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.
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.
- Prime Minister Morrison’s online newsroom
- Australian Government website
- Department of Health
- Tasmanian Government COVID-19 website
- Safe Work Australia
- SafeWork NSW
- Victorian Department of Health
- West Australian Government
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
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.
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.
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 guidance: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/stage-4-restrictions-summary-covid-19
Vic/NSW Border crossing
Latest advice from Victorian perspective: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/updates/coronavirus-covid-19/victoria-and-new-south-wales-border-restrictions
Latest advice from a NSW perspective: https://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:
- 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.
- Metropolitan Melbourne is under Stage 4 ‘Stay at Home’ Restrictions for a 6-week period.
- 31 councils included.
- Residents will only be allowed to shop for food and necessary supplies within 5 kilometres of their home.
- Exercise will be limited to one hour once per day, within 5km of home.
- A curfew will apply from 8:00pm to 5:00am each night. This has been enforced since last night.
- Wearing of masks compulsory.
- 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.
- Melbourne has gone to level four restrictions – 200802 Vic_PreM_MR Melbourne Restrictions.
- Regional Victoria has returned to level three restrictions – 200802 – Statement On Changes To Regional Restrictions
- South Australia has also increased restrictions on the back of new cases of infection.
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.
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.
Face Masks To Become Mandatory across Victoria
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
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
New Tasmanian travel restrictions
First ABS Economic impact assessment
Due to spikes in infection rates Victoria has increased restrictions
From Sunday Victoria has increased restrictions in both Melbourne and regional areas.
- In Melbourne the restrictions are at level four with a curfew in place. – 200802 Vic_PreM_MR Melbourne Restrictions.
- Regional Victoria has gone back to level three. – 200802 – Statement On Changes To Regional Restrictions
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.
Australia's Resource Ministers promise to work together during the crisis 31 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
AFPA Media Release: Forest Products are 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.
JobKeeper Payments - What does it mean?
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.
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.
AFPA on the job
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.
- 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 email@example.com