Wimmera farmers are celebrating a "huge win" concerning border closures, which have proved a challenge to many residents.
On Friday, Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory had adopted the National Agricultural Workers Code.
The code will allow workers to cross state borders regardless of restriction levels, provided they have a valid border permit and evidence of a need to travel interstate, among other requirements.
It covers those involved in farming activities such as grains, forestry, fishing, transportation, agronomy, shearing contractors, veterinarians, saleyards and chemical and vaccine production among other workers.
Mr Littleproud noted Queensland has a process in place for agricultural workers from NSW until September 22. He called on Queensland to provide clarity about this arrangement long-term
Victorian Farmers Federation President David Jochinke, of Murra Warra, said the decision would unlock "critical agriculture in Victoria and our border zones", and be a "huge relief".
"Let's hope this announcement is one of many steps towards working as a single cohesive nation. Our sector has experienced enormous interruption and uncertainty in recent times which is completely unsustainable," he said, in a statement.
GrainGrowers chairman Brett Hosking also welcomed the announcement, saying it would allow the industry to focus on the upcomign harvest.
For Apsley's Hamish Kester and Maddi Redding, the new code will provide some certainty when Hamish travels to northern New South Wales for his work as a contract harvester in early October.
Mr Kester had previously been judged not to be an essential worker.
Ms Redding said he was approved when they applied again, on the condition he quarantine in Sydney after crossing the NSW-Victoria border.
"Quarantining in Sydney and driving the 500 kilometres to where he needs to be would have been kind of ridiculous," she said.
"Then a woman from the office of David Littleproud got in contact advising us to go to their farms with a freight permit. So he could pop the headers on his truck and go up there, but then he would need to turn around and come home, which is pointless because you need someone to drive those machines once they're there.
"I'm glad people have listened to those of us who have put their stories forward."
Ms Redding also criticised the Queensland government for not signing onto the code, after claims it had given special treatment to AFL executives flying into the state ahead of next month's Grand Final in Brisbane.
She said she was now hoping for rural Victoria to receive different treatment to regional and metropolitan areas of the state when the state government releases its roadmap to reopening on Sunday.
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