Five states give ag workers cross-border freedom

Five states give ag workers cross-border freedom, key state sits out

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Five of the nation's eight states and territories have agreed to national agricultural codes that will allow farm and seasonal workers to move more freely across borders.

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FIVE of the nation's eight states and territories have agreed to national agricultural codes that will allow farm and seasonal workers to move more freely across borders.

NSW, Victoria and South Australia will roll out the new codes immediately, while the ACT and Northern Territory also agreed to the protocols.

Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania didn't join the agreement, however Prime Minister Scott Morrison said those states would monitor the implementation of the codes and may revisit their decision

Queensland does have process in place for ag workers to come in from NSW until September 22.

"[NSW, Victoria and South Australia] will begin immediately to put that prescriptive code in place to facilitate greater engagement of agricultural workers and other important workers in the agricultural sector, so as to not dislocate what is occurring in the ag sector between those three states," Mr Morrison said.

"It was put to Queensland today that they should be part of that conversation, and they've said, 'Not yet. No, we won't be doing that.'

"What I've always said about states that have made their own decisions about borders is that they obviously need to be transparent, in my view, about the basis for those decisions."

Mr Morrison said if states did not agree to the codes, it was up to them to explain to their constituents why and what medical advice their decision was based on.

Seven of the eight states and territories also agreed to come up with a national definition of a COVID hot spot, with Western Australia the only state to disagree.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has recommended a hotspot be defined as an area that has 10 cases a day for three days in a row, however the states are yet to agree to the specific definition.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan will also push for a boarding school bubble, that permits kids to visit their families in the September school holidays, and quarantine in their own homes.

The story Five states give ag workers cross-border freedom first appeared on Farm Online.

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