Farmers rise to latest challenge of Victoria-NSW border changes

VFF vows to work on minimising potential supply chain disruptions

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Drive-in COVID-19 testing centres may become more common on the back of tighter NSW-Victoria border restrictions introduced this week.
(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Drive-in COVID-19 testing centres may become more common on the back of tighter NSW-Victoria border restrictions introduced this week. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

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Farmers rise to latest challenge of potential disruption due to Victoria-NSW border restrictions.

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Another week passes and once again we find ourselves here in Victoria facing increased restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the closure of the Victorian and New South Wales border earlier this week.

And, while it's inevitable that we'll likely see further changes to the restrictions in coming months as the situation evolves, the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) will continue to actively engage with government to ensure our critical agricultural supply chains are maintained.

Since the border restrictions were announced, our priority at the VFF has been to ensure agriculture in these regions stays functional.

Behind the scenes, there is an incredible amount of hard work going on.

This is not just from the Victorian side of the border, but also from our NSW counterparts - in industry, NSW Farmers and both the Victorian and New South Wales state governments.

We must not lose sight that in this difficult - and rapidly changing - environment, border communities don't just exist either side of state lines. They are important communities that operate as one.

There's no doubt that we as an industry, and as farmers, must stay agile in confronting the challenges that lie ahead.

For many of us, especially those near the Victorian and NSW border, it's not always going to be business as usual.

But we've shown over the past few months that we are an incredibly resilient industry and we have the ability to adapt to changing conditions.

The recent developments have again highlighted just how critical the cooperation of the government and industry is at this time - to help provide the business certainty needed to operate in the environment of uncertainty.

Agriculture is absolutely an essential service, and it's vital that we have free movement of produce and essential workers across state lines to ensure our supply chains are not interrupted.

In recent times, we've shown that this is achievable - with the similar restrictions imposed between the South Australian and Victorian border using a permit system.

Sure, there have been hiccups and some people have experienced difficulties crossing the border.

But farmers can rest assured that the VFF will continue to raise these issues on behalf of all farmers and we are always available to call (on 1300 882 833) for further information and clarification.

I have no doubt that as a farming community we will rise to this latest challenge as we continue to navigate these extraordinary times.

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