18/01/2021

The Minerals Council of Australia Chief Executive Tania Constable has stated that continuing the movement of essential operational staff is crucial in keeping the mining industry active as the nation faces economic shocks fanned by the coronavirus spread. The Federal Resources Minister, Keith Pitt has echoed this sentiment, stating that “Ministers recognise the resources sector is essential to Australia’s economy. The maintenance of resources sector operations, in parallel to the implementation of new health measures, is a key priority” and recognised that the resources industry would “play a lead role in our economic recovery”, with “the jobs it creates” acting as a “lifeline to many regional communities”.

Yet despite these statements, the restrictions on interstate and intrastate movements are constantly changing. To assist you in managing the movements of your workers, we have collated the following snapshot outlining the travel restrictions currently in place and the potential restrictions your company may need to be aware of when navigating workforce movements to and from site. 

This information is current at Monday 18 January 2021.

For more up to date information and specific advice, please contact Marshall McKenna.

Australia wide travel restrictions

The table below contains a summary of domestic travel restrictions within Australia.

All international travel is still restricted. International arrivals will be capped at 512 people per week (about 73 per day) at Perth Airport. Please see Smart Traveller for updates on international travel.

State/Territory

Restrictions

Quarantine period

Western Australia

All travellers entering Western Australia must have a valid G2G pass. Travellers from Queensland and New South Wales may not enter unless exempt.

Travel throughout most of Western Australia is permitted. However, access to remote communities remains restricted.

Travellers from Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales must self-quarantine for 14 days commencing on date of arrival in Western Australia.

There are no quarantine requirements for arrivals from other states.

Overseas travellers must quarantine for 14 days in government-designated accommodation.

South Australia

All travellers into South Australia must complete a Cross Border Travel Registration. Travellers from regional New South Wales may enter South Australia, while travellers from Greater Sydney, Central Coast local government area or Wollongong local government area  may not enter South Australia unless they are essential travellers, permanently relocating or a cross-border community resident.

 

Essential travellers include health workers, freight delivery staff and emergency services workers.

 

There are no restrictions on travel within South Australia, other than to APY lands.

Travellers from New South Wales must quarantine for 14 days from the date of arrival. There are no quarantine requirements for other interstate travellers.

Any overseas travellers in South Australia must quarantine for 14 days in government-designated accommodation

Victoria

Travel into and within Victoria is unrestricted except for travellers from Greater Sydney and Wollongong in New South Wales, who are not allowed to enter Victoria unless an exemption is granted (only for returning Victorians) or they are part of cross border communities.

Travellers to Victoria must apply for a permit.

Certain travellers from New South Wales must self-quarantine for 14 days, unless exempt. Travellers from Greater Brisbane must self-quarantine while awaiting COVID test results.

Overseas travellers must quarantine for 14 days in government-designated accommodation.

New South Wales

There are no border restrictions in New South Wales.  

Travel restrictions apply within New South Wales around certain COVID-19 hotspot areas.

Overseas travellers (other than New Zealanders) must quarantine for 14 days in government-designated accommodation.

Queensland

Travellers may enter Queensland from all States other than from COVID-19 hotspots in New South Wales. Travellers from Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains are not allowed to enter Queensland if they have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or since the hotspot was declared. Exemptions may be granted but quarantine is still required. The exemptions include:

  • freight transport workers;
  • emergency services workers;
  • critical FIFO workers;
  • compassionate grounds, medical reasons and court orders.

 

Travellers from New South Wales must complete a Queensland border declaration pass in order to enter.

Overseas travellers and travellers from hotspots, including residents, must quarantine in government-arranged accommodation for 14 days commencing on the date of arrival, unless exempt.

Northern Territory

Strict border controls apply and all arrivals must complete a Border Entry Form.

International arrivals and those arriving from a hotspot must quarantine for 14 days in government accommodation, commencing on date of arrival into the Northern Territory.

Australian Capital Territory

Non-ACT residents travelling from Western and South-western Sydney will need an exemption to enter.

There are no other border restrictions within the Australian Capital Territory.

Overseas travellers must quarantine for 14 days in government-designated accommodation, unless exempted.

Travellers from hotspots in New South Wales must self-quarantine.

Tasmania

Travellers from all States, except from high-risk locations (currently certain areas of Queensland and Victoria), may enter Tasmania without restriction. Travellers from Queensland and Victoria may enter if they have been to medium-risk areas but must not enter if they have been to high-risk areas.

There are no restrictions on travel within Tasmania, however, Tasmanians are encouraged to limit non-essential travel.

All travellers from medium-risk areas in Queensland, New South Wales or Victoria, and from overseas, must quarantine for 14 days, commencing on date of arrival into Tasmania.

FIFO workers from Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian hotspots may be classified as “essential travellers” and may not have to quarantine if they satisfy one of the criteria for “specialist skills critical to maintaining key industries or businesses”.

For updates please see the COVID-19 Restriction Checker.

Summary

G2G WA – electronic licencing program

The WA Police and State Government have now rolled out an electronic/online process for individual licencing (Good to Go Pass (G2G Pass)).  The program involves the use of an app and QR codes which will act as licences for authorised travellers.

The WA Police will be responsible for issuing individuals with an electronic “licence” that the individuals will be able to display on their smartphone or table at checkpoints when stopped by the WA Police. This process will permit licenced persons to travel across State, regional and local government authority boundaries in accordance with the exemptions of their licences.

The G2G Pass program will replace the current process of company letters and health declarations and will manage all border crossings in Western Australia. However, company letters and health declarations will continue to be accepted at border crossings while the State transitions to the G2G Pass program.

More information can be found on the G2G Pass website. The app is available for download on the G2G Pass website. 

Interstate

Western Australia has transitioned from a hard border to a controlled border. Travellers from all States and Territories in Australia are allowed to enter Western Australia, other than travellers from Queensland and New South Wales (unless they are exempt). Travellers from Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales must quarantine for 14 days in suitable premises. This includes FIFO workers.

No one may enter Western Australia without filling out a G2G Pass.

Intrastate travel within Western Australia

All of Western Australia’s internal boundaries have now been lifted except for:

  • remote Aboriginal community restriction (all access to regional Aboriginal communities has been restricted – including for mining and mineral exploration employees); and 
  • (potentially) self-imposed restrictions by native title holders (we are aware that some Aboriginal representative bodies have imposed their own restrictions on lands subject to native title determinations).

For current, project specific advice – please contact  Marshall McKenna.

G2G WA licencing program

The G2G Pass program has now been introduced by the State Government and the WA Police. The G2G Pass program covers:

  • State border crossings (interstate); and
  • remote Aboriginal communities.

The application process is split into two separate processes – individual applications and business applications of 20 employees or more. Businesses are able to bulk upload the details of their employees. Companies are given a template to update with the details of their workers that are required to travel across intrastate, remote boundaries.

Employers need to provide the following details for their employees:

  • name;
  • gender;
  • date of birth;
  • employee ID;
  • position;
  • mobile phone number;
  • work email;
  • regions that the employee must travel through (state and Biosecurity);
  • exemption categories (state and Biosecurity) and
  • drivers licence details.

Employers are also expected to provide contact details for an authorised officer of the company and a declaration from the authorised officer of the company confirming the employees’ employment with the company and that the employees listed must travel for work.

The “licences” will be sent electronically to the relevant employees and will need to be presented to the WA Police at checkpoints and on request on roaming patrols. The company will also receive an electronic confirmation that the licence has been issued. On the G2G Pass website, the WA Police have advised that they will aim to provide a decision within 72 hours of receiving an application.

Further, spouses and partners that are required to travel across a regional border to assist an employee with travel to work (such as to an airport) will be required to obtain an electronic licence.

More information can be found on the G2G Pass website. The app is available for download on the G2G Pass website. 

Interstate travel

On 14 November, subject to ongoing health advice, Western Australia transitioned from a hard border to a controlled border. Travellers from all States and Territories in Australia are allowed to enter Western Australia. However, travellers from New South Wales and Victoria must quarantine for 14 days in suitable premises. This includes FIFO workers. All travellers will continue to require G2G Passes.

On Tuesday 24 March, the State Government implemented new restrictions and arrival requirements on travel into Western Australia from other Australian states and territories by road, rail, air and sea, in response to COVID-19. Western Australians are no longer allowed to travel overseas unless they fulfil the limited exemption requirements.

The G2G Pass process will cover interstate travel into Western Australia.

While the current system of company letters and health declarations is still in place, we advise that all companies begin preparing to transition to the G2G Pass system.

More information can be found on the G2G Pass website. The app is available for download on the G2G Pass website. 

Intrastate travel

As of Friday, June 5, the State Government has lifted all internal regional boundaries, except for areas comprising remote Aboriginal communities.

The Federal and State Governments jointly imposed restrictions on travel to remote Aboriginal communities.

The travel restrictions to 274 remote Aboriginal communities still exist.

There are exemptions for travel for the delivery of essential services, medical, cultural or family reasons (via G2G Pass). There are special exemptions that include mining and food production. Otherwise, travel is not permitted to or through these Aboriginal communities.

The restrictions will be strictly enforced and the WA police will have the power to issue fines of up to $50,000.

Restrictions on travelling to and from Aboriginal land and communities Mining industry workers may also be subject to restrictions on land subject to native title determinations.

We note that some Aboriginal organisations have sent out information detailing further restrictions they have implemented in respect of COVID-19. For example, some Aboriginal organisations have notified proponents that they will be implementing a permit system to restrict travel across roads subject to native title determinations.

We note that as of the date of publication, none of these restrictions have been made publicly available. 

Notes to affected businesses

We recommend that this is something you keep on your radar and are aware of when considering COVID related travel restrictions, as we expect that more Aboriginal organisations will follow suit in the coming days and weeks.

It is crucial that your company understands the State and Federal Government framework and directions. We recommend drafting an internal document which explains how your company is responding to COVID-19 and each of the State and Federal Government directions in relation to COVID-19. There is no obligation to disclose this document externally and there are (as at the date of this update), no reporting obligations on companies’ responses to COVID-19. You need to be aware of the directions and have policies in place documenting how your company is complying with and implementing these directions on site. Most importantly, your company must actually comply with and implement the directions.

These policies should cover:

  • FIFO transit protocols;
  • FIFO worker testing upon arrival;
  • symptoms testing;
  • enforcement of government rules;
  • hygiene and sanitation;
  • physical and social distancing;
  • group events and gatherings (such as meals and start-ups);
  • dedicated site quarantine areas;
  • special disease management;
  • risk assessment and mitigation;
  • evacuation plans;
  • plans to minimise impact on communities;
  • support for indigenous communities;
  • daily reporting to the Government; and
  • designated contact people.

Useful links


This information is current as at the date of publication (18 January 2021).

Expertise Area
Our Experts
""