FARMERS and agribusiness workers will now be able to move between Queensland and NSW under a new border exemption announced over the weekend.
Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young has issued a new class exemption for farmers and agribusiness workers needing to move between Queensland and NSW to perform essential agribusiness services or farming activities such as tending to livestock or crops.
Goondiwindi mayor Lawrence Springborg said the exemptions applied to farmers, their workers and agribusiness operators in Queensland and NSW, who have not been able to service their cross-border operations because of current COVID-19 restrictions.
However, the new exemptions do not apply to seasonal workers.
"Exemptions will only allow a farmer, their employees, contractors, or an agribusiness operator to go straight to the work site, isolate there and not attend other places outside the farm," Cr Springborg said.
NSW Agriculture Minister and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall had been lobbying for changes since the hard border closure was implemented three weeks ago.
"Finally, a common sense outcome that puts fresh produce on the shelves and allows farmers to harvest their first crop in more than three years," Mr Marshall said.
Operators needing to cross the border must provide a copy of the Chief Health Officer's 'class exemption letter', personal identification with address and evidence they are an agribusiness essential worker, either through a letter of employment, business contract, evidence of property ownership or lease.
On arrival they may need to also compete a written Queensland Boarder Declaration Pass.