Anyone crossing the border into New South Wales must now provide evidence of a first COVID vaccination, under a new Queensland Health border directive.
The order came into force from 1am Saturday 21 August 2021, as part of a State Government crackdown to keep Queenslanders safe.
While agricultural activities have been recognised as essential, the very strong stance from Queensland Health, and the new border directive, acknowledge that the border is Queensland’s last line of defence against the Delta strain.
AgForce is therefore encouraging all farmers and agribusinesses to cease their plans to cross the border - unless absolutely vital - to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
More movements for workers in agriculture, including moving machinery, drivers, support staff, and livestock, will now be done using freight passes.
Freight and logistics operators using the Queensland Freight Protocol to enter Queensland must continue to show evidence of mandatory testing before entering Queensland and keep to a rolling testing regime.
People from border zone areas will be able to move for agricultural purposes – feeding stock, essential crop operations, etc, under a new class exemption - but this is only for movements within border zones.
Any movements that are not covered by the new class exemption or the Queensland Freight Protocol, will now be handled on an individual case-by-case basis.
Applications are available at the Government's border pass webpage. Click on 'apply now' in the 'Queensland entry pass' section to complete the application.
For the most up to date government information on the current border crossing situation as it happens, please visit the Queensland Government website or call the DAF hotline on 132523.
AgForce will continue to work closely with Queensland Health and the State Government to ensure agriculture is front of mind in any ongoing decision making, enabling you to continue to do what you do best – produce for the rest of us.
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries engagement hub has information resources to help agribusiness employers discuss vaccination with their workers and to seek further information.
We continue to work with Queensland Health to develop a framework that balances COVID-19 community safety with certainty for agribusinesses.