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Australia: Calls for FIFO mining workers to be reclassified as non-essential workers and so protect indigenous communities from COVID-19 risks

"'Shut it down': Traditional Owners call for a stop to the NT's FIFO mining workers", 26 March 2020

First Nations people in the Northern Territory are calling for mining and fracking workers to be classified as non-essential, to stop them travelling to the Top End.

First Nations campaign director for GetUp, Larrissa Baldwin said FIFO workers are putting Indigenous communities who live near fracking sites in danger.


"Seeing FIFO workers come in and out is causing real anxiety. They want to protect their communities, particularly their old people who are not just family but, the language and culture holders in the community.


Origin Energy announced...that they would pause their Betaloo exploration project in the Northern Territory.

"Given the unprecedented circumstances brought about by COVID-19 we yesterday advised the NT Minister for Primary Resources and the CEO of the Northern Land Council that we are now at a point in our current work program to safely and temporarily pause activities at our Kyalla well site and reschedule further work to the second half of the year," a statement from Origin said.

"Activity on site is minimal and includes road works, installing water monitoring bores as required by regulation, and safely packing down the rig and moving it to the side of the lease now that drilling has been successfully completed.

"...Nobody on site has flown in internationally.

"Those on site are observing health authority requirements for social distancing and we are also maintaining separation between Territory and interstate team members."