COVID-19 :: RESOURCES

As resources become available to us or are requested by growers we will be sharing them on this page.
UPDATED: 21/12/20

COVID-19 :: Resources for your business

COVID-19 :: Border Restrictions

Travelling to Queensland

Most people can travel freely to Queensland unless they have been in a COVID-19 hotspot or in any part of New South Wales.

All road border checkpoints have been removed so motorists can travel freely across state borders however police officers will continue to conduct random interceptions along the Queensland state road borders.

There are restrictions and requirement for anyone who has been in a hotspot, New South Wales or overseas (excluding New Zealand) that wants to travel to Queensland.

Find out more about changes to border restrictions and requirements for travelling – including hotspot declarations for Greater Sydney, Sydney’s Norther Beaches and restrictions when travelling from New South Wales.

New South Wales – COVID-19 advice

Updated 21/12/20

COVID-19 advice

NSW Department of Primary Industries has established a COVID-19 Primary Industries Liaison Team to help primary producers navigate the challenges and impacts of COVID-19 on their business and industry.

It is vital that individuals and communities remain vigilant and continue to follow health and safety guidelines and maintain physical distancing. For more information visit the NSW Government’s COVID-19 webpage, see industry guidelines for COVID safe workplaces or visit the NSW Health website.

You can explore our DPI COVID-19 webportal for more information and contact the Primary Industries Liaison Team by emailing covidinfo@dpi.nsw.gov.au to discuss your individual business or industry circumstances.

You can access a COVID-19 Toolkit (PDF, 1634.36 KB) developed specifically for the Agriculture Industry that includes communication resources, such as workplace signage, to support your business.

You can also access an additional COVID-19 Toolkit on what to do if your business is linked to a case of COVID-19 (PDF, 2893.05 KB), that includes key communication resources and information on implementing infection control.

Western Australia – COVID-19 Hub

21/12/20

NSW entry to WA border measures strengthened

Travel from New South Wales into WA is now classified as ‘medium risk’. As a result, travel from NSW is no longer be permitted, unless you are an exempt traveller. This also applies to anyone who may have been in NSW since December 11 and hasn’t completed 14 days in a lower risk state or territory.

See the Controlled interstate border page.

For specific FAQs relating to the NSW hard border see New South Wales Arrivals Frequently Asked Questions.

G2G NOW

If you are entering WA and required to self-quarantine, you can download the G2G NOW app which enables WA Police to conduct quarantine compliance checks using facial recognition and mobile location data. Police can send remote check-in requests through the app.

Police will conduct in-person visits for people who do not download and use the G2G NOW app.

Find out more about G2G NOW.

COVID-19 :: Federal Support for your business

Main Resource Pages

Commonwealth Government – https://www.australia.gov.au/

Treasury – the Economic Response – https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

The Australian Government is supporting Australian businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees. Assistance includes cash flow support to businesses and temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses.

Boosting cash flow for employers
Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
Increasing the instant asset write-off
Backing business investment
Supporting apprentices and trainees

Safe Work Australia – Safeworkaustralia.gov.au
This website includes resources and guidance for all workplace situations.

Find out more about preparing your workplace

Find out more about preparing your workers

Find out more about what to do if a worker tests positive for COVID-19

COVID-19 :: TEMPLATES & FORMS

COVID-19 Passionfruit Farm Checklist – a checklist designed to help you think through the risks and change your farm processes to minimise the risks of COVID-19 for your farm workers and business

NEW – COVID-19 POSITIVE TEST/SUSPECTED CASE ACTION PLAN – click here to download the template

NEW – COVID-19 PERSONAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT – click here to download the template

NEW – COVID-19 VISITOR SCREENING FORM – click here to download the template

Finding workers

You can use the Harvest Trail website service, a FREE service for employers seeking agriculture workers.

https://jobsearch.gov.au/harvest 

If you are an employer needing harvest workers you can either:

Phone the HLS provider in your area to discuss your labour needs
Phone the National Harvest Labour Information Service on 1800 062 332, Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm (AEST)
Complete a harvest labour request form and email it to the address on the form
Advertise harvest jobs directly on the jobactive website. You will need to login before creating a job advertisement.

Read more on the Help for harvest employers page.

HELP HARVEST NSW IS A WEBPORTAL DESIGNED TO CONNECT DISPLACED EMPLOYEES AND SEASONAL WORKERS WITH PRODUCERS AND GROWERS AROUND THE STATE WHO HAVE SEASONAL WORK AVAILABLE.

NSW farmers and producers have faced many challenges in recent times, including drought, flood and bushfires, and are now facing a critical staff shortage due to COVID-19 border restrictions.

Help Harvest NSW is a joint government initiative aimed at linking an available labour force with farm producers and agribusinesses across the state during the critical harvest season to address both the labour shortage, and to facilitate economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

The agriculture industry has a range of jobs on offer. Everything from fruit picking and grain harvesting, to working on a cattle property.

Help Harvest NSW brings together a range of information about seasonal work and how to find a job, as well as links to opportunities to upskill for a new career in the agribusiness sector.

The webportal is the main hub of this project, and the information will also be shared amongst multiple other government sites. An engagement campaign also begins today to encourage those workers displaced due to COVID-19 to consider agricultural and farm work.

Visit Help Harvest NSW for more information and to connect with farmers and producers across the state.

Using Labour Hire Services

Labour Hire Services must be licensed in certain states. To find a licensed provider follow these links:

Queensland

https://www.labourhire.qld.gov.au/

To find a licensed provider – use the Qld Search Portal

As a result of recent compliance activity, the following providers are no longer permitted to provide labour hire services in Queensland:

  • Sankalp Corporation Pty Ltd (ABN 79608566534) – licence suspended from 13 August 2020,
  • P&P Land atf ASL Park Family Trust (ACN 617 315 027) – licence cancelled from 12 August 2020,
  • DJ Berry Pty Ltd (ABN 79614636663) – application withdrawn for non-compliance with notice from 26 June 2020,
  • Toorongtong Express Pty Ltd (ABN 35610809151) – licence cancelled from 25 June 2020.

We would again caution you to ensure that:

  • you check the identity and bona fides of the person approaching you to provide labour – in particular that they are authorised to bind that labour hire provider in contract.
  • by clicking on the licence number in the register, you can see the names of the persons who have been put forward as nominated and executive officers of that provider.
  • if the person approaching you is not one of those persons, you should ask further questions.
  • if you have any concerns at all, we would encourage you to call the helpline on 1300 576 088, or email  through the website.

The NSW Government has announced new measures to ensure horticultural businesses can continue to safely operate and to protect workers from COVID-19.

These new measures require temporary visa holders travelling from a metropolitan area in any state to regional NSW to undertake 14 days of self-isolation at point of origin or to have been tested for COVID-19 and returned a negative result prior to travel.

Seasonal workers guidelines – key elements – Access the NSW website for more detail

Temporary visa holders that are travelling from metropolitan areas to regional areas will need to undertake 14 days of self-isolation and confirm that this has been undertaken in the declaration form or alternatively, be tested for COVID-19 and receive a negative result, this needs to be documented in the Visa Holder Declaration Form.

Valid visa holders travelling between regional areas do not have to self-isolate or complete a COVID-19 test but still need to complete a Visa Holder Declaration Form.

All visa holders will be required to complete a Visa Holder Declaration Form confirming that they have employment prior to travelling to regional

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a series of FAQ relating to general questions and for workers and employers as well.  These can be accessed HERE

NSW Summary

Follow the Passionfruit COVID-19 Farm Checklist to assess the risks on your farm

DOWNLOAD the Worker Disclosure Form and ask every new worker that is considered a ‘seasonal worker’ to complete a copy

Ensure that you have sighted the Visa Holder Declaration Form of any visa holder that has travelled to your farm from another area – inside or outside of NSW

Use the Employer Flow Chart to help you to understand the new requirements

The following Flow Charts have been developed by the New South Wales Government to help employers and employees to understand the requirements and responsibilities. These are now v2 of these charts.

Workplace health and safety legal requirements

Under the workplace health and safety law, all employers or businesses are required to manage the risk of COVID-19 to workers and others in the work environment. In NSW, employers have a work health and safety obligation to protect workers to a level that is deemed as reasonably practicable for workplace diseases including COVID-19.

Reasonably practicable is a legal requirement. It means doing what you are reasonably able to do to ensure the health and safety of workers and others like volunteers and visitors. Basically, employers and businesses always need to try to eliminate, so far as is reasonable and practicable, any health and safety risks in the workplace, including COVID-19.

Businesses and workers must:

1. Comply with national and state public health directions

2. Promote simple but effective social distancing and hygiene measures

3. Cease non-essential work activities that involve close personal contact (less than 1.5m)

4. Implement controls to reduce direct contact with workers and customers, including:
* social distancing of at least 1.5metres (1 person per 4sqm indoors)
* barriers to create space between workstations, seated areas etc.
* modifying shifts and rosters to reduce peak periods
* actively supporting flexible work arrangements, including working from home.

5. Implement controls to reduce environmental exposure, including:

* inspecting and reviewing air conditioning and ventilation systems
* increasing cleaning and disinfection of high traffic areas or shared surfaces
* provide cleaning products and instruction for cleaning workspaces
* provide instruction and amenities for personal hygiene and infection control

6. Businesses are required to notify both SafeWork NSW and their Workers Compensation Insurer of serious illnesses (including COVID-19) arising out of work. See below for steps to take for a suspected COVID-19 case

Steps for employers to take for a suspected COVID-19 case

Step 1:
Isolate the person from others and provide a disposable surgical mask for the person to wear.

Step 2: Call the NSW COVID-19 helpline 1300 066 055 and follow their instructions. Also, notify SafeWork NSW on 13 10 50.

Step 3: Ensure that the person has transport home or to a medical facility. Workers assisting the person who has suspected or confirmed with COVID-19 should be provided with appropriate PPE, if available, such as gloves and a mask. They should also follow hand hygiene procedures.

Step 4: Call your Workers Compensation Insurer (within 48 hours) to notify of the possible workplace serious illness.

Step 5: Clean the area where the person was working and all places they have been and surfaces or tools they may have touched. Use PPE and a suitable disinfectant when cleaning. Document cleaning.

Step 6: Identify who at the workplace has had close contact with the infected person in the 48 hours before that infected person started showing symptoms. Send those employees home to isolate for 14 days. If, after 14 days they have not shown symptoms of COVID-19 they may return to work. If they show symptoms, they should ring the national COVID-19 hotline (1800 020 080). Follow the advice of health officials.

A close contact is considered as:
• an employee who has had greater than 15 minutes cumulative face-to-face contact in any setting over the course of a week in the period extending from 48 hours before onset of symptoms OR
• sharing of a closed space with a confirmed or probable case for a prolonged period (e.g. more than 2 hours) in the period extending from 48 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed or probable case

Step 7: Clean the areas where the close contact people were working and all common areas where they have been or surfaces and tools they may have touched. Use PPE and a suitable disinfectant when cleaning. Document cleaning activities.

Step 8: Review risk management controls relating to COVID-19 and review whether work or processes may need to change. Keep employees up to date on what is happening.

Note: From a WHS perspective, there is not an automatic requirement to close an entire workplace, particularly if the person infected, or suspected to be infected, can be shown to have only visited parts of the workplace.

Information for employers providing accommodation in NSW

If you, as an employer are responsible for providing accommodation for your employees, ensure that the accommodation that you are providing adheres to the social distancing requirements outlined in the NSW Public Health Order and has appropriate plans in place to deal with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Below are some key questions to ask and consider when choosing accommodation providers:

1. Will your employees have to share kitchen facilities with those outside of their room, dorm etc.? if so, is there a roster system for shared kitchen facilities.
2. Will your employees have to share bathroom facilities with those outside of their room, dorm etc.? If so, how many people must share bathroom facilities? And can segregation of guests be implemented at all? For example, Male and Female, dorms or rooms allocated certain bathroom facilities?
3. What cleaning and sanitation plans are being implemented for all shared areas that your employee may need to use?
4. What other measures will be implemented to reduce the risk of contamination and spread of COVID 19 to your employee?

If you cannot provide accommodation that adheres to the social distancing measures, then you should contact your local council who may be able to assist in finding suitable accommodation for workers.

For more information CLICK HERE

Information for keeping employees safe while travelling in NSW

Travelling for work remains an essential activity and sometimes the sharing of vehicles will be unavoidable. To keep your employees safe whilst travelling for work ensure that when they are sharing vehicles or car-pooling, they are implementing steps to reduce the risk. Strong hygiene and cleaning measures should be implemented.

With the seasonal start of some prime NSW fruit and vegetables, there will be an increase in the movement of seasonal workers between regions and from metropolitan areas in response to work availability. It is critical to minimise the potential risk of spread of COVID-19 to the regional communities’ that workers travel to and temporarily reside in. It’s also critical to minimise the spread amongst the workers. One risk pathway is the transportation of workers to, from and around the workplace.

For more information CLICK HERE

Lifting of restrictions:

Western Australia’s COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed even further, as WA’s roadmap is updated to complete the removal of all restrictions.

The WA roadmap has been developed in conjunction with the National Cabinet principles and is based on the best health advice for WA.

Download the COVID-19 WA roadmap.

Travel within WA

Travel is now permitted throughout all regions within WA except into remote Aboriginal communities. Latest travel information around the state can be found here

Interstate Travel

Strict border controls are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in WA. You cannot enter WA without an exemption. Criteria for an exemption can be found here. Please note Logistics and Freight are exempt from the restrictions. Agriculture is also exempt but you will need to provide evidence as to why you cannot source the specialist skills within the state.

Further information can be found here regarding interstate travel.

Please refer to the following links for the latest information on all travel information:

https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-travel-wa

https://www.dpird.wa.gov.au/covid19-travel-restrictions

Exemptions/ permits can be applied using the G2GO app as well. Please allow for 3 days to process the application https://www.g2gpass.com.au/

https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-travel-advice

https://www.dpird.wa.gov.au/covid19-travel-restrictions

Resources for managing your business during COVID-19

Information for businesses can be found here

Minimising risk of COVID-19 factsheet can be found here

Safety plans

Safety plans are recommended for all businesses. If you have a café onsite, you must develop a safety plan prior to allowing patrons to eat and drink on site.

For more information on developing safety plans and your obligations please refer here

Generic Phase 3 safety plan can be found here

Other information

Reminder of legal obligations in employment of workers here

If you are having trouble finding workers please refer to the following websites for information

https://www.dpird.wa.gov.au/securing-labour-supply

https://www.jobsinwafoodandag.com/

https://studium.work/wa-regions

For more information on sourcing workers please contact the team via support@studium.work.com.

The Queensland Health Directives in relation to the new framework for seasonal workers seeking employment in agribusiness has now been published.

About the seasonal workers framework
The Queensland Government has introduced a new framework that will enable the agriculture sector to access a seasonal workforce, while still meeting their COVID-19 public health obligations. These changes align with the National Cabinet decision to support agriculture and secure Australia’s food supplies.

For the purposes of this framework, seasonal workers are defined as ’employees hired into a position for the short term – this includes temporary visa holders (i.e. backpackers), workers employed under the Seasonal Worker Programme AND Australian citizens who travel from one harvest region to another to perform farm work on a seasonal basis’.

The priority is to prevent the introduction, minimise the spread, and manage local outbreaks of COVID-19 in Queensland. The new framework does this by introducing measures for the workplace, accommodation and transport.

The framework consists of five key elements:

1. Stronger border protections – all seasonal workers entering Queensland who have been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days must self-quarantine for 14 days prior to commencing work at an agribusiness or commercial fishing operation.
2. Mandatory health plans – an agribusiness, commercial fisher or labour hire company employing seasonal workers, accommodation facilities that house seasonal workers, and private workforce transport providers that offer services to these businesses, must have a health management plan.
3. General health obligation – all businesses wishing to employ seasonal workers, and employees travelling to Queensland for work, have a general health obligation to help keep Queensland as safe as possible by following Queensland’s health directives for COVID-19.
4. Stronger compliance – we are seeking to boost our compliance capacity by authorising additional officers from regulatory agencies under the Public Health Act 2005.
5. Locally led solutions – we are working with Local Disaster Management Groups to develop local solutions to address accommodation, transport and workforce supply issues. Additional support is provided through the District Disaster Management Groups and the State Disaster Coordination Group.

Importantly, these changes are designed to protect businesses, their employees and the community from the introduction and spread of COVID-19.

There are a series of Fact Sheets and Flowcharts that help employers, employees and service providers like transport or accommodation to understand and observe the new rules.

COVID-19 IN QUEENSLAND :: FACT SHEETS & FAQ’s

If you have any concerns please get in touch with the team at Passionfruit Australia using this form

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