The Australian Government has today welcomed the New South Wales (NSW), Victorian, South Australian (SA), Northern Territory (NT) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) governments’ decision at National Cabinet to adopt a binding, enforceable, evidence-based National Agricultural Workers Code that will ensure Australian farmers can keep feeding and clothing us while also protecting the health of all communities.
Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud, said that the majority of Australia’s farmers, ag workers and regional communities will be feeling reassured and relieved by today’s outcome which the adoptive states and territories have committed to take effect immediately.
“Queensland has already got a process in place for farmers and agricultural workers from NSW until 22 September so it’s important they now provide certainty and clarity about that future arrangement.
“Our farmers and regions have been long calling for a common sense and practical solution to arbitrary state border closures.
“In the vast majority of cases, the closed borders are merely preventing farmers and workers from effectively COVID-free areas to conduct work in other COVID-free areas across state border lines.
“With a bumper crop expected due to improved seasonal conditions, today’s decision could not have come at a better time for farmers and agribusinesses in NSW, Victoria, SA, NT and the ACT.
“I congratulate the Prime Minister and those State Premiers who adopted the Code developed by their Agriculture Ministers.
“To those states that have not agreed today, I am pleased they will watch their counterparts before they consider implementing it in their own jurisdictions.
“The farmers and agricultural workers need to be able to move across borders so they can continue putting food on our tables and clothes on our back.
“Those states that have agreed will implement the new code over the next fortnight.”
Details of the border exemptions will be available on each state’s respective health department website.