Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria has been working closely with the Victorian State Government and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) regarding protocols for interstate travel for mare coverings.

As TBA mentioned previously, commercial carriers are well set up to move mares across borders and will be able to navigate any of the protocols that are in place.

However, for those of you wishing to move mares with farm-owned trucks or vehicles, you will be required to have the right permits and there will be a number of protocols you or your employees will have to follow.

It should be said that, since last year’s breeding season, state governments have tightened up the rules for movement between states. This is largely due to the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

It is important that any breeder moving mares across state borders follow the protocols and requirements of their permits closely. Any outbreak of the virus that was linked to the movement of mares would jeopardise the allowances that governments have made for our industry.

Essentially, breeders have been given an allowance to use the freight permit system for travel into Victoria, Queensland and NSW. However, to qualify for this exemption, farms need to use a vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass of 4.5 tonnes or greater. Nearly all trucks commonly used by breeders would meet this restriction, though many floats are unlikely to do so.

TBA strongly suggests breeders only use their own truck or, if using a float, have evidence that it has a Gross Vehicle Mass of 4.5 tonnes.
In terms of travel interstate, it is recommended that farms utilise the following resources when travelling mares interstate:

1. Apply for a permit

  •  You must ensure you have read the requirements and have received an approved Victorian Government Specified worker permit, which you can access here. The Specified worker permit is required to enter or to leave Victoria.
  • You must ensure you have applied for the relevant interstate permit, which you can find links to below. This is required if you are coming to Victoria to have your mare covered (you will require a permit to return to your state of residence), or if you are a Victorian resident, to return home after your mare cover.
  • Interstate permit links:
  • New South Wales
  • Victoria
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Australian Capital Territory 
  • Western Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Northern Territory

2. Review and adhere to the following guidelines

  • Review the TBA industry guidelines, prior to travel, which you can access here.

If you’re eligible for a Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) Permit and you’ve been in a red or extreme risk zone (such as NSW) at any time after the red zone or extreme risk zone commencement time in the last 14 days, you must:

If a Victorian resident travelling for work outside Victoria:

  • quarantine at your accommodation when not working or while travelling for work
  • get tested for COVID-19 at least once every 3 days during the time the permit is valid
  • only leave your vehicle or the accommodation where you are quarantining when working to undertake the work that makes you eligible for the specified worker permit (e.g. driving and unloading), and to:
    • access toilet and bathroom facilities
    • pay for fuel
    • purchase essential items
    • purchase takeaway food and drink
    • depart Victoria from an airport, seaport or railway station
  • must not carry any other person as a passenger in the driver’s cabin of a vehicle while travelling for work outside of Victoria, other than for the purpose of providing specified work in an occupation included in the Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) List
  • minimise contact with others when not travelling for work outside of Victoria
  • wear a mask indoors and outdoors whilst travelling for work outside of Victoria

If you are a non-Victorian resident in Victoria (i.e. Coming from a NSW farm for a cover in Vic)

  • quarantine at accommodation when not working
  • get tested for COVID-19 at least once every 3 days during the time the permit is valid
  • you must not carry any other person as a passenger in the driver’s cabin of a vehicle, other than for the purpose of providing specified work in an occupation included in the Specified Worker (Low Workplace Interaction) List
  • only leave isolation to undertake the work that makes you eligible for the specified worker permit (e.g. driving and unloading), and to
    • access toilet and bathroom facilities
    • pay for fuel
    • purchase essential items
    • purchase takeaway food and drink
    • depart Victoria from an airport, seaport or railway station
  • minimise contact with others when inside Victoria
  • wear a mask indoors and outdoors unless an exception applies
  • only remain in Victoria for the period of time necessary to provide the work.

Other conditions apply. These will be clearly listed on your permit and as part of your application. To get a permit, you must declare that you accept these conditions.

3. Carry the following documentation when travelling: 

  • A Freight and Transport COVID safe plan must be completed and carried with you at all times. You can access the template created by TBA here.
  • A COVID Safe plan for farms, you can access the template created by TBA here.
  • As per TBV’s last update for Victorian breeders, ensure you have completed and are carrying your authorised worker permit when moving around Victoria. You can access the permit by clicking here.
  • A letter from your employer or, if a sole trader, a note highlighting that you are conducting essential agricultural work and you are an employee of the business you are representing.
  • Communication from the stallion farm confirming the reason the mare is being travelled.
  • Drivers/staff should also carry their driver’s license as proof of identity and residence.
  • Permit holders are also encouraged to have a worker-specific quarantine plan demonstrating how they will minimise interactions with the community on their return to Victoria.

Finally, it is important to continue checking the Victorian COVID exposure site list, with a number of new exposure sites in metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria. The COVID exposure site list can be found by clicking here. You can find our last COVID update by clicking here.

I would like to wish everyone a safe and prosperous season and as always, should you have any questions, you can get in touch with me at tbv@racingvictoria.net.au or on 0459 510 506.

Kind Regards,

 

Charmein Bukovec

Executive Officer