Prepare your agribusiness for disruptions

Planning is the key to a resilient agribusiness

How would your agribusiness cope with a significant pest or disease incursion, or an extreme weather event? Is your agribusiness expanding? Have you thought about where your workforce is coming from and where they will be accommodated?

Effective planning, and monitoring what's on the horizon, is what makes an agribusiness resilient. This site has resources and information to help Queensland agribusinesses prioritise business planning to deal with disruptions that may include post-pandemic workforce attraction, biosecurity incursions, and adverse weather events ... or multiple events that may occur at the same time.

Support to help prepare your agribusiness

Workforce Business Continuity Planning support

Queensland continues to experience tight labour markets for both skilled and unskilled workers. Compounding the workforce shortfalls is the extremely low vacancy rates for residential and working holiday maker accommodation.

It is important that all agribusiness enterprises carefully consider their plans to attract, train and retain their workforce, especially with low accommodation availability in most regions.

The Rural Workers' Accommodation Initiative has been launched by the Queensland Government to allow for temporary on-farm accommodation for up to 20 workers (Part B), as well as the repurposing of existing community facilities for larger cohorts (Part A).

Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network (QAWN) officers are located across the state and are available free-of-charge to assist agribusinesses with their workforce planning. QAWN is a government funded, industry delivered initiative. Jobs Queensland also has free workforce planning resources.

Queensland agribusinesses can access overseas workers through the Australian Government's Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme. DAF has employed two workforce liaison officers to focus on supporting the PALM workforce across Queensland. Visit our PLS/SWP eHub to connect with them and for resources and information to support your PALM workforce live and work in Queensland.

Looking to skill your workforce? Eligible students can choose from a variety of qualifications available through Fee-Free TAFE including animal welfare and handling in meat processing, horticulture, rural operations and agribusiness management … just click on environment and animal services to explore your ag course options.

Now may be the right time for agricultural enterprises to consider AgTech adoption to address some of their workforce needs. Enterprises looking for tech-based solutions can visit DAF's AgTech Portal to link with their regional AgTech ecosystem, find ideas and inspiration (including what's happening at DAF's SmartFarms across the state), funding sources and creators who can make it happen.

Checklists and templates are available to assist with business continuity planning for employers and employees in the Resources section of this page. A webinar video is also available to step you through each stage when developing an agribusiness continuity plan.

The Queensland Farmers' Federation (QFF) has a number of resources available on their Farm Business Resilience site. This includes assistance to build your own farm business resilience plan, as well as webinars that cover a range of commodities and topics, from biosecurity risks to succession planning. Agribusinesses can also connect with QFF's industry skills advisor, who is funded under the Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance.

Read more about the Queensland Agriculture Industry Workforce Plan.

COVID-19 requirements in Queensland

Traffic light advice is available to help reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19. The traffic light level is reviewed regularly.

As the situation changes businesses should continually review their plans, talk to their key suppliers and keep up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 information.

For more information visit Queensland Health. For information regarding changes to support payments for casual staff and other support available, visit Services Australia. Keep up to date with the latest. 

The Australian Government issues regular Department of Health COVID-19 updates. Subscribe to these updates here

Support for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) workers

A number of resources, including translated fact sheets, infographics and videos, to assist employers support their CALD workforce members deal with any COVID-19 disruptions is available in the documents section on the right, and on our PLS/SWP eHub.

Boosters – COVID-19

COVID-19 boosters are available in Queensland. Agribusinesses may wish to engage a private vaccination provider to deliver on-site vaccine boosters. Oral antiviral treatments are now available for those at higher risk from COVID-19. They need to be taken early after testing positive. To find out if you’re eligible talk to your GP or visit Australian Government: updated eligibility for oral COVID-19 treatments.