COVID-19 updates

    6 April 2020

    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.

     

    State and territory border closures

    All state/territory governments have acknowledged that ag and ag input industries are essential. Even where border closures remain, workers will not be restricted in their normal operations.

    New South Wales:

    • The NSW / Victoria border has been closed since Wednesday 8 July.
    • Essential workers (including agriculture) will require an exemption issued by the NSW Government to cross the border.
    • Workers will not have to quarantine when arriving back in NSW provided their employer has a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.
    • Permit information available here.

    South Australia:

    • South Australia’s borders are now open to those from Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania.
    • Permit information for those arriving from NSW, ACT, VIC available here.

    Western Australia:

    • Western Australia’s borders remain closed, only those with an exemption may enter.
    • Government advice available here.

    Queensland:

    • Queensland’s borders are now open to all states and territories other than Victoria.
    • Government advice available here.

    Northern territory:

    • Northern Territory’s borders will open from Friday 17 July to all states and territories other than Victoria.
    • Government advice available here.

    Tasmania:

    • Tasmania’s borders remain closed, only those with an exemption may enter.
    • The tentative date to reopen is 31 July.
    • Government advice available here.

     

    COVID-19 economic packages

    The Commonwealth and all state and territory governments have announced economic stimulus packages. You can find all the information relevant to your business here:

     

    New Zealand

    New Zealand is at Level 1 of the COVID-19 response alert system. At this level, all primary industries and support services can operate without restrictions.

    For more information visit the Agcarm website.

     

    Free offerings for Australian business continuity

    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.

     

    OGTR operations

    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 ogtr@health.gov.au or ogtr.applications@health.gov.au email addresses.

    More information is available online.

     

    APVMA operations

    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

    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

    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

    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.

     

    CropLife office arrangements

    Some members of the CropLife team are working remotely. We remain operational and can be contacted on 02 6273 2733.