A NEW agricultural worker code that comes into effect tomorrow, Friday 25 September, will provide a single permit system for the movement of agricultural workers, contractors and farmers crossing the New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian borders.
NSW Farmers president James Jackson welcomed the move, but said it was time Queensland stepped up and applied a similar system for the NSW-Queensland border to provide certainty for grain growers about the movement of skilled workers and contractors from Queensland.
“Grain harvest starts in the north within weeks – and yet there is still the ongoing uncertainty of individual applications for workers,” Mr Jackson said.
“We recognise the need for COVID-safe work arrangements, but after years of drought the uncertainty of labour supply has been very challenging. We know our farmers will do all they can to keep their workers safe.”
Mr Jackson said NSW Farmers had raised the need for a single and simple agricultural worker permit in August and had engaged with the NSW Government for some months about labour needs.
“I congratulate them for acting on it. We look forward to the permit being available as soon as possible through Service NSW,” he said.
“Agricultural output feeds the nation – not just the state or territory where it is produced.”
Mr Jackson said agricultural workers travelling between NSW and Victoria would need a permit and relevant identification and would be required to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as appropriate.
Travelling workers will also need to keep records of their movements.
Agricultural employers need to support workers to perform self-isolation in the first 14 days after entry into NSW, and must have a COVID safety plan in place.
Source: NSW Farmers