Ag workers allowed interstate movement

Agricultural workers will be allowed free movement across state borders after the NSW government moved to help primary industries find skilled workers for the upcoming harvest. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says NSW will become the first jurisdiction to write the new Agricultural Workers Code into public health orders. 

She says the code will allow regional communities to capitalise on this year’s bumper crop and enable NSW farmers to be the “launching pad” for the state’s economic recovery from COVID-19. 

“Farmers from Warialda to Wagga Wagga can get the best skilled workers to help them with this year’s harvest, regardless if they’re from Queensland, South Australia, Victoria or the Northern Territory,” Ms Berejiklian said on Wednesday. 

Agricultural workers travelling between NSW and Victoria will need a permit and identification, as well as be required to use personal protective equipment when appropriate.

Travelling workers will need to keep records of their movements, while agricultural employers would need to support them in self-isolating for the first 14 days after entry into NSW and have a COVID safety plan in place.

Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said the NSW government had been a driving force behind the agreement.

“Our farmers have just come out of the worst drought on record and they are now poised to begin their recovery with the largest winter crop harvest since 2016, and they need the workforce to take advantage of that,” Mr Marshall said. 

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