Update on Queensland Border Crossing

August 18, 2021 9:45 am

Andrew Sinnamon from AgForce Queensland has provided an update on the requirements for crossing the border in to and out of Queensland. 

Below is the information that has been received from Mr Sinnamon:

Just an update on what is going on with the Queensland Border. As per some conversations I have had with some of you, there is more new rules coming into effect regarding the Agricultural exemption for the Qld Border. As no doubt you all know all of NSW has now been issued stay at home orders unless conducting essential services, and again the whole state is deemed a hotspot. I heard this morning (17/8/21) that Darwin and Katherine in the NT are now in Lockdown, awaiting to hear if there are any amendments re entering the Northern Territory.  

CLICK HERE to access the latest Border zone letter Exemption letter no31 and CLICK HERE to learn how to obtain the Border Zone Z pass required to cross into QLD.  Also the Quarantine management fact sheet.

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CLICK HERE to access the latest Border zone letter Exemption letter no31

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To learn how to obtain the Border Zone Z pass required to cross into QLD

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CLICK HERE to view the Quarantine management fact sheet

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NEW Measures coming into effect Friday 20th Aug  

From this Friday all people coming into Queensland with an exemption and essential service (Both Queensland residents returning and NSW Workers entering) will be required to have at least their first does of COVID vaccine!! CLICK HERE for a link that will take you to the QLD gov site to book your COVID vaccine/ check eligibility; please note the way I became eligible was by ticking the border worker category. Any new developments will be monitored by AgForce.  

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View information on Getting vaccinated

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What I need to be eligible for the exemption 

This exemption does not apply to workers: Picking, packing, sorting, meat processing.  

Farmers and Agribusiness workers may only enter for the following purposes. To perform essential agribusiness, agri supply chain service or farming activities that can only be performed in the hotspot.  To perform timely veterinary services or to provide care for livestock that can only be accessed in the hotspot.  

The border zone is fluid with multiple LGA’s under further restrictions due to the evolving develops from the breach of the Sydney stay at home order.  

What you need to carry 

  • Drivers license or proof of identity and residence.  
  • Evidence of employment: contract, property ownership, lease or agistment agreement 
  • The attached Class exemption  

Other conditions and testing 

From the 30th of July 2021 the following measures are required for this exemption. Please note the new measures above coming into play, this will be a defining preventing factor for many of your members and clients.  

Testing 

  1. Evidence of a negative COVID test received in the 7 days prior to entering QLD
  2. Maintain a rolling 7day test cycle while traveling in the hotspot areas 
  3. Evidence of compliance to the clauses A &B in the other conditions (Please note these conditions will as they stand make it difficult for the sale season.) 

Other conditions 

  1. Must have in place a Quarantine management plan! Please note this is different to the Covid plans of last year. CLICK HERE to access the fact sheet on the Quarantine plan. ROBYN THE RELEVANT FILE IS AVAILABLE – please make in to a pdf first 
  2. Must travel directly to and from the relevant farm or premises.  

The remainder of the conditions are around access to rest stop facilities, service stations, motels and remaining isolated from Queensland general public as must a possible. These are best covered via a itineraries of the planned travel and where possible mitigating factors eg Fuel up Goondiwindi before crossing into NSW ect.  

As we all know this is a fluid situation, as to the Sales coming up I would think the Quarantine plan prevents the attendance. However, may be able to secure property inspections of the stock prior to the sales. The last couple of days it has been Announced by the NSW Gov that they are allowing their stud sales to be covered in their exemptions to the stay at home orders. But as per advice from the QLD government, any place where there is a large gathering of people is a high risk situation and is not covered under this exemption.  NSW Producers selling in QLD have the freight option however, will have to look at an agent or trusted person to look after the animals for the sale itself as attendance is prevented by the quarantine plan. 

Potential options 

  • On site inspections prior to the sale. People looking to cross the border to buy livestock could under this exemption provided they adhere to the conditions come and inspect the livestock prior to the sale in a “personal inspection” where written measures are in place to isolate the individual inspecting from the broader public and farm workers. Queenslanders heading South for these will have to isolate and show their quarantine plan when they return home! NSW people to do the same during their time in QLD.  
  • Encouragement of offering a sight unseen clause to all purchases made by the online platforms. Eg all clients whom purchase a bull without a physical inspection, are able to return the animal should the article not be up to the purchasers standards upon delivery. 
  • Use of the online platforms. The two main ones in the stud cattle market are Auctions Plus and Elite Livestock. 

The Queensland Department of Ag have also asked us to stress the fact that there has been a lot of work put into getting this much, and we do not want to be the cause of outbreaks in Queensland because that “good will”, is at risk of being revoked should this occur. The Chief health office has also been clear that this exemption is only to be used if absolutely necessary, and not designed for people to attend livestock sales but rather to perform essential on farm activities where no other option is available to be sourced/ used.  

 

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