Clock is ticking on Queensland border exemptions for farmers

The Queensland Government is leaving the state’s farmers and agricultural workers in limbo again as current border exemptions for agricultural workers end on 22nd September 2020.

Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud said that the Queensland Government’s failure to announce new exemptions and their refusal to adopt the National Agricultural Workers Code which allows ag workers and farmers to move across borders in a COVID safe way to produce our food showed Queensland agriculture has been forgotten again.

“The Queensland Government’s failure to sign up to the Ag Workers Code also means it would be difficult for Queensland farmers to access the Seasonal and Pacific Workers programs that was recently reopened,” Minister Littleproud said.

“States who haven’t signed up to the Ag Worker Code but want to sign up to the Seasonal and Pacific Workers Programs would be prioritising jobs for overseas workers when Australians should get first crack.

“And with just six days until Queensland’s current border exemptions expire, the Government’s failure to provide farmers with the certainty of new exemptions further demonstrates the Queensland Government has forgotten regional Queensland.

“I was the first to congratulate the Queensland Government for putting forward practical and common-sense border exemptions on the 24th of August, so I am disappointed that they have again forgotten about their farmers and regional industries as they approach harvest season.

“I wrote to Minister Furner on the 10th of September to request that he provide the certainty of new exemptions as soon as possible, yet to date Queensland farmers have been left in the dark about if or when any exemptions will be provided,” Minister Littleproud said.

Source: Australian Government