Queensland farmers will have access to more seasonal workers after the state government today announced the establishment of three new regional quarantine facilities.
With capacities ranging from 80 to 240, the facilities at Grantham, Dimbulah and Claredale will allow more Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Workers Program workers into Queensland, helping producers to fill seasonal jobs, especially at peak times such as harvest and planting.
The Claredale site is due to receive its first cohort of workers in October, while several cohorts are scheduled to quarantine at Grantham prior to December 2021, primarily for workers in the animal and horticultural industries.
The announcement follows the Queensland Chief Health Officer's approval of the Seasonal Workers International Quarantine Plans and Checklist Direction.
Queensland has so far brought in more than 3700 workers from Pacific nations to assist agricultural sectors.
Workers at the industry-led regional quarantine facilities will undergo stringent quarantine arrangements.
Mandatory quarantine is undertaken for 14 days and COVID-19 testing is undertaken in accordance with the CHO's requirements.
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Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said workers in the facilities would undertake a range of induction and training courses while in quarantine and would not attend work until after their two weeks quarantine was completed.
"These arrangements ensure there is a high level of protection afforded to the workers but also to the community," Mr Furner said.
"Only those countries with no or very low-level COVID-19 status and are approved by the Queensland Chief Health Officer are allowed entry into Queensland under the program."
Mr Furner said Queensland had led the nation in securing PLS/SWP workers and the establishment of these facilities built the capacity to support the state's agriculture industry.
"The introduction of industry-led regional quarantine facilities is welcome news, providing another option in to bring in essential agricultural workers to Queensland, while helping to alleviate pressure on hotel quarantine."
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