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Managing the 2021 grain harvest

Requirements

  • Requirements relevant to your role

    Requirements relevant to your role in the harvest:

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    Harvest teams

    Grain producers

    Grain cartage

    Specialist equipment and service providers, grain handlers and silo operators within the NSW restricted border zone

    Grain handlers, silo operators and specialist technicians from hotspot areas outside the NSW border zone

    Harvest teams

    General requirements

    • Stay in your ‘team bubble’

    Harvest crews should move together as a small team, and as much as possible, stay within that group and remain isolated from any other people, including other harvest teams and farm workers/managers.

    Moving

    • Self-isolate prior to travel

    It is recommended workers self-isolate to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 while travelling, to protect harvest crews and to help facilitate a successful harvest.

    • Maintain rolling testing

    Plan for COVID-19 testing. A rolling testing cycle is a requirement under the Queensland Freight Protocol or entering Queensland as a specialist worker. You must have a COVID-19 test at least every 7 days. A doctor’s referral and booking may be required.

    There are four pop-up testing locations dedicated to heavy vehicles to facilitate mandatory testing requirements. Other testing information is also available.

    • Plan your travel

    Plan travel requirements, including locations for refuelling, fatigue management and border crossing points. It is important to isolate as much as possible while travelling, as anyone who is a close contact or has been at an exposure site, will be required to isolate or quarantine and will not be able to work.

    Plan your travel route carefully to ensure you can stay isolated as much as possible. Be particularly careful to avoid interactions with the community when moving through states where there is widespread community transmission. Plan for refuelling at service stations which are unmanned or have OPT options to allow for contactless refuelling.

    Plan for weekend harvest convoys. To minimise delays in getting your equipment on to the farm, plan for your harvest convoy to cross the state border on a weekend. Call the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23 to notify when and where you expect your convoy to cross the Queensland border.

    • Avoid areas with widespread community transmission

    If you need to travel long distances, check local information on contact tracing locations and areas with current cases and community transmission. Plan your route to avoid these areas wherever possible. If you need to travel through these areas, and drive straight through without exiting your vehicle. Plan to refuel or take rest breaks elsewhere.

    Quarantining and isolating

    • Stay separated at your accommodation

    Find accommodation for your team that allows you to stay isolated from the general community; for example, where you have direct access to your room from outside and your own facilities (no shared bathrooms, kitchen and common areas with people from outside your team bubble). If you are having trouble sourcing accommodation, consider contacting the local council, who may be able to help with alternative options such as showgrounds.

    • Get your food delivered

    Plan for food, meals and other essential items to be provided. Workers must remain isolated at all times and will not be able to go to the local town or shops. The business should make arrangements in advance to ensure that workers can be supplied with everything they will need during quarantine. For example, the farm could arrange contactless delivery of meals and/or food to harvest teams while on their property. Consider using disposable plates, cups and cutlery.

    • Go contactless

    Try alternative delivery mechanisms; arrange contactless pickup and delivery wherever possible. If you need to source parts or specialist services, always try and source them from within the state, to minimise movement across borders. If possible, arrange for delivery of the part to you or in your destination state. If you have always sourced goods or services from a location in another state, look for alternative suppliers in advance to avoid delays when needed.

    Entering Queensland from a hotspot

    • Moving grain harvest machinery and/or equipment (such as chaser bins, tractors, mother bins and other mobile grain storage) – Freight and logistics pass (see section under 'pass type' tab for more information)
    • Support / operate grain harvest machinery and travelling with the machinery in convoy – Freight and logistics pass (see section under 'pass type' tab for more information)
    • Moving grain to bulk handling sites – Freight and logistics pass (see section under 'pass type' tab for more information)
    • Grain handling or operating staff and a resident of Queensland or the NSW restricted border zone – Farmer and agribusiness class exemption (see section under 'pass type' tab for more information)
    • Grain handling or operating staff in a hotspot outside of the Queensland-NSW border zone – Specialist and essential worker exemption (see section under 'pass type' tab for more information)

    Grain producers

    General requirements

    If you are employing a grain harvest team or any workers that are not local you must comply with the Seasonal Workers International Quarantine Plans and Checklist Direction.

    • Use the Check In Qld app to collect contact information about all staff, visitors and contractors entering your property

    • Comply with the COVID Safe checklist

    The Checklist includes a requirement to restrict the number of people in indoor spaces to 1 person per 2 square metres. It also includes requirements for contact tracing, cleaning and health and hygiene.

    • Enhanced cleaning

    Clean surfaces regularly using appropriate disinfection products

    • Make it easy to practice good hygiene

    Have cleaning equipment available. For example, all vehicles should be equipped with cleaning supplies including disposable gloves, disinfectant spray, cleaning wipes, hand sanitiser/soap and water and appropriate rubbish bins.

    • Staff get tested immediately if sick and isolate until they receive a negative test result

    If a worker has symptoms of COVID-19, they will need to isolate and get tested immediately. Plan for how they would remain isolated from their team.

    • Have a workplace health and safety plan for COVID

    If you have an existing workplace health management plan or work health safety plan for COVID-19, you should review it to ensure it is still relevant to harvest teams arriving from a hotspot area

    Supporting harvest teams

    You must manage the development of a quarantine management plan on behalf of your workers. Compliance is a joint responsibility between you and your workers. The Queensland Police Service and Queensland Government agencies will be doing compliance checks on Quarantine Management Plans. Penalties apply for non-compliance under the Public Health Act 2005.

    Harvest teams from outside Queensland must remain isolated while on your property according to their quarantine management plan. You should plan how you will support them (if necessary) while maintaining separation.

    • Separate accommodation

    Think about how the workers will stay isolated from you and other farm workers while staying on the property (if relevant). Harvest teams from a hotspot should not be accessing any areas that are shared with you or other residents (e.g. dining areas or bathroom facilities), but a team travelling together can share amenities within their bubble.

    • Food delivery

    Plan for food, meals and other essential items to be provided in a contactless way. Workers must remain isolated at all times and will not be able to go to the farmhouse for meals. You may need to arrange for delivery of food / meals to harvest teams while they are on your property.

    • Fuelling options

    Have a plan in place to allow harvest equipment to be refuelled on farm, either by the harvest crew or farm workers, while maintaining separation between the harvest crew and anyone else on the property.

    Grain cartage

    General requirements

    • Stay isolated or with your team

    If you are travelling and working in the NSW restricted border zone, you will need to remain isolated as much possible. If you work in a small team, stay with that team and remain isolated as much as possible from any other people, including other cartage operators, silo operators and harvest teams.

    Moving

    • Self-isolate prior to travel

    It is recommended workers self-isolate to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 while travelling to their harvest site, to protect harvest crews and to help facilitate a successful harvest.

    • Maintain rolling testing

    Plan for COVID-19 testing. A rolling testing cycle is a requirement under the Queensland Freight Protocol or entering Queensland as a specialist worker. You must have a COVID-19 test at least every 7 days. A doctor’s referral and booking may be required, so you should plan in advance how you will access the necessary testing. Commercial options are available here. Commercial options are also available here.

    There are four pop-up testing locations dedicated to heavy vehicles to facilitate mandatory testing requirements. Other testing information is also available.

    • Plan your crossings

    Check which border crossings are open and follow any instructions to provide advance notice of your intended crossing as required by local authorities.

    Quarantining and isolating

    • Stay separated at your accommodation

    Find accommodation that allows you to stay isolated from the general community; for example, where you and your team members have direct access to your rooms from outside, and your own facilities (no shared bathrooms, kitchen and common areas with people from outside your team bubble). If you are having trouble sourcing accommodation, consider contacting the local council, who may be able to help with alternative options such as showgrounds.

    • Get your food delivered

    Plan for food, meals and other essential items to be provided. You must remain isolated at all times and will not be able to go to the local town or shops. The business should make arrangements in advance to ensure that workers can be supplied with everything they will need during quarantine. For example, you may need to establish arrangements with local businesses for contactless delivery of meals to your accommodation.

    • Go contactless

    Maintain contactless loading and unloading of grain at all times. Do not leave the cab of your vehicle unless you can physically distance (1.5m) from any other people.

    If you need to access parts or services, try alternative delivery mechanisms; arrange contactless pickup and delivery of equipment parts, goods and services. If you need to source parts or specialist services, always try and source them from within the state, to minimise movement across borders. If possible, arrange for delivery of the part to you or in your destination state. If you have always sourced goods or services from a location in another state, look for alternative suppliers in advance to avoid delays when needed.

    Entering Queensland from a hotspot

    While you are carting grain, you can travel and cross the border under the Freight and logistics pass (see section under 'pass type' tab for more information).

    You can also use the Border Zone Travel – X pass if you are a resident of the NSW restricted border zone or from Queensland for essential work such as freight movement.

    If you are a resident of Queensland or the NSW non-restricted border zone, have not been in a hotspot outside the NSW border zone, and will not be exiting the border zone, and have not received visitors from the restricted border zone, you can also choose to cross the border under the Border Zone Travel – X pass. The above guidance information will not apply to you, but you are required to have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and will need to wear a facemask where you can’t physically distance from others.

    Specialist equipment and service providers, grain handlers and silo operators within the NSW restricted border zone

    General requirements

    • Avoid crossing the border zone if it's not vital

    As much as possible, use your business continuity planning to avoid crossing the border.

    Moving

    • Maintain rolling testing

    Plan for COVID-19 testing. A rolling testing cycle is a requirement under several situations (e.g. entering Queensland as a specialist worker or on a border zone travel pass). You must have a COVID-19 test at least every 7 days. You should plan in advance when and where you will access testing. Commercial options are also available here.

    • Plan your travel

    Plan travel requirements, including locations for refuelling and border crossing points.

    • Avoid areas with widespread community transmission

    Wherever possible, avoid interactions with the community when moving through states where there is widespread community transmission.

    Quarantining and isolating

    • Go contactless

    Try alternative delivery mechanisms; arrange contactless pickup and delivery wherever possible. If you need to source parts or specialist services, always try and source them from within the state, to minimise movement across borders. If possible, arrange for delivery of the part to you or in your destination state. If you have always sourced goods or services from a location in another state, look for alternative suppliers in advance to avoid delays when needed.

    • Stay at home

    If you are a NSW restricted border zone resident, you are subject to lockdown requirements and NSW Health directions in NSW.

    If you are a Queensland resident returning from the NSW restricted border zone, you are subject to stay-at-home requirements for 14 days after your return, and can only leave your residence for particular reasons.

    Entering Queensland from a hotspot

    Grain handling or operating staff and a resident of Queensland or the NSW restricted border zone – Farmer and agribusiness class exemption (see section under 'pass type' tab for more information).

    Grain handlers, silo operators and specialist technicians from hotspot areas outside the NSW border zone

    General requirements

    • ​Stay in your ‘team bubble’

    Stay with your small team, and as much as possible, remain isolated from any other people, including other silo workers, harvest teams and farm workers/managers.

    Moving

    • Self-isolate prior to travel

    It is recommended you self-isolate to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 while travelling, to protect yourself and to help facilitate a successful harvest.

    • Maintain rolling testing

    Plan for COVID-19 testing. A rolling testing cycle is a requirement under several situations (e.g. entering Queensland as a specialist worker). You must have a COVID-19 test at least every 7 days. You should plan in advance when and where you will access testing. Commercial options are also available here.

    • Plan your travel

    Plan travel requirements, including locations for refuelling, fatigue management and border crossing points. It is important to isolate as much as possible while travelling, as anyone who is a close contact or has been at an exposure site, will be required to isolate or quarantine and will not be able to work. Plan your travel route carefully to ensure you can stay isolated as much as possible. Be particularly careful to avoid interactions with the community when moving through states where there is widespread community transmission.

    • Avoid areas with widespread community transmission

    If you need to travel long distances, check local information on contact tracing locations and areas with current cases and community transmission. Plan your route to avoid these areas wherever possible. If you need to travel through these areas, plan to refuel or take rest breaks before and after these areas and drive straight through without exiting your vehicle.

    Quarantining and isolating

    • Stay separated at your accommodation

    Find accommodation that allows you to stay isolated from the general community; for example, where you have direct access to your room from outside and your own facilities (no shared bathrooms, kitchen and common areas). If you are having trouble sourcing accommodation, consider contacting the local council who may be able to help with alternative options.

    • Get your food delivered

    Plan for food, meals and other essential items to be provided. You must remain isolated at all times and will not be able to go to the local town or shops, if you have come into Queensland from a hotspot. The business should make arrangements in advance to ensure that workers can be supplied with everything they will need during quarantine.

    • Go contactless

    Try alternative delivery mechanisms; arrange contactless pickup and delivery wherever possible. If you need to source parts or specialist services, always try and source them from within the state, to minimise movement across borders. If possible, arrange for delivery of the part to you or in your destination state. If you have always sourced goods or services from a location in another state, look for alternative suppliers in advance to avoid delays when needed.

    Entering Queensland from a hotspot

    Grain handling or operating staff from outside the Queensland–NSW border zone – Specialist and essential worker exemption (see section under 'pass type' tab for more information)