Independent member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has welcomed the news that the Shepparton LGA has been removed from the list of areas regarded as areas of concern by the New South Wales Department of Health.
“This will make a significant difference to many agricultural workers in our region. On 17 August 2020 New South Wales public health orders were amended to establish a new permit category of “a person who is a critical service (agriculture) worker providing a critical agriculture service”.
However, at the same time Greater Shepparton LGA was classified by NSW as an area of concern and therefore not eligible for these permits.
“As I understand it, and the landscape changes continually, the removal of this area of concern classification will enable many of our agricultural workers to get the permits they need to travel across the border into New South Wales. Such a permit enables an agricultural worker residing within the 100 km radius of the border to be able to travel across the border zone,” Ms Sheed said.
“It is extremely disappointing to now see reports of the rejection of the National Agriculture Worker code, which was to be discussed at National Cabinet tomorrow”, she said.
“If we can’t get this right we will be in trouble. Food production must be given priority and rules put in place to enable this to occur. Every state in the Commonwealth should be working towards this and it is essential that our full food production capacity be maintained and supported. This virus is not going to go away soon, and a national code is a must.
I urge those National party ministers who are members of the Federal government and the New South Wales government to exercise their influence within their own governments to make this happen”, Ms Sheed said.
Jacqui Hawkins 0403 657 267 | firstname.lastname@example.org