Australia’s National Farmers Federation (NFF) has welcomed the new national agricultural workers code. However, it still criticised the states that have not signed on. At a meeting of National Cabinet on September 4, the New South Wales, Victorian, South Australian, Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory governments agreed to adopt the code.
According to abc.net.au, NFF President Fiona Simson said it was a good step forward "from where we were last week", but she warned it was not enough to solve the problem. "We have five premiers who we applaud for their leadership and for… recognising that agriculture is a national industry", but she is critical of Western Australia Tasmania and Queensland for 'going it alone' which she said was a "blinkered approach".
National Agricultural Workers movement code
Those states and territories that adopted the Agriculture Workers' Code for cross border movement agreed to implement it within 15 business days of the meeting. Under the code workers will need to have a border permit, proof of identity and a place of residence, and they may need to use hand sanitiser and wear protective equipment like a face mask and gloves. They will have to keep records of their movements, who they have been in contact with, and details of where they have stayed and travelled.
The requirements will also differ according to the level of risk. Agricultural work is often outdoors where the risk of disease transmission is lower, but some workplaces such as meat and food processing establishments have been the source of significant outbreaks, so they are high risk.