Plead for premiers to use commonsense for cross-border ag workers

Plead for premiers to use commonsense for cross-border ag workers

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The Nationals have made a public plead to state premiers, urging them to agree to a national code that will give ag workers an exemption to move between states.

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THE Nationals have made a public heart-felt plead to state premiers, urging them to agree to a national code that will give ag workers an exemption to move between states.

A decision is due at Friday's National Cabinet meeting, however early reports indicate the majority of states are not in favour of the ag codes.

Despite the public appeal to premiers, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack maintained he had "every faith" the ag codes would be agreed to.

"I'm confident that we will see practical commonsense achieved," Mr McCormack said.

"This code is sensible for our farmers, for them to be able to go across the border and do what they need to do."

Mr McCormack also criticised the Queensland government's decision to allow AFL officials into the state for the grand final announcement, while continuing to ignore regional communities.

"When people can't access health, when people can't go to the funeral of a loved one, it's not right and it's not fair," he said.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud challenged any state government who didn't agree with the codes to back their stance up with medical evidence.

Mr Littleproud also said without the codes, the states risked food storages.

"If they don't start talking to one another and working with one another they're going to have an even bigger shortage," Mr Littleproud said

"We've made that clear to all the states - you need to understand that you need to work through that now, because we don't want to be having another bum fight in two months, three months time when it becomes critical.

"That's not leadership, that's just politics."

National Farmers' Federation president Fiona Simson has "grave concerns" about what will happen to the ag industry should the National Cabinet fail to deliver on the code.

"We are fast approaching the time where fruit and vegetables will rot on the vine, and grains will remain unharvested," Ms Simson said.

"That is essentially all our farmers' hard work for one year left to rot in the paddock.

"This is not only a devastating kick in the gut for farmers and regional communities who have faced years of drought, but will impact the price and availability fresh food across Australia.

"We have a code for freight, surely we can get agreement on a code that will ensure food on our supermarket shelves."


The story Plead for premiers to use commonsense for cross-border ag workers first appeared on Farm Online.

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