News

Permits for farmers and ag workers outside NSW-Vic border zone

Beef Central, 18/08/2020

THE New South Wales Government has announced changes that will give farmers and critical agricultural workers who reside outside the Border Region Zone in Victoria a new pathway to enter NSW and move outside the ‘border bubble’ for work.

Under the changes, individuals will be able to access a new Highly Specialised Critical Services (Agriculture) Permit if they:

  • provide a highly specialised critical agricultural service**
  • are moving and working anywhere within 100km of the New South Wales/Victorian border, on the NSW side
  • comply with strict conditions if staying overnight
  • adhere to other safety requirements, including self-isolating when not delivering the critical service.

Exemptions for individuals needing to move beyond the 100km limit for work will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The changes come into effect at noon today and the new permits will be available via the Service NSW website.

This is a sensible solution to the issues caused by recent changes and ensures our state’s agriculture sector has the workforce it needs to keep powering ahead in the midst of improving seasonal conditions.

While this will be very welcome news, it does not solve all the problems and in my view, is just the first step towards allowing the critical agriculture sector on both sides of border to operate freely, as it needs to.

At my request, the Health Minister has committed to reviewing the Public Health Order again next week.

I will continue to work with industry and my colleagues to ensure the right policy settings are in place to support our State’s agriculture industry and protect the health and wellbeing of NSW residents.

For more information visit Service NSW.

NSW Farmers: Agriculture permit system must extend to Qld

NSW Farmers has welcomed the new Agriculture Permit system for farmers and agricultural workers who reside outside the Border Region Zone in Victoria.

Under the changes, individuals will be able to access a new Highly Specialised Critical Services (Agriculture) Permit if they are moving and working anywhere within 100km of the New South Wales/Victorian border.

Exemptions for individuals needing to move beyond the 100km limit for work will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The changes come into effect at noon today and the new permits will be available via the Service NSW website.

“The NSW Minster for Agriculture has clearly listened to our concerns and acted on this issue,” said NSW Farmers President James Jackson.

Mr Jackson said it was pleasing to see the list of specialised critical agricultural services is wide ranging and covers almost all aspects of farm employment and contractors.

“NSW Farmers thanks the NSW Government for this positive move in response to our advocacy on behalf of producers, processors and contractors.”

“This is a good step in reducing the uncertainty and we strongly encourage the Queensland Government to follow the NSW leadership as we all seek to operate in COVID Safe workplaces.”

“With a bumper grain harvest looming in the northern NSW, similar steps must be made urgently to allow the movement of workers, contractors and machinery across the Queensland border.”

“We will continue to work with the Minister for Agriculture and the Department of Primary Industries to support them in pushing for an agriculture permit system to reduce any impact on an all-important grain harvest,” Mr Jackson said.

 

HAVE YOUR SAY

Your email address will not be published.

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.

Comments

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -
FREE!