The creation of dedicated quarantine facilities will allow more Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Workers Program (PLS/SWP) workers into Queensland, providing more help to farmers.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said the Queensland Chief Health Officer’s approval of the Seasonal Workers International Quarantine Plans and Checklist Direction has enabled use of industry-led regional quarantine facilities for the PLS/SWP workers.
“Queensland has led the nation in securing PLS/SWP workers and the establishment of these industry-led regional quarantine facilities at Grantham, Dimbulah, and Claredale builds our capacity to support the State’s agriculture industry,” Mr Furner said.
“Agriculture is an essential industry in Queensland and a vital part of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
“With capacities ranging from 80 to 240, these facilities will help our producers to fill seasonal jobs that help to supply high quality food for Australians, especially at peak times such as harvest and planting.
“The introduction of industry-led regional quarantine facilities is welcome news, providing another option in to bring in essential agricultural workers to Queensland, while helping to alleviate pressure on hotel quarantine.”
Mr Furner said workers at the industry-led regional quarantine facilities would undergo stringent quarantine arrangements in accordance with the current requirements set by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer.
“Mandatory quarantine is undertaken for 14 days and COVID-19 testing is undertaken in accordance with the Chief Health Officer’s requirements,” Mr Furner said.
“Workers in these facilities will undertake a range of induction and training courses while in quarantine and will not attend work until after their 14 days quarantine is completed.
“These arrangements ensure there is a high level of protection afforded to the workers but also to the community.”
Mr Furner said Queensland had brought in more than 3800 workers from Pacific nations to assist our agricultural sectors.
“Only those countries with no or very low-level COVID-19 status and are approved by the Queensland Chief Health Officer are allowed entry into Queensland under the program,” Mr Furner said.
“The Claredale site is due to receive its first cohort of workers in October, while several cohorts are scheduled to quarantine at Grantham prior to December 2021, primarily for workers in the animal and horticultural industries.
“The Palaszczuk Government will continue to look at all options to help our farmers get the workforce they need to maintain our food supply.”