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NT minerals industry to retain highest COVID-19 health protections to protect workforce, families and communities

Drew Wagner, Executive Director, MCA NT

The Northern Territory minerals industry will continue working to keep workers, families and communities safe based on strict industry protocols and the highest health and hygiene standards following the announcement today that most COVID-19 restrictions will be progressively eased across the NT in coming months.

The minerals sector responded swiftly, cooperatively and professionally by putting operational protocols and management plans in place after the COVID-19 outbreak, based on the NT Government’s top priorities of public and economic health.

Companies across the NT have been operating close to or at capacity in an abnormal environment based on these protocols and management plans – being cited globally as leading practice – with many pitching in to help local communities as well.

In particular, the industry has worked closely on COVID-19 protection and support community-led approaches in remote Aboriginal communities based on its long-standing cooperative approach.

While the industry welcomes the progressive removal of social restrictions, any changes to the industry’s robust health and safety approach will be made cautiously and in close collaboration with government.

This continued commitment to high standards will include exploration activities as well as operational sites.

The mining sector will remain the cornerstone of the NT economy.

Following the Territory’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic, the best possible regulatory structure needs to be put in place to support jobs and industry growth, provide certainty for future investment and put the NT in a prime globally competitive position.

This includes faster regulatory approvals, removal of red tape and an effective and predictable approach to environmental protection which balances the need to protect the unique Territory environment with creating sustainable local jobs and stronger communities.

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