Information for primary industries
The State and Commonwealth Governments have put a series of restrictions into and within Western Australia to help protect the community from the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you need further information on the restrictions, please visit wa.gov.au or phone 13COVID (13 26 843).
Entry to Australia is now prohibited unless you or a family member are an Australian resident or citizen.
The Australian Government travel advice is: do not travel, for further advice please visit the Smart Traveller website.
While employers cannot access the Seasonal Worker Programme or Pacific Labour Scheme, workers already in Australia under those programmes may be able to extend their stay for up to 12 months.
More information for businesses employing visa holders here.
Strict border controls are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in WA.
People are no longer able to enter Western Australia after 11.59pm, on Sunday, 5 April 2020 unless an exemption has been granted.
Exemptions apply for people employed or engaged in agriculture, food production or primary industries who hold specialist skills not available in Western Australia. This means that primary industries can only bring employees into Western Australia if those skills are not available in Western Australia. Exemptions are also in place for transport, freight and logistics.
Exemptions must be granted by WA Police prior to travel.
Employees must carry their exemption form and proof of its submission when travelling, and may be asked to produce this documentation at a check point or by WA Police patrolling the area. Failure to produce this documentation may result in penalties including imprisonment or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals or $250,000 for organisations.
More information is available here.
Regional travel restrictions – phase 2
From 18 May, some regional travel restrictions have been relaxed as part of WA’s COVID-19 roadmap.
Current regions within WA have been reduced from 13 to four (not including Commonwealth Biosecurity zone and remote communities).
Travel will be permitted:
- between the South West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and Perth-Peel regions
- between the Mid-West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions (excluding the Biosecurity zone)
- between the Goldfields-Esperance region (excluding the Biosecurity zone)
- within the Kimberley Local Government areas (the Commonwealth’s Biosecurity zone remains in place).
Exemptions apply for travel outside of these regions for:
- people travelling to work
- attending medical appointments
- transporting freight
- those who do not have access to groceries or supplies within their region
- returning to a place of residence
- attending school or an educational institution where necessary
- caring for family members
- compassionate grounds.
If you meet the above exemption criteria, the G2G (Good to Go) app allows you to electronically request travel approvals intrastate. An approved traveller will be issued a QR code electronically which can be scanned at the checkpoints – this will give pre-approval before leaving. The QR code app is available for iPhones and Android at the respective app stores.
Alternatively, you can request approval to travel at the checkpoint by providing WA Police with supporting documentation, such as a letter/email/SMS from an employer, that proves you meet the criteria to travel regional.
Checkpoints and mobile police patrols are in place to monitor travel across boundaries and ensure people are doing the right thing. Police have the power to enforce these restrictions, and issue fines of up to $50 000.
Regional travel restrictions – phase 3
Phase 3 will be finalised in the coming weeks, based on the advice from the Chief Health Officer and taking into account the infection rates across WA. It’s expected Phase 3 will be implemented about four weeks from the commencement of Phase 2. Possible further relaxation of regional travel restrictions may apply.
Western Australian intrastate travel is defined as movement through the boundaries of the regions of WA. Regions are defined by the boundaries of the State’s nine Regional Development Commissions. Due to their close proximity, the Perth and Peel regions have been combined into one region.
- Great Southern
- Mid West
- Peel (and Perth)
- South West
These restrictions are also for anyone travelling into the Shire of Esperance, given the nature of the Goldfields-Esperance region.
For a guide on where roads and highways intersect regional and other travel restriction boundaries, please view the regional boundaries - road descriptions, provided by the regional development commissions.
Additional restrictions are in place for access to and within the Kimberley to protect the health and wellbeing of residents in the Kimberley and remote Aboriginal communities.
From 9.00pm Thursday, 26 March 2020, access has been restricted into the Kimberley.
Employees of food production operations are eligible for exemptions to these restrictions, subject to strict conditions.
Employees of food production operations can only enter the Kimberley if their employer or the station/farm operator has obtained permission for them to travel.
Employees will need to self-isolate for 14 days (either before entering the designated area or in the first town they enter within the designated area) unless needed at the station or farm urgently to prevent risk to human health or safety, risk to environment or animal welfare or breach of statutory duty.
Employers will need to put in a place a COVID-19 plan.
For information on an exemption email please email APCUPandemicfirstname.lastname@example.org
The restrictions for the designated areas are enforceable through emergency determination powers under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth).
A jail term of up to five years could apply to those who breach the determination.
From 11.59pm Thursday, 2 April 2020, restrictions are also in place for travelling through the Kimberley region.
These boundaries are in line with the four local government areas shires of:
- Derby-West Kimberley
- Wyndham-East Kimberley
- Halls Creek
Under the new measures, people must stay in their local government area.
The same exemptions apply as under WA’s intrastate travel restrictions - a person engaged in agriculture, food production or primary industry is eligible for exemption, and freight will continue to operate and is permitted to travel through regional boundaries.
More information is available here.
Information and support
For more information and support during COVID-19, please visit DPIRD's webpages below: