States must follow NSW lead on AG

Sep 23, 2020 | Media Releases 2020

Nationals Senator for New South Wales Perin Davey has welcomed news that the NSW Government will become the first jurisdiction to implement the Agricultural Workers Code.

After months of campaigning from Nationals Senators and MP’s around the country, NSW will now write the code into public health orders.

Senator Davey said the announcement will allow our farming businesses and supply chains to be able to employ desperately needed skilled workers for the upcoming harvest.

“This is the common sense solution the National Party has been campaigning for over the past several months,” Senator Davey said.

“This code will allow our farmers to operate as they should to produce the food we see on our tables each day and the fibre we wear.

“It is a huge relief for people living and working in the regions, knowing they can now hire skilled workers from around the country.

“Now Victoria, South Australia, and the two territories must also write the code into their public health orders as they agreed to do through National Cabinet.

“I also urge the Queensland Government to re-consider its position and adopt the code, so farmers who have just lived through the worst drought on record and a global pandemic, can get on with the job and access and employ the skilled workers they require.”

The announcement means farmers and workers travelling between NSW and Victoria will still need a permit, but the process will be streamlined in a similar manner to the way the freight industry has been handled.

They will also be required to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as appropriate, travelling workers will also need to keep records of their movements.

The NSW Government has also indicated 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.