Agricultural Workers’ Code signed into public health orders by NSW Government

The NSW Government will become the first signatory of a new national agricultural code that is meant to allow farm workers to travel across state borders.

Acting Deputy Premier Paul Toole told reporters the Agricultural Workers’ Code would help farmers find the labour they need for this year’s harvest.

“What’s exciting is the fact that some of our farmers are going to have some of the best crops that we’ve seen in years, and in some cases in decades. So it’s important that we actually get the workers and the skilled workers into these regions to be able to get these crops off,” Mr Toole said.

The pledge to write the code into public health orders came on a milestone day in NSW’s COVID-19 struggle as the state reported zero new locally transmitted cases for the second day in a row. The last time the state had more than one consecutive day without local transmissions was in early July.

Asked what measures would be taken to ensure travelling farm workers didn’t spread COVID-19, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said workers would be required to have a test self-isolate while not on the job. Workers who have been in virus hot spots will also be excluded from the code.

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