Border closure issues need urgent solution

TIME is ticking for State, Territory and Federal Governments to agree a solution on opening up borders to keep food producers in business, says the nation’s peak dairy industry group.

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has joined the chorus of producer groups calling for an urgent outcome on an Agriculture Workers Movement Code, as the National Cabinet is set to meet again today.

The Code, which would aim to ensure consistency in cross-border movement rules for agriculture workers while also ensuring coronavirus safety, was originally promised following the National Cabinet meeting on August 21.

ADIC Chair Terry Richardson said agricultural industries needed certainty on border issues, as the COVID-19 pandemic dragged on into September.

“Our responsibility is to feed the nation, but we are being prevented from doing this effectively while we are being restricted by border closures,” Mr Richardson said.

“We understand how delicate this situation is, but there is a stretch of land from Mildura in Victoria to Longreach and Queensland where there are no COVID-19 positive cases, and it doesn’t make sense to keep our regional industries restricted under these circumstances.

“It is time for our political leaders to agree on a sensible, risk-based approach that would safely allow agricultural industries to return to business.”

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has launched a petition calling on Premiers and Chief Ministers to put politics aside and re-open Australia’s food bowl.

You can sign the petition here: https://nff.org.au/border-petition/

Media Contact:

Ashley Mackinnon, Public Affairs Manager

M: 0407 766 153

E: media@australiandairyfarmers.com.au

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