10 November 2020
Who does this notice affect?
All biosecurity industry participants and food importers who have premises that departmental officers may attend (for inspections, audits, surveillance or other purposes).
What has changed?
Further to the COVID-19 Import Industry Advice Notice 120-2020 (published on 24 July 2020), the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (the department) is requesting industry operators to include some additional information – industry operator name and state/territory – in the subject line of any COVID-19 notification email sent to the department. This will help the department in responding to COVID-19 notifications more efficiently.
The subject line of any COVID-19 notification email should now be: “COVID NOTIFICATION - <state/territory> - <operator name>” (For example: “COVID NOTIFICATION - VIC - FIZZY FREIGHT PTY LTD”).
COVID-19 has created a very uncertain and challenging environment for businesses and individuals and the department greatly appreciates the diligence and cooperation shown by industry operators during this time. While we are now seeing a lessening of some COVID-19 restrictions, we need to be careful not to become complacent in our COVID-19 obligations to each other.
As shared duty holders under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, it is important for the department to work together with industry operators to take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health and safety of all our workers. Accordingly, the department continues to seek the assistance of industry operators in maintaining strict COVID-19 protocols to help us protect our people and yours, especially where there is a risk that one or more employees has been confirmed or is potentially infected with COVID-19.
- We will seek assurance from you that COVID-19 risks have been mitigated so far as is reasonably practicable prior to and when we arrive at your workplace(s); and
- We require you to:
- notify us immediately by email if any of your employees (or any visitor to your premises) returns a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 – please email us at AgriCCC@agriculture.gov.au making sure to include “COVID NOTIFICATION - <state/territory> - <operator name>” in the subject field of the email;
- ensure that any of your employees who are feeling unwell or are presenting COVID-19 symptoms do not enter our workplaces for any reason; and
- ensure that this messaging is reiterated and adhered to by all employees and any downstream contractors you may engage to deliver your services.
- We require you to:
We will in turn notify you if the above applies to any of our employees that access your workplace or who may have come into contact with your employees in our workplace.
The department is committed to delivering our core business and continuing to safeguard Australian agriculture and our environment from the threat of exotic pests and diseases as well as continuing to verify the safety and compliance of imported food during this pandemic. We have continued to consider and refine our activities in response to public health measures and impacts, such as community hot-spots and outbreaks. Where practical, we have also implemented alternative processes for some activities to ensure this can be achieved with minimal on-site interaction between our people.
We look forward to continuing to work with you and your people to continue to support and enable our business in a COVIDSafe manner.
For any information relating to this notice, please email AgriCCC@agriculture.gov.au.