apply further measures introduced elsewhere within BHP to reduce interstate and intrastate plane travel.
All controls are in line with advice from all relevant authorities including the Queensland Government, Queensland Health and the state’s Chief Medical Officer. BMA is conducting regular audits to confirm their effectiveness, obtain feedback and determine any improvements that can be made.
Across Australia, BHP has taken action in recent weeks to:
- Accelerate payment of all outstanding invoices to small, local and Indigenous suppliers, delivering ~$100 million quickly into those businesses. (BHP has reduced payment terms for small, local and Indigenous businesses to seven days from 30 days).
- Hire 1500 people to support its Australian operations, which will help to alleviate the impact of cross-border travel restrictions.
- Establish a $50 million fund to support local communities, e.g. through health services, community services, mental health and resilience, and indigenous programs.
- Establish a $6 million fund to support labour hire companies and their employees.