Support rolls in for producers during virus
PRIMARY producers have been offered another level of security after the announcement of the implementation of agricultural co-ordination officers.
The decision was made in response to the "unprecedented times" caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Agriculture Minister Mark Furner announced a team of agricultural officers would support producers, the industry and local governments to manage the virus.
"Department of Agriculture and Fisheries staff have always worked closely with producers and industry and, in these extraordinary times, we will build on these existing relationships to provide co-ordinated, timely support," he said.
"There are approximately 100 agriculture co-ordination officers across the state available to help agribusiness deal with the complexities of COVID-19 as required.
"This support includes assisting producers and industry to access relevant information quickly without having to navigate myriad websites and in some cases with limited or no connectivity."
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries regional director (south) Richard Routley said officers were available to assist right across the Downs region.
"We have redeployed some existing staff who have good contacts in the region and brought them up to speed on various requirements," he said.
"Their role is to proactively engage with businesses, producers and other people in the agricultural supply chains."
While co-ordination officers were a recent addition, Mr Routley said DAF staff had been fielding a number of questions about the impacts of the virus on the industry.
"There are a whole range of questions that people are asking," he said.
"About the social distancing requirements, isolation requirements - the sorts of things that are impacting on businesses.
"Our roles will be sustained for as long as COVID-19 is having an impact on the community."
To get in touch with an agriculture co-ordination officer, phone 13 25 23.