Updates relevant to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) are available below. As the situation evolves ALEC will update the information on this page and this information is current as of 15 January 2021.
As the impact of COVID-19 continues to evolve, we are focused on managing and minimising the impact that government actions and responses will have on the continuity and operation of the industry. Red Meat Advisory Councils (RMAC) Sunday Roundup April 2020 here Meat & Livestock Australia industry advice here
The following government websites have the latest official advice to the general community:
Since last week, most states have announced increased travel restrictions on people departing from Queensland, in addition to existing restrictions and quarantine requirements on people travelling from NSW already in place. Whilst state and territory leaders continue to shift travel advice and border restrictions as circumstances change, all border control processes continue to have regard to the National Ag Code and National Freight Code acknowledging the primary importance of freedom of movement for commercial goods and essential activities involved in agriculture and food production. Please get in touch if you are experiencing or observing operational difficulties as a result of COVID border controls.
Late last week, the Victorian Government issued a new Direction called the New South Wales Border Crossing Permit Scheme Directions (No 8). The new Direction provides further clarity on the following in relation to agricultural workers:
Those who obtain a border permit will be required to:
As per the National Agricultural Workers Code, you are required to travel with each of the following to produce to border officials:
The new Direction also made changes to commercial freight workers entering Victoria under a border permit and they are no longer required to self-quarantine while in Victoria. The online exemptions portal is open – it is accessed in the same way as starting a permit application. Visit https://service.vic.gov.au/services/border-permit/home. Agricultural stakeholders seeking further information can contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186.
COVID Mask requirements
Following a meeting of National Cabinet last week, it has been announced that the wearing of masks will be made mandatory on all domestic flights and in all domestic airports within Australia for all travellers over the age of 12.
Free OHS advice for businesses
WorkSafe Victoria has been promoting its ‘OHS Essentials’ program which is a free workplace safety consultation service, delivered by independent occupational health and safety (OHS) experts. The service is a great way to receive free, independent and personalised advice to manage safety at your workplace. This service could be a way to get free expert advice on best practice management of COVID and other health and safety risks in your business. Many berry growers in Victoria have used the service and spoken very highly of it. Find out more here. It has been reported that equivalent programs exist in NSW and QLD, contact the workplace health and safety authority to find out more.
In recognising the very real possibility that further measures and interpretations may be made both domestically and internationally, we (ALEC, LiveCorp, and MLA) have initiated the Strategic Response Group (SRG) in line with newly developed Industry Response Plan.
The SRG has been meeting regularly and will continue to meet. The strategic objectives and a summary of the main actions agreed by the SRG are as follows:
Facilitate the continuation of the trade and to be deemed as an essential service.
ALEC, LiveCorp and the LEP have taken on actions related to their respective roles in advocacy, problem-solving and in-market intelligence and support.
Specific items related to immediate issues such as stock person accreditation to avoid shortages, waiving of fees and charges, and the impact of state port authority positions.
Advice to stock persons
Nearly all overseas ports that we export to have closed their borders to foreign vessel crew, stock people and AAVs. Stock people and AAVs should assume they will not be allowed to disembark and should make arrangements to return home on the vessel. We are not aware of any country that will not allow the unloading of a livestock vessel.
Shipboard stock persons and vets are considered part of the maritime industry for the purposes of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The latest advice on self-isolation for crews coming into Australia can be found here.
The industry will continue to meet animal welfare and community expectations.
Government support and economic response
Assistance for severely affected regions and sectors economic response here
More information on the governments' economic response here
LiveCorp website updates COVID-19 here
Technology Update managing the updates COVID-19
How to use the government's coronavirus app and WhatsApp account here
Need help regarding an issue with live export?
Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) CEO
M 0400 980 452 firstname.lastname@example.org