Special agriculture permits a positive step forward

Victorian farmers who own land in NSW, shearers, harvest contractors and beekeepers will be able to move into NSW without having to quarantine or go via Sydney under a new permit announced today.

The NSW Government has announced a ‘Highly Specialised Agriculture Permit’ which will allow exempted Victorian agriculture workers who live within 100km of the NSW-Victoria to move up to 100km across the border into NSW.

Shadow Minister for Agriculture Peter Walsh said it was a first step in solving problems threatening the critical food supply chain.

“Removing the requirement for Victorian agriculture workers to quarantine or travel via Sydney airport to enter NSW fixes some of the barriers that had threatened to put the handbrake on our food supply chain,” Mr Walsh said.

“The Victorian Liberal Nationals have been working closely with farmers in border communities and the changes delivered today show the NSW Government is listening.

“These special permits were desperately needed to allow for free movement of our farmers, contractors and agriculture workforce.

“We’ll keep working to fix the problems to ensure farmers can access the workforce they need for the upcoming grain harvest and to keep our supermarket shelves fully-stocked with high quality food and fibre.”

The Highly Specialised Agriculture Permit also includes workers in the pork, poultry, wine and horticulture industries and specialised consultants, like agronomists and vets.

The NSW Government has said it will consider exemptions for Victorians needing to travel further than 100km into NSW on a case-by-case basis.

More detail at https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-critical-services-worker-covid-19-nsw-border-entry-permit

Peter Walsh MP

Shadow Minister for Agriculture

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