The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says both the Federal and Victorian Governments must fast-track the supply of rapid antigen tests (RAT) and ease isolation requirements for our essential supply chain workforce.
VFF President Emma Germano said the enormous rise of COVID-19 cases in Victoria and the subsequent isolation of an increasing number of workers is mounting pressure on our critical supply chains.
“We’re clearly experiencing a huge escalation in COVID-19 cases throughout the community, meaning a rising amount of people are subject to isolation requirements.”
“The less workers there are to maintain our supply chains, the more vulnerable it becomes, and this directly threatens our food security.”
“Farmers can’t provide the food and fibre needed to feed the country without the means to transport it via our essential supply chains. Our access to the inputs needed to operate is also severely impacted.”
“We warned both the Federal and Victorian Governments in October last year of this very scenario and to see this eventuate months later is incredibly frustrating,” Ms Germano said.
Ms Germano said there needs to be an urgent rethink of quarantine rules and a fast-track of RATs for supply chain workers to ensure capacity.
“To help safeguard our essential supply chains, asymptomatic workers deemed close contacts of COVID-19 cases must have their isolation period reduced, much in the same way as healthcare workers.”
“Workers need to have a reliable access of a RAT and decision makers must prioritise this.”
“Regional Victoria and our agriculture industry have been a resilient driver of our economy throughout this pandemic and it’s high-time that the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and the Government listened.”
“Time is ticking, we need action, leadership and guidance now,” Ms Germano said.