COVID-19 FOREST INDUSTRIES INFORMATION

With Australia continuing to manage the COVID-19 crisis, with different restrictions in place depending on where you are based, there is a lot of information out there which can impact on those involved in the forest product industries, no matter where you are.

Since the start of the pandemic AFPA has been collating and updating the information and updates you can find below, and we will continue to add to it as it happens and update it as soon as it changes. Let us know if you see something we should be sharing.

WHS RESOURCES  

Important COVID-19 health and safety information

If you are looking for more information on health and safety information and regulations these websites can assist.

Worker and customer hygiene

Your workers must practice good hygiene, including: 

  • frequent hand washing or hand sanitising
  • limiting contact with others, including through shaking hands, and
  • covering their mouths while coughing or sneezing with a clean tissue or their elbow.

Encourage good hand hygiene by everyone at the workplace by:

  • providing access to hand hygiene stations on entry and exit, and
  • encouraging them to only touch what they intend to purchase

COVID-19 POLICIES

Monday 19 July 2021 - Sydney lockdown continues, but pulp and paper industry workers recognised as authories employees

With the Sydney lockdown continuing the NSW Government has now released its list of authorised workers, with those employed in the pulp and paper sector included:

  • production and manufacturing of food, beverages, groceries, cleaning and sanitary products
  • food and fibre processing and manufacturing
  • manufacture of food and beverage packaging
  • manufacture of coffins and caskets
  • manufacturing of medical equipment, consumables and personal protective equipment

Monday 19 July 2021 - Victoria lockdown to be extended

Last Thursday the Victorian Government imposed a snap lockdown across Melbourne and regional areas. Today he has confirmed that lockdown will be extended, but with no end date given.

Monday 12 July 2021 - Victoria closes borders to both NSW and the ACT. Other states have also acted in response to increasing COVID 19 infections

The Victorian Government has closed its borders to both NSW and the ACT.

  • Here is the statement from the state’s Acting Chief Scientist Vic COVID Sunday

Other states have also bought in new restrictions

Wednesday 9 June 2021 - Victoria COVID 19 lockdown to end midnight Thursday 10 June, But travel restrictions for Melbourne residents to remain

The Victorian Government has announced that the hard lockdown for Melbourne will end at midnight Thursday 10 June.

But Melbourne residents will still be restricted from travelling more than 25kms from their place of residence for at least another week.

We will also be updating this webpage with any changes to the situation.

Wednesday 2 June 2021 - Victoria extends COVID 19 lockdown by another 7 days to midnight 10 June

The Victorian Government has announced that due to the continuing spike in cases of COVID 19 the full lockdown announced last week is to be extended by another seven days until midnight 10 June. But it has warned that Melbourne residents will still have travel restrictions in place for the following Queens Birthday long weekend.

AS well finanancial assistance is on offer to businesses affected by the lockdowns.

The restrictions for regional Victoria have been lightened and those working in forest industry operations for the purposes of, or relating to:

  • production of firewood for heating of premises; or
  • production of pallets; or
  • production of building supplies for construction; or
  • production of other goods required for other permitted activities (e.g. paper, packaging, caskets and coffins);

 Will not be affected by the lockdown.

We will also be updating this webpage with any changes to the situation.

Thursday 27 May 2021 - Victoria announces snap COVID 19 lockdown

The Victorian Government has announced that as of midnight tonight the whole state will go into full lockdown in a bid to contain and manage the current COVID 19 outbreak.

The government lays out that forest industry operations for the purposes of, or relating to:

  • production of firewood for heating of premises; or
  • production of pallets; or
  • production of building supplies for construction; or
  • production of other goods required for other permitted activities (e.g. paper, packaging, caskets and coffins);

 Will not be affected by the lockdown.

Also permitted are:

  • Port operations
  • all manufacturing
  • a business or undertaking providing essential support services to permitted agriculture, forestry and fishing activities, such as food safety and verification, inspection or associated laboratory services and biosecurity functions.

 AFPA and the VFPA will be continuing to monitor the situation.
If you have any enquiries or questions please contact VFPA Chief Executive Deb Kerr at deb.kerr@vfpa.com.au or on 0409 962 250.

We will also be updating this webpage with any changes to the situation.

Saturday 13 February - NSW advice on Victorian Snap lockdown

NSW has released its guidelines on how Victoria’s five day lockdown will impact NSW and travel between the two states.

  • The details are here.

Friday 12 February - Victorian Snap Lockdown

Victoria has announced a snap stage four lockdown for five days.

  • Details of the restrictions and exemptions are here.

Tuesday 2 February - National Vaccine Roll-out strategy

Download the document by clicking here.

Wednesday 3 February - Update on Melbourne restrictions

Due to an outbreak in Melbourne Victoria is now enforcing extra restrictions on movements, crowd numbers and masks.

  • The details of the new restrictions can be found here.

Thursday 19 November - Six day lockdown for South Australia

Due to a COVID-19 cluster on the outskirts of Adelaid, the South Australian Government has announced that it will go into a six day lockdown with all but highly essential businesses closed and restrictions on all movements.

  • The emergency document and ruling can be found here.
  • More information from Business SA is here.

Thursday 19 September - Victorian border closure with South Australia

In response to the COVID-19 cluster in South Australia and the state going into lockdown, Victoria will close its border from midnight Thursday 19 November, for 48 hours, and then implement a permit system..

  • You can find details here.

Monday 7 September - COVID Restrictions Update for Victoria

On Sunday 6 September Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews laid out the steps which will be followed to allow the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

  • The overall roadmap can be found here.
  • The industry restrictions roadmap for metropolitan Melbourne is here.
  • The industrial restrictions roadmap for regional Victoria is here.

Wednesday 19 August - Updated permitted work premises in Victoria & NSW

The NSW Government is now issuing permits for critical Victorian agriculture work to continue in NSW. Under the new Highly Specialised Critical Services (Agriculture) Permit.
The new conditions and border permit application guidelines can be found here.
The positive response from the Victorian Government is here.
For one Victorian farmer the changes come just in time. You can watch the video of him talking about his experience with border permits here.

You can find particular information and updates on restrictions in Victoria and border crossings below.

Forestry sector 
Permitted workplaces under Stage 4 Health directions: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/agriculture-forestry-fishing-restrictions-covid-19
Sector Guidance: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/disputes-disasters-and-succession-planning/covid-safe-business/agriculture,-forestry-and-fishing-sector-guidance

Travel guidancehttps://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/stage-4-restrictions-summary-covid-19

Vic/NSW Border crossing
Latest advice from Victorian perspectivehttps://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/updates/coronavirus-covid-19/victoria-and-new-south-wales-border-restrictions
Latest advice from a NSW perspectivehttps://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/border-restrictions and https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-covid-19-nsw-border-entry-permit

Thursday 6 August - Updated permitted work premises in Victoria

The Victorian Government has updated its list of permitted work premises which can operate in Melbourne under the level 4 restrictions

‘Permitted Work Premises’ include:

                “Forestry activity” for the purposes of or relating to:

  • Production of firewood for heating of premises
  • Production of pallets
  • Production of building supplies for construction
  • Production of other goods required for other permitted activities (e.g. caskets and coffins)

 And Any business or undertaking that is involved in providing support services to permitted agriculture, forestry and fishing activities, such as food safety and verification, inspection or associated laboratory services and biosecurity functions.

Also businesses who manufacture building supplies to support construction  and  manufacture pulp, paper and converted paper product and  road transport (passenger and freight)

The list as published is here: Updated permitted work premises in Victoria

Tuesday 4 August - Victorian CoVid-19 briefing

On Tuesday Premier Daniel Andrews gave an update on the CoVid-19 situation in Victoria, foucssing on the increased penalties now being enforced.

You can read his statement here.

The major points are:

  1. Regional Victoria is under Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ Restrictions which only allow shopping for food and essential items; Care and caregiving; Daily exercise; Work and study – if you can’t do it from home. Wearing of masks is compulsory.
  2.  Metropolitan Melbourne is under Stage 4 ‘Stay at Home’ Restrictions for a 6-week period.
    1. 31 councils included.
    2. Residents will only be allowed to shop for food and necessary supplies within 5 kilometres of their home.
    3. Exercise will be limited to one hour once per day, within 5km of home.
    4. A curfew will apply from 8:00pm to 5:00am each night. This has been enforced since last night.
    5. Wearing of masks compulsory.
    6. All Victorians are required to work from home except where it is not practicable.

The published list of industries which are impacted by level 3 and 4 restrictions can be read here.
There are additional industry restrictions some starting from 11.59 pm this Wednesday, 5 August 2020 and construction industry restrictions are starting 11.59 pm this Friday, 7 August 2020.

The Victorian Government has said given the scale of what’s happening there are some changes which will have to be updated and revised and it has committed to doing this in a timely fashion.

 

Monday 3 August - New Restrictions in Victoria and South Australia increases restrictions again.

On Sunday new stronger restrictions were put in place in Victoria due to a major spike in infection rates.

 

CoVid-19 restrictions update

At his latest press briefing on the pandemic Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews did not mention any restrictions on industries, focusing on health issues.

Information on the level of restrictions in Victoria can be found here, While rolling updates on the situation nationally can be found here.

NSW – Victoria border
A reminder that the NSW government has further tightened the Victorian border restrictions, and new crossing permits are required.
Details on the new restrictions are here.
To apply/re-apply for a permit click here.

New ATO Tools to assist those working at home 8 April

New ATO Tools to assist those working at home 8 April

Parliament to sit the week starting 6 April

Sitting arrangements

Federal Government Jobkeeper payment initiative

The Federal Government has created a new initiative to try and keep Australians in jobs called the jobkeeper payment initiative.

Economic stimulus updates

The Australian Department of Treasury is continually updating the actions being taken to stimulate the economy in the face of COVID-19.

New restrictions on movements in place 30 March 2020

Delays to plant certification

The Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment advises that due to a range of new processes to manage the risks of CoVid-19, clients should expect delays.

  • More information can be found here.

National Cabinet Meeting 29 March

The latest meeting of the National Cabinet met on Sunday 29 March announcing further restrictions.

National Cabinet Update 27 March

National Cabinet met on Friday 27 March

West Australian Travel Restrictions

The West Australian Government will implement stricter restrictions on travel.

Victorian Government assistance

Victoria has announced a package of assistance for businesses.

Tasmanian Relief Announced

The Tasmanian Government has release more details of its relief assistance.

New Tasmanian travel restrictions

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has announced anyone taking non essential travel in Tasmania will have to sign a notice that they understand the rules regarding self-isolation and what their obligations are.

First ABS Economic impact assessment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released its assessment of the COVID-19 Impact.

Due to spikes in infection rates Victoria has increased restrictions

From Sunday Victoria has increased restrictions in both Melbourne and regional areas.

National Cabinet Update 25 March

On the evening of Wednesday 25 March the National Cabinet provided its latest update on the COVID-19 restrictions.

COVID-19 MEDIA

Monday 19 July - AFPA welcomes recognition that pulp and paper workers in Sydney are essential

Over the weekend the NSW released its list of authorised workers, allowed to continue travelling to their place of employment and for that industry to continue to operate, with the pulp and paper sector included.

  • AFPA NSW CEO Sue Grau has welcomed the recognition.

Tuesday 8 June - Victoria on track to end COVID 19 lockdown in Melbourne this week

The Victorian Government has told media in Melbourne that the state is on track to end the hard lockdown in Melbourne this week, with only two cases recorded today.

  • ABC News has rolling coverage and updates of the COVID 19 situation which can be found here.

Thursday 3 June - Hard COVID 19 lockdown to end for Regional Victoria

The Victorian Government has confirmed that as of midnight tonight the hard lockdown will end.

Thursday 27 May - Snap Victorian lockdown

With the decision to impose a five day stage four COVID-19 lockdown from midnight, media outlets are removing the paywalls from their online portals.

  • The Age Newspapers rolling coverage can be found here.

Friday 12 February - Snap Victorian lockdown

With the decision to impose a five day stage four COVID-19 lockdown from midnight, media outlets are removing the paywalls from their online portals.

  • The Age Newspapers rolling coverage can be found here.

Thursday 4 February - Vaccination guide from SBS

  • SBS has published this explainer on what you can expect once vaccinated.

Wednesday 5 August - Queensland closes border to NSW/ACT

  • ABC News reports that Queensland has closed its borders to NSW and the ACT due to a spike in infection rates. You can find the story here.

Commercial Regional Broadcasters expect to shut up shop

Jobkeeeper Press Conference Monday 30 March

Australia's Resource Ministers promise to work together during the crisis 31 March

Government CoVid-19 Update 30 March

AFPA Media Release: Australian Forest products industries essential for food and medicine production and transport

On Firday 27 March AFPA distributed a media release giving its position on Forest products industries manufacturing and delivery of essential services and products.

Minerals Council Support CoVid-19 restrictions

The Minerals Council of Australia has published a statement outlining the measures it’s members are taking to restriction the spread of CoVid-19

BILLIONS IN TAX RELIEF FOR BUSINESS, $1 BILLION FUND FOR JOBS, AND HELP FOR THE VULNERABLE

The NSW Government today released the second stage of its economic package aimed at keeping people in jobs, helping businesses and supporting our most vulnerable in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tasmania announces relief package details

The Tasmanian Government has issued a media release on its latest relief package.

AFPA Media Release: Forest Products are an Ëssential Service"

On Monday 23 March AFPA distributed a media release giving its position on the forest products industries being an Ëssential Service”.

COVID-19 INFO & LINKS

12 July 2021 - Latest state and territory information on COVID 19

To find the latest information from Australian states and territories about the COVID 19 situation, travel restrictions and other warnings, see below

3 June 2021 - Latest state and territory information on COVID 19

To find the latest information from Australian states and territories about the COVID 19 situation, travel restrictions and other warnings, see below

Business support in Victoria

  • If you are seeking support or more information on support for business in Victoria affected by the level 4 and 3 restrictions go to Business Victoria website.  Also the hotline 13 22 15.

Housing Industry Association CoVid-19 information

The Housing Industry Association has published a number of tools online to assist those in the industry to manage CoVid-19

 

Forest Stewardship Council Newsletter 7 April

Essential Services produced by Australia’s Forest Products Industries during CoVid-19 crisis

Federal, state and territory governments are urged to recognise the forest products industries as essential services that must continue to operate throughout the CoVid-19 crisis to ensure Australians continue to have access to essential goods and services. These include:

NFF LIst of essential services in Australia and information pages

On Friday 27 March the National Farmers Federation published a list of how primary industry was being classified federally and in each state and territory.

  • The Commonwealth recognised agriculture as an essential service on 25/3/20.
  • Queensland has deemed the transport of food as a ‘critical’ service that is exempt from the border restrictions the Qld govt announced on 26/3/20.
  • NSW has listed ‘primary industry production and related businesses and the entire food chain as an ‘essential industry’.
  • Victoria has listed farms and agribusiness as not included in the current bans agreed by the National Cabinet on 24/3/20.
  • South Australia has classified food and food production as an essential service. Primary produce coming over the border will be exempt.
  • Western Australia recognised food deliveries as unrestricted under its Emergency Management Act on 20/3/20.
  • Northern Territory has not listed agriculture as an essential service but has listed Food markets, grocery stores, retail and shopping centres that is necessary for the normal business of those premises.
The NFF also has three dedicated pages to help give access to primary industry relevant information.

 

Forest Stewardship Council Consultations Update

Because of difficulties due to the CoVid-19 Crisis the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has made some changes to its ongoing consultation plans.

Forest Products Industry COVID-19 Information

Across Australia the Forest Product Industry is working to inform its clients and staff about how to deal with COVID-19

AFPA on the job

AFPA staff have all returned to our Canberra office but are adhering to all government guidelines and regulations on social distancing, and movements, with all visitors required to register using the “Check in Canberra” App. If necessary we can return quickly to working from home.

Our members best interests remain at the forefront of our minds, and we are working to make sure they are up to date with what is happening, and also ensuring government and territory leaders have all the information that is relevant to our forest products industries to inform their decision making.

We will continue to inform governments know about the proven reasons our industry needs to be defined as a supply chain member that supplies essential services and products Australia wide.

We will continue to keep you informed through all our communications channels about what’s happening and what is being reported.

Contact us

Our contact channels are always open and are the same as usual.

  • For assistance or advise call your chamber manager
  • For media advice or needs contact our Comms team
  • For more general needs and enquiries email us at enquiries@ausfpa.com.au