The New South Wales government has confirmed agricultural workers will be exempt from the current border restrictions with Queensland.

Key points:

  • NSW Agricultural Minister Adam Marshall has confirmed an exemption for agricultural workers to move freely across the NSW-Queensland border
  • Workers across NSW and Queensland can travel across the border until at least Friday August 20
  • The exemption is for movement associated with performing essential services for agriculture

Under the exemption, people who can prove they are employed in the agricultural sector will be able to move freely throughout the sunshine state with a permit.

Agricultural workers can also enter NSW from Queensland but cannot travel to the Greater Sydney area.

The exemption comes after the Queensland government made a decision last week to close the border to NSW due to COVID-19 cases escalating in regional areas. 

Farmers had raised concerns that, with the upcoming harvest period, a current staffing shortage could be made worse by the border closures.

NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said the exemption would strictly be an employment-related permit and there were restrictions on what people could do while in Queensland.

“Agricultural workers wanting to cross into Queensland will need to provide evidence they have already unsuccessfully attempted to source the skills from a non-hotspot in another state or territory, or that it is too costly or time prohibitive.”

A photo of NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall speaking to media.

NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall says free movement of agricultural workers is vital. (

Supplied: Facebook

)

Queensland government praised

Mr Marshall has praised the Queensland government for its cooperation on a border exemption for the agricultural sector.

He said the Queensland government understood the need for a common-sense exemption.

“They’ve learnt from previous experience and they’ve learnt that what we had in place last time didn’t put Queenslanders at risk — it didn’t cause any new infections or any cases,” Mr Marsall said.

Farmers, ag workers exempt from Qld border restrictions
Source:
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