Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (15:50): I rise today to speak about an excellent company in my electorate, Big River Pork. This company is an exemplar of process, managing people and managing animal welfare. I have worked alongside them for many years as a major processor in my area.
In light of a COVID-19 incident locally in Murray Bridge, I want to go through some media and community advice in regard to that. It is headed, 'Business as usual at Big River Pork abattoir facility' and reads as follows:
Misleading reports and rumours circulating in social media about an ongoing Covid exposure at the Murray Bridge facility of Big River Pork are NOT correct.
Big River Pork chairman Geoff Hampel says three people who were possible contacts of a truck delivery driver who checked in at the facility last week are now in self isolation after testing negative for Covid on Sunday. When it was discovered late last week that the driver had been reported as a positive case, the company then worked with SA Health to track any contacts.
'We informed SA Health that a truck driver who delivered to the business last week had limited contact with our security person when the driver was required to fill in travel documentation and to be temperature tested,' Mr Hampel said.
The incident was recorded on the company's CCTV system and the video was provided to SA Health investigators to assist in their investigations. 'Our security person who was wearing protective equipment, recorded information from the driver, did a temperature test and the driver then went back to his truck to drive to the load-out dock area of the plant.
'At the Load-Out area of the plant, two workers checked documents and then used a forklift to load bins onto the truck, which then departed. 'Taking advice from SA Health, those three workers have been tested and are now self-isolating at home and we are providing all assistance to those employees and their families.
'There is no [and I stress no] community contact and we can say that all the proper processes were carried out to protect our workers and the community. We want the community to feel positive and safe at this time. No parts of the abattoir facility are under any quarantine and everything is 'business as usual' at the plant,' Mr Hampel said.
Professor Nicola Spurrier said at the media conference this morning:
The driver was there to pick up some freight and take it away. Just to say very clearly that Big River Pork have got fabulous Covid management plans in place, so it's completely contactless delivery and also members of the public cannot come on site. And also, the driver cannot wander around that premises and come in contact with people.
'Our team have worked very closely with the owners of that particular establishment (BRP) and they have looked at the CCTV footage, there were a couple of people that were in closer vicinity of this truck driver and so those people have been directed into quarantine and they have been tested—but I wanted to have everybody tested across that whole facility, so people were SMS'd and again with the manager being very helpful providing us with contact details. Plus, my understanding is that SA Pathology set up testing there particularly on site, so that all of the workers there could be tested. SA Pathology says there were about 80 people they were still chasing up to get tested, but the rest had been done and they were all negative, so that's very reassuring.
I will continue quoting Professor Spurrier, as follows:
Just for people in Murray Bridge, I think the risk for you is very low because of course this particular company had a very good COVID management plan in place. We are doing the additional testing, again just to be sure, and there will be a couple of people who will need to be in quarantine.'
I want to commend Big River Pork and Geoff Hampel and their team. I have been on the phone in the last couple of days. I have direct contact with Geoff and he is a great contact to have. If I need to contact him, I ring him directly or he rings me. I want to commend everyone at that company for how they manage the site because something like this is something they have been prepared for for 18 months. It has worked seamlessly. There are only three people in self-isolation just to be sure. It is business as usual. There is not a wider threat to the community of Murray Bridge and beyond, and may the Murray Bridge abattoir facility Big River Pork be stronger now and into the future.