Coronavirus Resources for Vegetable Growers

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the world and we begin to see a growing number of cases in the Australian community, it is important that employers and employees consider their Workplace Health and Safety obligations in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis or potential exposure in the workplace.

While employers have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of their workers and other people at the workplace – as far as practicably possible, employees also have obligations. Limiting the spread and the impact of this virus is a social responsibility that is only as strong as its weakest link.

vegetablesWA will be updating this page of resources daily to provide growers with the most up to date information as it comes to hand. We encourage you to add this page to your bookmarks/favourites on your computer or smartphone and direct your questions to comms@vegetableswa.com.au

Health

LATEST HEALTH INFORMATION
Australian Government Health Department information on monitoring and responding to the outbreak, how you can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, and what to do if you have symptoms. Also the latest official medical advice and case numbers. Visit website

MINIMISING RISK IN THE WORKPLACE
Factsheet for employers on how to manage workplaces and employees to minimise the risk from Coronavirus including guidelines about which staff should be sent home from work, briefing staff on the situation, cleaning precautions and preventing the spread of coronavirus. Visit website

IDENTIFYING THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS
A useful poster to put up in the lunchroom to help staff identify Coronavirus symptoms verses the common cold and seasonal flu. Visit website

FEELING ISOLATED AND SOCIAL DISTANDING
If you are feeling anxious about social distancing and working from home, The Australian Psychological Society has prepared some tips on dealing with anxiety around coronavirus, and maintaining mental health if needing to physically isolate. Visit website

LOOKING AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Beyond Blue recognises and understands the feelings of anxiety, distress and concern many people may be experiencing in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and offers some valuable wellbeing advice. Visit website

Covid Clinics

Who should attend?
People will only be tested if they have fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough or sore throat AND documented evidence of:
overseas travel in the last 14 days (provide boarding pass or flight booking or airline bag tag with name and date of travel) OR
close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case (provide name of case)
Patients who are tested should remain isolated at home, until they receive their test results and further medical advice.

Who should avoid?
Do not attend unless you have symptoms AND meet the above criteria, including documented evidence.
People presenting at COVID clinics may be infectious.
People who don’t have symptoms and evidence will be turned away and asked to self-monitor for symptoms.

When and where
8.00 am to 8.00 pm daily
Royal Perth Hospital – Ground Floor, Ainslie House, 48 Murray Street, Perth
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital – C Block, Hospital Avenue, Nedlands
Fiona Stanley Hospital – Bedbrook Row, north-eastern end of hospital, Murdoch
10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily
Bunbury Health Campus – 30m left of the main entrance

Call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080

Labour Resources

PROTECTING YOUR WORKFORCE CHECKLIST
This checklist has been developed by PMA A-NZ to assist business in the fresh produce industry better manage teams in the unique environments of harvesting and packing fresh produce. It covers packing sheds, workforce, accommodation, transport etc. Download checklist

SAFETY ADVICE FOR EMPLOYERS
The Safe Work Australia has detailed advice for employers regarding Covid-19.  Employer responsibility is to minimise the risk of the virus in the work place.  If an new person arrives at your workplace, within the next 14-days, you may request to see information that proves the person has concluded their self-isolation.  This could be through their plane ticket, stamp in passport or hotel bill indicating that they have been in Australia longer than the self-isolation period.  Visit website

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PRIVACY OBLIGATIONS TO YOUR STAFF
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has produced some guidelines on what employers are able to disclose to workers due to Covid-19. Visit website

FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN
Fair Work Ombudsman on guidance regarding sending workers home, leave entitlements and reduction of hours. This is for employers that pay under the Federal system. Visit website

DEPARTMENT OF MINES, INDUSTRY REGULATIONS AND SAFETY
Department of Mines, Industry Regulations and Safety covers the employers that are under the WA IR system. Updates are being placed on their website regarding work rights and entitlements, employer obligations and redundancies. Visit website

DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
DPIRD is working with providers to link unemployed people with growers and businesses that require workers due to the travel bans. Studium is a WA based student employment platform – we are looking to attract WA University and TAFE student workers with the required skills and are are asking WA based students (over 18 years) with experience; or a family background in farming, livestock handling, large machinery operations, truck driving etc. Industry will also need low and semi-skilled workers for horticultural work such as fruit picking in the near future and encourage all students interested in work in the agricultural sector to register. We hope this is a valuable opportunity for WA students who have been displaced from other jobs roles such has in the hospitality sector. Visit website

NATIONAL HARVEST TRAIL SERVICE
National Harvest Trail Service is also available to connect workers and employers. Workers can register their location and then the service will liaise to connect the workers to employers. Visit website

DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS
Department of Home Affairs provides updates for visa holders regarding conditions on their visa, rules regarding where they can work and who is allowed to enter Australia. This website also has advice on what visa holders should do if their visa is due to expire shortly. Employers utilising workers on visas should ascertain their expiry date and provide this link to the visa holder to ensure they stay lawful. Visit website

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Small Business Development Corporation is available to assist. This service is provided by the WA government to help businesses with timely advice. Visit website

SERVICES AUSTRALIA
Services Australia may be able to assist people who are left unemployed due to Covid-19. Visit website

Human Resources

COVID-19 SAFEGUARDS FOR WHMS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Download the Working Holiday Makers/Employer Declaration Form here

Working Holiday Makers must adhere to the same COVID-19 risk mitigation measures and directives that apply to all other persons in Western Australia. Failure to do so will result in penalties. The latest advice on WA’s COVID-19 risk mitigation measures and directives is available online and in languages other than English.

Working Holiday Makers will be expected to:

  • familiarise themselves with the safety measures in place in the workplace to minimise the risk of spread of the COVID-19 virus.
  • secure accommodation of a standard to allow for appropriate hygiene and physical distancing practices. Advice on physical distancing can be found here.
  • advise employers of the address of their accommodation.
  • if employed in agriculture, sign an employee/employer declaration form acknowledging they understand their obligations.

https://www.dpird.wa.gov.au/securing-labour-supply

WORKER DISCLOSURE FORM
vegetablesWA recommends that you require all workers to fill in a worker disclosure form before starting work on your farm. Download template

INFORMATION SHEETS AND POSTERS

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Australian Government Health Department information and resources in various languages for workplaces. Visit website

CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Information sheets and posters for growers in various languages to display in the workplace. The following link will provide growers translated COVID19 information sheets and posters to hand out to their workers. Click on the link below to access pdf documents available from the CDC site. Visit website

KEY ISSUES FOR AUSTRALIAN WORKPLACES
The COVID-19 outbreak is evolving day by day and WA needs to be prepared for a range of outcomes. While each business faces its own challenges, some key considerations can help build your business’s resilience and protect your community. Download PDF

UNDERSTAND YOUR OBLIGATIONS TO WORKERS DURING COVID-19
Fairwork: Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws. Visit website
WA Government: Employment impacted by covid-19 coronavirus. Visit website

GROWCOM
Coronavirus and the Workplace – Its EVERYONE’S Responsibility
This document explains what growers must do right now in their workplace, as well as their obligations to employees, including workers compensation. Visit website

RESOURCES FROM EMPLOYSURE

Translation Resources

VIETNAMESE TRANSLATION

Vietnamese translations of health.gov.au posters and resources. Visit website

Advice on what to do if you have been overseas recently, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Vietnamese. Visit website

Good hand washing practices to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Vietnamese. Visit website

Simple steps you can take to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Vietnamese. Visit website

Good hygiene practices when coughing and sneezing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Vietnamese. Visit website

Food Safety and Quality Assurance

FOOD SAFETY & QUALITY INCIDENT MANAGEMENT
This factsheet highlights areas your business should focus on during the COVID-19 pandemic such as:
Managing people within your business
Food Safety Instructions – Health Declaration COVID-19
Hygiene
Cleaning and sanitation
Sourcing from alternate suppliers (emergency supplies)
Travel restrictions and biosecurity considerations
Worker training
Download here

FOOD SAFETY & QUALITY FORM: F10 FOOD SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS INSERT – HEALTH DECLARATION (COVID-19).
Freshcare has developed this additional form to help you induct workers and visitors entering your site, and highlight restrictions in place in response to COVID-19.
Download here

UPDATE FROM GLOBAL G.A.P.
GLOBAG.A.P. has published Corona FAQs, you can find them here: https://www.globalgap.org/uk_en/media-events/news/corona-virus-updates/faq/

FRESHCARE DELIVER INDUSTRY ADVICE
Information on specific Freshcare Standards. Visit website

Trade

INFORMATION FOR AUSTRALIAN BUSINESSES INVOLVED IN TRADE
The Export Council of Australia (ECA) is collecting information and resources to help Australian businesses involved in trade prepare for and mitigate any effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on business. Visit website

NATIONAL FARMERS FEDERATION: UPDATE
Key export constraints remain access to freight and the cost of freight which has become prohibitive for some fresh food exporters. Some commodity groups are chartering flights to transport produce. Austrade can assist with linking exporters with these initiatives. Please contact Pru Gordon (pgordon@nff.org.au) for the contact details of the relevant Austrade person.

China is continuing to remove travel and business restrictions which is impacting positively on Australian exports. E-commerce in China has increased exponentially (e-commerce platforms have grown 56% week on week) and appears to be the new normal in terms of retail, including food, sales. Austrade reports increased interest for products from Middle Eastern and European purchasers who are having difficulty securing product from elsewhere.

Travel Restrictions

Last Updated: May 15, 2020

As part of Phase 2, regional travel restrictions have changed, bringing the number of current borders within Western Australia from 13 to only four (not including the Commonwealth Biosecurity zone and remote communities). The new regional boundaries will allow:

  • travel between the South-West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt, Perth and Peel regions;
  • travel between the Mid-West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions (excluding Biosecurity zone);
  • travel within the Goldfields-Esperance region (excluding the Biosecurity zone);
  • travel permitted between the Kimberley local government areas (the Commonwealth’s Biosecurity zone remains in place).

Previous Update: April 1, 2020

WA IS SPLIT INTO 9 REGIONS
The 9 regions are along the boundaries of the Regional Development Commission:

  • Perth and Peel (due to their proximity they form one region)
  • South West
  • Great Southern
  • Goldfields-Esperance
  • Mid-West
  • Wheatbelt
  • Gascoyne
  • Pilbara
  • Kimberley (other restrictions apply entering the Kimberley and aboriginal communities)

WHERE EXACTLY ARE THE BOUNDARY LINES?
View the map here
The boundaries follow our Regional Development Commission boundaries, which align with the local government boundaries. Find your local government in the list below to find your region.

Looking for specific boundaries? Do an online search for that local government map. For example, if you live in Hamel and want to know where the north boundary is between South West and Peel region, search for ‘Shire of Waroona map’ and detailed boundaries will be shown.

WHEATBELT

  • Beverley
  • Brookton
  • Bruce Rock
  • Chittering
  • Corrigin
  • Cuballing
  • Cunderdin
  • Dalwallinu
  • Dandaragan
  • Dowerin
  • Dumbleyung
  • Gingin
  • Goomalling
  • Kellerberrin
  • Kondinin
  • Koorda
  • Kulin
  • Lake Grace
  • Merredin
  • Moora
  • Mount Marshall

WHEATBELT CONT.

  • Mukinbudin
  • Narembeen
  • Narrogin
  • Northam
  • Nungarin
  • Pingelly
  • Quairading
  • Tammin
  • Toodyay
  • Trayning
  • Victoria Plains
  • Wagin
  • Wandering
  • West Arthur
  • Westonia
  • Wickepin
  • Williams
  • Wongan-Ballidu
  • Wyalkatchem
  • Yilgarn
  • York

MID WEST

  • Carnamah
  • Chapman Valley
  • Coorow
  • Cue
  • Greater Geraldton
  • Irwin
  • Meekatharra
  • Mingenew
  • Morawa
  • Mount Magnet
  • Murchison
  • Northampton
  • Perenjori
  • Sandstone
  • Three Springs
  • Wiluna
  • Yalgoo

GREAT SOUTHERN

  • Albany
  • Broomehill-Tambellup
  • Cranbrook
  • Denmark
  • Gnowangerup
  • Jerramungup
  • Katanning
  • Kent
  • Kojonup
  • Plantagenet
  • Woodanilling

GOLDFIELDS-ESPERANCE

  • Coolgardie
  • Dundas
  • Esperance
  • Kalgoorlie-Boulder
  • Laverton
  • Leonora
  • Menzies
  • Ngaanyatjarraku
  • Ravensthorpe

PILBARA

  • Ashburton
  • East Pilbara
  • Port Hedland
  • Karratha

KIMBERLEY

  • Broome
  • Derby-West Kimberley
  • Halls Creek
  • Wyndham-East Kimberley

PEEL

  • Boddington
  • Murray
  • Serpentine-Jarrahdale
  • Waroona
  • Mandurah

GASCOYNE

  • Carnarvon
  • Exmouth
  • Shark Bay
  • Upper Gascoyne

SOUTH WEST

  • Bunbury
  • Busselton
  • Augusta-Margaret River
  • Boyup Brook
  • Bridgetown-Greenbushes
  • Capel
  • Collie
  • Dardanup
  • Donnybrook-Balingup
  • Harvey
  • Manjimup
  • Nannup

“SPECIAL PERMISSION” GIVEN FOR KIMBERLEY AG WORKERS
Interim exemption for agricultural workers approved

The State Government has approved an interim ‘Special Permission’ exemption for agriculture, so workers can travel into the Kimberley while it’s in lockdown.

The move comes after pastoral workers were turned away from Kununurra and Broome airports, because agriculture was not listed as an essential services under regional travel restrictions introduced for the Kimberley, parts of the East Pilbara and Northern Goldfields last week.

These areas were placed into lockdown under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act, to protect vulnerable indigenous communities from the spread of coronavirus in WA’s north, in addition to State border controls.

A spokesperson said the State Government was aware that a number of agricultural workers had been denied access to the Kimberley in recent days and had been working hard to resolve the issue.

“The State Government has today approved an interim ‘Special Permission’ exemption for food production workers, subject to strict conditions that minimise the risk of COVID-19 spread, while ensuring food production workers can get on with the essential job of providing the food our State needs.

“The exemption is effective immediately. Further detail on operation of the exemption will be provided to industry shortly.”

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS

  • people travelling to work
  • attending medical appointments
  • transporting freight
  • where necessary to attend school or an educational institution
  • those who do not have access to groceries or supplies within their region
  • approved compassionate grounds

The Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has also clarified with these exemptions:

  • people returning to their primary residence
  • parents needing to drop children off for formal or informal custody arrangements
  • primary producers moving across regions to go to their other agricultural properties

IF YOU NEED TO CROSS A REGION YOU SHOULD

  • Drive with your driver’s licence
  • If you are an employer, provide a letter to employees explaining why they need to travel across the region
  • If you are an employee, ask your employer to write a letter to show why you need to travel across the regionThe State Government is currently looking at an electronic platform to coordinate this process. We will update you as soon as more information is made available.

YOU SHOULD NOT CROSS A REGION TO

  • Visit family and friends (unless you NEED to take them essential supplies)
  • Go and stay at your HOLIDAY HOME or hobby farm
  • Go on a camping trip or holiday

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS HOTLINE
The Police have set up a hotline for you to call if you want some clarification on regional travel restrictions exemptions. However they have asked people to not call with a ‘what if’ scenario and have asked people to use common sense before they dial.

The phone number is: 132 6843

Telecommunications & Data

Telstra: Unlimited downloads for broadband customers. 25GB extra for postpaid mobile users, 10GB extra for most prepaid users for 30 days. Contact page
Vodafone: Free national standard calls until April 30, 5GB extra mobile data for postpaid customers, 3GB extra data for active prepaid users. Contact page
Optus: An extra 20GB mobile data for postpaid customers, and 10GB for prepaid customers during April. Contact page
AmaySIM: All customers to receive extra mobile data for use until April 15. Contact page
Aussie Broadband: Unmetered broadband use between 6am and 6pm, NBN 12 plan users upgraded to NBN 25 at no charge. Contact page

ADDITIONAL DATA FROM TESLTRA
As people around Australia increasingly being working and studying from home or self-isolating as part of the national response to COVID-19 demand for connectivity is rising rapidly.

To play our part Telstra is giving its consumers and small  business customers additional data as well as offering unlimited home phone calls to pensioners. We want to help our customers, who find themselves having to work from home, stay connected. Read more

Take A Break

ACCESS TO NEWS
News Corp: Free access to news stories from News publications online for 28 days. Visit The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun

FREE FITNESS
Centr app: Find your Centr with Chris Hemsworth’s team. Work out with male or female trainers. Eat healthy with celebrity chefs. Full access for six weeks, available until March 31 for those who sign up via the website. Learn more
Runtastic Premium Membership: Free access for 90 days Learn more
YMCA 360: Free online fitness classes available during the pandemic. Learn more
12-Minute Abs Challenge: Trainer Tim Robards offers six-week program for free with code, “FREEABS”. Learn more
Peloton app: Free access to at-home workouts for 90 days. Learn more
Carrot Fit: Free to download for two weeks. Learn more
Gold’s Amp: 600 workouts free until May 31. Learn more
Les Mills on Demand: Free classes in everything from Body Combat to Barre until the pandemic is over. Learn more
Pure Barre Go: Daily live classes for free over Facebook. Learn more
Fit Bit Premium: free subscription for 3 months. Learn more

MENTAL HEALTH
Headspace: Free access to ‘Weathering the storm’ meditations. Visit website
Free e-book: The Year Without Pants: free e-book on working from home by Scott Berkun. Learn more

TELEVISION & MOVIE STREAMING
Foxtel:
Free access to drama, entertainment, lifestyle, documentaries, reality and kids channel packages for all subscribers until May 31. Visit website
Fetch TV: Three months free access to 11 news channels including CNN and BBC World News. Visit website