COVID-19 FOREST INDUSTRIES INFORMATION

With Australia facing the COVID-19 crisis there is a lot of information out there about what it means for those involved in the forest product industries, no matter where you are.

To help, AFPA has put together the information and updates you can see below. It will be added to as it happens and updated as soon as it changes, and if you see something we should b sharing then please let us know.

To get through this we need to work together, even if it is a distance. Stay safe and well and reach out if help is needed.

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

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

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

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

At AFPA it is business as usual, as we are following the governments guidelines for social distancing and working from home.

Our members best interests are always at the forefront of our minds, and in this unusual and chaotic time we are working to make sure they are up to date with what is happening and that the newly convened national cabinet has all the information it needs to inform its decision making.

Currently it is our priority to make sure governments know 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 Coms team
  • For more general needs and enquiries email us at enquiries@ausfpa.com.au