Time is right for the sensible, risk-based opening of Victoria's regions

Call for confidence in opening farming for business

News
The agricultural industry is better placed than many other sectors to rebound and help rebuild Victoria's fractured economy, according to the VFF.

The agricultural industry is better placed than many other sectors to rebound and help rebuild Victoria's fractured economy, according to the VFF.

Aa

Time is right for the sensible, risk-based opening of Victorias regions

Aa

As I'm writing this column, the total number of active COVID-19 cases in regional Victoria sits at six and the 14-day rolling case average is stable at 0.4.

Given this relative stability of COVID-19 cases in regional areas of the state, now is the time for the sensible, risk-based opening of regional Victoria and agriculture.

We need to rethink the necessity of mandatory masks, given the summer months and harvest season are imminent.

Of course, all farmers need to continue enacting their COVIDSafe plans in high-risk locations.

But now is the time for a common sense approach that takes into account the risks associated with the surrounding environment.

Our industry hasn't been immune to the far-reaching impacts of this pandemic.

But we are much better placed than many other sectors to rebound and help rebuild our fractured economy.

To do this, we need the confidence of our government that agriculture can operate at near - or full - capacity in a 'COVID-normal' environment.

There is no doubt our top priority must be the health and safety of the community.

But we are confident that now is the right time to strike a balance between managing COVID-19 and the safe opening of regions, with relatively low or zero case numbers.

For months, farmers and industry have been extra vigilant to ensure COVID-19 hasn't taken a foothold in the country by planning and following our COVIDSafe action plans, which are critical to keeping our industry and the agriculture supply chain open.

We've all had a role to play in practicing measures such as wearing face masks or visors, stopping communal gatherings, installing screens and curtains, physical distancing, adopting cleaning and disinfection measures, using sanitisers and minismising the number of non-essential people coming on to farms.

I encourage all Victorian Farmers Federation members to keep being COVIDSafe and use the resources and advice our team has to offer by calling the VFF on 1300 882 833.

In the end, there has to come a point where we reach a safe threshold - where we can manage the risks associated with COVID-19.

Those in regional Victoria will continue to do our bit, but now we need the confidence of government to help industries such as agriculture get Victoria and Australia on the road to economic recovery.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by