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Premier briefs Mayors on Coronavirus

Mark Furner
Agriculture Minister Mark Furner has announced a team of Agriculture Coordination Officers will support producers, the agriculture industry and local governments to manage COVID-19. Photo: Facebook

In Saturday's Coronavirus update, the Queensland Government has briefed mayors and announced a team of Agriculture Coordination Officers will support primary producers.

Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey yesterday participated in a statewide teleconference with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to discuss Coronavirus issues in Queensland.

Writing on his Facebook page, Mayor Dempsey said participants included Government Ministers, public servants and Mayors from across Queensland.

“We were updated on the Coronavirus response and the current situation,” he said.

“It was part of the coordinated national approach to managing the pandemic involving all levels of government.

“I’d like to assure the community that authorities are taking all necessary steps and so far we’ve been successful at containing the rampant spread of COVID-19 thanks to effective social distancing.

“The virus itself will be with us for a long time and there’s likely to be some level of restrictions in place while it remains active and there’s no vaccine.”

Mayor Dempsey said there’s concern the Coronavirus could become more virulent during the winter flu season, “so we must all remain vigilant and follow public health advice”.

“I’d like to thank the Premier for her leadership during these difficult times,” he said.

“Council will continue to support the Government’s efforts and I urge everyone to play their part in winning this battle against an invisible enemy.”

Queensland Health yesterday reported there are 15 active cases of COVID-19 in the Wide Bay Region.

Agriculture Coordination Officers

Meanwhile, the State Government has announced a team of Agriculture Coordination Officers will support producers, the agriculture industry and local governments to manage COVID-19.

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said regional economic development, extension, research and biosecurity staff were available as Agriculture Coordination Officers to ensure rapid assistance during these unprecedented times.

“There are approximately 100 Agriculture Coordination Officers across the state available to help agribusinesses deal with the complexities of COVID-19 as required,” he said.

“This support includes assisting producers and industry to access relevant information quickly without having to navigate a myriad of websites and in some cases with limited or no connectivity.”

Mr Furner said staff will proactively check-in with stakeholders to see how they are going and to ensure they have the information they need to manage their situation. 

“Agriculture Coordination Officers with suitable regional and technical knowledge will also respond to enquiries from local governments through their District and Local Disaster Management Group meetings,” he said.

“We will continue to support our producers, local governments and industry groups such as AgForce, Queensland Farmer’s Federation, Growcom and Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation so our agriculture supply chains can continue to deliver for Queensland communities.

“The Queensland Government acknowledges that agricultural, fisheries and forestry businesses are essential and will continue to be supported as we work together throughout this COVID-19 incident.

“The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries will continue to provide support, information and assistance to commercial, recreational and charter fishers, aquaculture, forestry and quarrying businesses and permit holders.”

To contact an Agriculture Coordination Officer email the Customer Service Centre at [email protected] or call 13 25 23.

For more information on COVID-19 agribusiness support visit www.business.qld.gov.au.

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