QLD/NSW Cross-Border Update and Upcoming Member Meeting (Sept 2021)

02 Sep 2021

The cross-border issues between Queensland and NSW continues to be challenging for veterinarians, their staff, and their clients. This is compounded by the variability at the border as to how the restrictions are being enforced. 

What is clear, is that with the appropriate border passes, veterinary staff who clearly meet the definition under agribusiness workers should be able to cross the border. The experience of small animal general practice is more difficult with practices reporting many staff and clients being unable to cross for work or veterinary care. The AVA has written to the Queensland Premier to seek a resolution. We have also made contact with the Cross Border Commissioner of NSW to alert them of our concerns. The AVA is working to have these restrictions clarified to allow all veterinary practices to perform essential veterinary services.

Member meeting on border issues

We have arranged a virtual meeting at 7.30pm on Thursday 9 September to provide an avenue for affected veterinarians to discuss the issue and possible strategies to deal with the border restrictions given they are in place for a significant period of time. 

To register click here.

Advice for veterinarians who meet the definition as agribusiness workers

In the meantime, the AVA, Veterinary Surgeons’ Board and Biosecurity Queensland have been meeting around the movement of veterinarians across the NSW/QLD border. The advice we have been given is the Government recognises the critical essential services provided by veterinarians, but have requested that non-critical travel is stopped. 

Veterinarians who meet the definition as agribusiness workers need to consider the risk of their movement and why travel is critical. Travel should only be considered to provide time critical treatment and only where this is not able to be provided locally.    

The below links to resources have been developed to assist farmers and agribusiness (includes veterinarians) in understanding their obligations relating to border restrictions and the requirements for obtaining a border pass if eligible:

You will note for veterinarians, the exemption applies for Specialist veterinarians and critical support technicians that prevent significant adverse animal welfare outcomes only where an animal cannot practicably be transported for treatment. 

Anyone who travels to NSW will be required to comply with a quarantine and testing regime. Please refer to the attached border restrictions FAQs document for further details. 

If you are approved to cross the border into Queensland, you will need to manage the risks during travel by travelling directly to and from a specific location and maintaining your quarantine management during your travel to avoid contact with people, except where rest services and re-fuelling is required. 

Always carry your documentation with you to avoid being turned back at the border. The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is assisting the Queensland Police Service at the border, but the decision to allow you to cross is at their discretion. 

If you require further information, please contact DAF by email: info@daf.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.