As we head towards a ‘new normal’, the Department of Primary Industry and Resources remains committed to supporting the Territory’s vital primary industry and resource sectors to maintain business continuity in the safest possible manner, and importantly in looking towards recovery.
A priority area for the department is supporting economic response and recovery initiatives to address the significant economic consequences of COVID-19. As part of whole-of-government’s response and recovery efforts, we are dedicated to seeking new opportunities to re-build industry sectors to get back on track.
Lorraine Corowa has been appointed to the department to lead the agency’s economic recovery work that will feed into the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation’s (DTBI) economic response program. The Territory’s primary industry and resource sectors historically provide the largest amount of own source revenue to the Territory Government, and are a key area for recovery focus and seeking to rebuild the Territory’s economy. Lorraine will be liaising with several sector areas to identify priority opportunity areas and work is also underway to streamline processes and facilitate additional investment opportunities.
Safety focus has been an important element of the COVID-19 response, presenting unique challenges for operations, particularly in regional and remote locations. The continued commitment to safety is imperative in continuing operations, helping to prevent transmission of COVID-19, particularly to vulnerable communities, and in the continued trajectory towards future restriction easing.
The agency has been regularly engaging direct with industry, and via peak industry body briefings, in support of managing amendments to the Biosecurity Act, to provide process transition support and to hear about key issues impacting the sectors. Regular engagement with industry continues to be an important mechanism to discuss emerging challenges, focus support areas and in seeking to address present-day issues.
The Northern Territory’s tenure and geoscience maps on STRIKE have been modified to show a new COVID-19 biosecurity zones group under ‘administrative boundaries’. Two separate layers are now visible: COVID-19 Biosecurity Base Areas and Pastoral Properties.
The Northern Territory Government is looking to restart businesses in a way that continues to manage the ongoing risks presented by COVID-19. Chief Health Officer (CHO) directions are continually being revised and updated to manage these risks.
Commercial food production has been recognised nationally as an essential industry to continue, provided any health risks to the community are managed. These arrangements are being implemented locally by adhering to the Australian Government Biosecurity Act 2015 and Northern Territory CHO directions.
For businesses that are not affected by interstate worker or designated area provisions, the only requirement now is to follow physical distancing principles. The Northern Territory Government coronavirus website includes a COVID-19 checklist process for businesses to guide the development of workplace arrangements for physical distancing.
As the future starts to look a little brighter, it is important to stay vigilant with physical distancing and hygiene to ensure we can keep transitioning forwards and reducing restrictions. Find out more about physical distancing at work, home and in the community by visiting the coronavirus (COVID-19) website.
The Territory’s commitment to maintaining our vital industries in the safest possible manner has significantly contributed to ongoing operations and the nation-first commencement of restriction easing. As a department, we are committed to ongoing support as our new normal continues to present, and we focus our efforts on supporting industry to get back to business.