Farmers and critical agricultural workers who reside outside the Border Region Zone in Victoria will now have a new pathway to enter NSW and move outside the ‘border bubble’ for work thanks to advocacy from the NSW Nationals.
Under the changes, individuals will be able to access a new Highly Specialised Critical Services (Agriculture) Permit if they:
• Provide a highly specialised critical agricultural service;
• Are moving and working anywhere within 100km of the New South Wales/Victorian border, on the NSW side;
• Comply with strict conditions if staying overnight; and
• Adhere to other safety requirements, including self-isolating when not delivering the critical service.
NSW Nationals Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said exemptions for individuals needing to move beyond the 100km limit for work will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The new permits will be available via the Service NSW website.
“This is a sensible solution to the issues caused by recent changes and ensures our state’s agriculture sector has the workforce it needs to keep powering ahead in the midst of improving seasonal conditions,” Mr Marshall said.
“While this will be very welcome news, it does not solve all the problems and in my view, is just the first step towards allowing the critical agriculture sector on both sides of border to operate freely, as it needs to.
“At my request, the Health Minister has committed to reviewing the Public Health Order again next week.
“I will continue to work with industry and my colleagues to ensure the right policy settings are in place to support our state’s agriculture industry and protect the health and wellbeing of NSW residents.”
For more information visit https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-covid-19-nsw-border-entry-permit.