10 January 2022
With ever changing restrictions throughout Australian states and territories, it is important that CropLife members are aware of the critical essential worker arrangements that are in place for each jurisdiction.
Both NSW and QLD governments have recently announced updates to quarantine restrictions for critical essential workers. The NSW government has announced that it will allow critical workers in the food, logistics and manufacturing sectors who are close contacts to leave isolation to attend work if they have no symptoms. While our specific industry is not explicitly referenced, as previously confirmed by the NSW Government, all CropLife member companies qualify under the food category, specific biosecurity and food safety.
QLD will also allow workers in a critical industry to return to work, subject to identifying and creating a Critical Worker List of critically essential roles. A close contact who performs a critically essential role may then leave quarantine to carry out that role if they have no COVID-19 symptoms and are fully vaccinated.
The critical sector list includes agriculture and fisheries production, freight and logistics, emergency services, the resource sector, utilities, public transport, among others. CropLife Australia member companies are obviously covered under this list too.
The links below will take you to the current exempt worker requirements for each jurisdiction, with information on authorised providers and authorised worker permits.
Agriculture declared an essential service
Australia’s entire primary production system has been declared essential as we face the challenges of COVID-19.
This was confirmed by the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, the Hon. David Littleproud MP, on 25 March 2020 and by all states and territories.
The primary production system covers agriculture and all agricultural input industries including crop protection, seeds, fertilizer, GM crop products, feed, fodder, the ag supply retail distribution network, transport, logistics, packaging, labelling and the movement of ag-related workers across state borders.
View CropLife’s official statement here.
View CropLife’s media statement here.
Keep up with technology
Stay up to date with official information and advice about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation with the Coronavirus Australia app (please note this is an information app only and not the COVIDsafe tracking app). You can check your symptoms and get notified when urgent information and updates are published.
You can also join the Australian Government WhatsApp channel for COVID-19 to learn the latest on Australia’s response to coronavirus.
Mental Health Reminder
Prioritising our mental wellbeing is an important part of staying healthy. The Government’s Head to Health website is a helpful resource for coping with anxiety and worry about Coronavirus.
Make your workplace COVID Safe
You can complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan specific to your industry and register as a COVID Safe business for your respective state(s).
Some businesses will need to complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan under the public health orders specific to each state, but you can also voluntarily complete one in order to keep your workers and visitors safe.
Registering your premises as a COVID Safe business is mandatory for some industries and comes with some obligations.
Visit the relevant COVID Safe businesses webpage for each state.
For more information visit the Agcarm website.
The Commonwealth and all state and territory governments have announced economic stimulus packages. You can find all the information relevant to your business here:
The Australian Information Industry Association with the support of the Federal Government has released a series of free service offerings, advice and tools designed to support Australian business continuity using technology.
This support includes a range of remote communications, collaboration, workforce management and video conferencing solutions. It is available online.
The OGTR is operating as usual. Companies planning to send in applications should do so and the applications they are currently assessing will continue as planned.
While some of the team at the OGTR are working remotely, they have the necessary systems in place to continue their work. They ask that during this time, rather than writing to individual officers, you use the online forms and email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org email addresses.
More information is available online.
In accordance with social distancing policy, the APVMA have staff working from both the Armidale and Canberra offices and remotely. Many of their staff have significant experience working remotely and do so seamlessly.
The APVMA has declared that it is committed to maintaining its operations during this time to deliver efficient, effective, timely, and science-based agvet chemical regulation.
More information is available online.
FarmHub is a portal that connects Australian farmers to a range of helpful services and support to manage hardship. For more information visit the FarmHub website.
GrainGrowers has released a COVID-19 information guide to assist producers. The guide includes advice about on-farm access to visitors, suggestions for minimising risk across the workforce and planning ahead in relation to chemicals and fertiliser requirements. The information guide can be downloaded here.
Citrus Australia has released a Guide to COVID-19 in the Orchard & Packing Shed. This guide is an important resource for citrus growers and packers dealing with COVID-19 in the workplace. The guide can be downloaded here.
Some members of the CropLife team are working remotely. We remain operational and can be contacted on 02 6273 2733.