Growers’ e-bulletin – 5 May, 2020

5 May, 2020


New direction for employers of seasonal workers

Remote communities pass

Growers urged to take action on leaf spot now

National Banana Day success

Report to levies stakeholders 2018-19


New direction for employers of seasonal workers

The Queensland Government has introduced a new direction that commenced at 12:01 am today, Tuesday 5 May, 2020 relating to the agriculture sectors being able to access a seasonal workforce, while still meeting their COVID-19 public health obligations. 

The main change is that Health Management Plans are now required when farms and other agribusiness operations, including labour hire companies, employ seasonal workers. 

These plans are also required of accommodation providers for seasonal workers and transport providers for these people.

A template for the Health Management Plan for employers of seasonal workers is available here 

A signed version needs to be submitted to this email address

This new direction is designed to protect farm businesses, their employees and the local community from the introduction and spread of COVID-19.

The Health Management Plan Flowchart summarises the various scenarios. It is available here

Under this new Queensland Government direction, seasonal worker means all workers who do not return to their usual place of residence each day.

Technically, the definition of a seasonal worker is:

(a)   An employee or contractor who usually resides outside of Queensland who: 

  •  holds a letter of appointment from an employer; and
  •  travels to Queensland to work in agribusiness or commercial fishing; and
  •  travels on an itinerant basis within Queensland to meet seasonal labour needs; or

(b)  An employee or contractor who usually resides in Queensland who: 

  • holds a letter of appointment from an employer; and
  • travels on an itinerant basis within Queensland to work on a farm or other agribusiness operation to meet seasonal labour needs; and
  • not return to their usual place of residence in Queensland each day.

More information on these changes are available online for businesses, including templates for the health management plans here 

Information has also been developed for seasonal workers, including temporary visa holders, on their requirements and is available here 

Remote Communities Pass

People providing essential services to remote communities can apply for a Remote Communities Pass. Travel restrictions are in force to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In Queensland this includes the entire Cook Shire Council area. Read more here 

There are exemptions for people providing essential services, including commercial primary production of food or food products, veterinary services, aquaculture or agribusiness.

People seeking to enter a designated restricted area require a Remote Communities Pass and a Generic Biosecurity Plan.

For entry to restricted areas in Queensland apply here 

For more information visit here

Growers urged to take action on leaf spot now

Growers are urged to minimise the incidence of leafspot in the months leading into winter or risk creating bigger problems down the track.

Taking action now is critical, as once winter arrives growers are reluctant to remove leaves if leaf spot infections are found, because of the slower rate of leaf emergence.

It is much easier to keep inoculum levels low (under the recommended 5%) by making sure de-leafing is up to date and following a recommended resistance management strategy for spraying.  

High levels of leaf spot infection in plants will cause problems for growers and neighbouring properties, and include:

  • delays in filling bunches
  • reduced ‘green life’ in fruit causing mixed ripening
  • increased costs for de-leafing and spraying
  • difficulty in detecting exotic leaf diseases if they arrive in your area
  • restricted market access

For more information, call ABGC’s Carl Rickson on 0447 551 473, your chemical reseller or agronomist.

National Banana Day success

Last Friday we celebrated National Banana Day – and what a day it was!

Fifteen contributed videos and photos featuring banana growers from around Australia were uploaded to the ABGC’s Facebook page throughout the day.

The response was nothing short of amazing. 

Our #nationalbananaday2020 Facebook posts: 

  • reached more than 23,000 people
  • generated 4308 post clicks
  • triggered 1809 reactions, comments and shares

Thank you to the growers who were able to record special messages for the public and our social media followers on the industry’s national day.

Australian Bananas also ran a campaign to celebrate #nationalbananaday2020. 

Here are some insights provided by Tate Connolly, Marketing Manager, Hort Innovation:


National Banana Day generated more than of 115 pieces of coverage across broadcast, radio and online news with a combined reach of more than 15 million. We’ve worked hard to position the day as some bright and fun news amongst some otherwise grim headlines. Notable wins for the day were 10Daily and The Herald Sun as well as the 9News 4pm and 6pm bulletins.

Social Media 

Our Banana Bread Bake Off will run until 8 May. We’ve had more than 100 entries so far across Facebook and Instagram, with more coming in. The combined reach of social activity for last week was more than two million consumers.


Sam Wood went live on social media the morning of National Banana Day with a workout for all the family, complete with a B1 and B2 costume. You can find it here. It was watched by 39k people! Billy Slater also posted a banana work out with his whole family (complete with t-shirts we supplied) to his audience of 314,000 people on Instagram

Matt Moran demonstrated a delicious banoffee pie on 10 Daily

Our micro influencers posted in support of our banana bread bake off.

Report to levies stakeholders 2018-19

The Report to levies stakeholders 2018–19 has been released. 

You can download a copy of the report from the Federal Department of Agriculture’s website at here 

The report summarises the department’s management of the agricultural levies system for 201819. 

It includes information about the activity-based cost-recovery charges that are associated with the department’s levy collection function, National Compliance Program outcomes, stakeholder engagement activities and an update on the project for streamlining and modernising agricultural levies legislation.