This decision is based on public health advice to protect workers, Aboriginal communities and the wider community, and the new direction addresses the risks posed by movement of resources sector workers.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook explains that FIFO and local workers on Western Australian mining and resources sites, as well as workers in rural and remote locations or run critical infrastructure, must have had at least one dose of the vaccine by 12:01 am on 1 December, and must be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.
“If a resources worker became infected with COVID-19 and the virus was then transmitted to one of our remote Aboriginal communities where people are very vulnerable to the illness, the consequences would be disastrous,” Cook said.
There are factors that increase Aboriginal people’s susceptibility to complications from COVID-19, such as higher rates of chronic health issues, poor access to healthcare, and high levels of mobility.
The sector is also the largest employer of Aboriginal people in the regions.
According to the statement, it will be the responsibility of employers to collect and maintain records of vaccinated workers.
The move to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for the resources sector follows similar mandates in industries such as ports, transport, freight and logistics.
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnson said the move by the government was about workers protecting themselves and the communities they operate in.
“As an industry in WA, we pride ourselves on a range of factors including the health and safety of our workforce, and getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the next obvious critical element,” Johnson said.
“These new directions mean that if you have not received the COVID-19 vaccine you will need to do so now to be allowed to attend or work in rural or remote mine sites and operations.”
State-run COVID-19 vaccination clinics are available in more than 100 locations across WA, including walk-in opportunities across regional towns.
For more information visit the Government of Western Australia website.