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DEFENCE RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Defence Industry

DEFENCE GUIDANCE ON DEFENCE INDUSTRY CROSS-BORDER TRAVEL

Defence is a key national capability that is organised and equipped across state boundaries, and is required to cross borders to maintain essential readiness and to support state and territory requests in response to COVID-19.

States and territories have agreed to limited interstate movement to support Defence national security priorities – in a responsible manner when all other options have been exhausted.

Defence aims to be an exemplar in our compliance with government direction to slow the spread of COVID-19, complying with all government border restrictions (including within a State or Territory where imposed) unless an exemption has been confirmed. Defence expects that its personnel and industry members will travel by exception only.

Defence has developed a principles-based approach with these jurisdictions to allow judgement and discretion to be applied in-line with the latest medical advice and safely conduct essential Defence operations.

Will Defence support Defence industry to travel across borders?

Defence will support travel by defence industry if there is a critical operational requirement to support Australian Defence Force (ADF) capability or COVID-19 assistance tasks that cannot be met by any other means. Defence’s COVID-19 Industry Support Cell (CISC) will work with the relevant Defence Business area and defence industry to administer the travel arrangements. The CISC can be contacted via email.

How does Defence industry seek an exemption for cross-border travel?

Each state and territory has different conditions on cross-border travel and we encourage industry members to make themselves familiar with these restrictions. Defence industry can find the respective states and territories’ direction on travel from the Department of Health website. These conditions are subject to change as the pandemic changes.

How will Defence determine if it will support travel across borders?

Defence will ensure that that any proposed travel accords with the following guiding principles:

  • the travel is essential for ADF capability or COVID-19 assistance tasks;
  • all other options have been exhausted;
  • there is a robust COVID-19 mitigation plan; and
  • the travellers will comply with all state/territory direction.

What information will Defence need to support defence industry’s travel across borders?

Defence will ask their defence industry partner to provide assurance that:

  • the proposed task cannot be completed through another means such as Defence personnel, a local resource or alternate subcontractor, a physical work around or deferral;
  • the industry partner has demonstrated that the proposed travel involves the minimum number of staff, and cannot be achieved by remote or virtual means;
  • the industry partner has provided COVID-19 specific mitigation to limit both exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19 before, during and after the travel, including amendments to relevant Workplace Health and Safety plans;
  • special consideration has been given to the protection of remote Indigenous communities;
  • the Industry partner has provided assurance that the traveller(s) will:

    • be fit to travel, asymptomatic, and will receive a health-screen pre- and post-travel;
    • be required to adhere to the extant personal hygiene and social distancing measures;
    • have clear plans for symptom vigilance and action;
    • carry, or have access to, PPE to be used in the case that they become symptomatic;
    • minimise contact with the general community, and personnel will be as self sufficient as possible;
    • use on-base accommodation where practicable. Where Defence is unable to provide on-base accommodation, personnel will be required to remain at their accommodation and not socialise, in accordance with health guidance;
    • use Defence provided vehicles and Defence provided transport as far as practicable;
    • minimise time within state borders – travel is for essential tasks only.
  • the COVID-19 health mitigation measures put in place by the industry partner are acceptable, both to the Commonwealth and the state and/or territory; and
  • the industry partner will provide a post-travel report, including any issues that arose as a result of the travel.

Defence would – if satisfied with the information provided – endorse the industry partner to seek state or territory government approval of the travel.

How will Defence administer defence industry’s travel across borders?

The CISC will oversee defence industry’s travel arrangements with the states and territories. The CISC can provide defence industry with further information on the process. The CISC can be contacted via email.