Australian Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, has issued a section of the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act, enforcing Covid-19 Biosecurity Zones throughout the Northern Territory, following a rise in positive Covid cases.   

Covid cases have continued to rise in the Northern Territory and in a number of the remote Aboriginal communities, including the Roper Gulf region.

Biosecurity Zones will be in place until 17 February 2022, with potential for extension.

The Roper Gulf Biosecurity Zones are divided by Wards of:

  • Nyirranggulung Ward  
  • Never Never Ward 
  • Yugul Mangi Ward 
  • Numbulwar Numburindi Ward  
  • South West Gulf Ward

The Act restricts travel between Biosecurity Zones, unless for  essential reasons and aims to help slow down the spread of Covid-19 in remote Aboriginal communities. 

Roper Gulf Regional Council wants to assure the public that all staff are taking all the appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of those who reside in the region.

Council has continued to restrict staff travel within the Roper Gulf region and Katherine to essential reasons only – so that essential Council services can still run in communities and townships.

All staff must perform a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) and receive a negative result on the day they plan to enter the Biosecurity Zone, this must also be approved by Council’s management and Covid-19 Safety team.

Acting Chief Executive Officer, Marc Gardner, said, “Council’s highest priority is the safety of our communities and importantly our staff.

“We are supportive of the measures that have been put in place and will go above and beyond the safety requirements to minimise any risk of Covid spreading to our communities.”

Due to the rising number of positive cases in the region, Council is experiencing staff shortages in a number of communities.

Due to this, Council services may need to be scaled back or temporarily closed down while staff isolate or recover from Covid-19.

“Our commitment is to ensure continuation of services, such as rubbish collection, still occurs in all our communities despite the current constraints,” Mr Gardner said.

“The current measures in place do not largely affect Council’s operations as the majority of our workforce are essential and meet the requirements of the current directives.”

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