The information below is Defence’s approach to approval of travel,
and the Defence request for information on industry’s travel plans.
Defence Domestic travel guidance
Defence has been directed to demonstrate exemplar behaviours when it comes to the risk of infecting our colleagues, families or the broader community. LTGEN Frewen, as Head of the COVID-19 Taskforce, and SEC/CDF have directed that any travel for Defence purposes (including by defence industry) must be pre-approved at the Band 2/2 Star level and must be scrutinised and deemed as absolutely essential.
Defence has well-established procedures for gaining approval from the relevant Band 2/2 Star authorities, so there should not be any impediment to travel that is agreed as essential. However, where there are restrictions and quarantine, Defence may not be able to support travel or gain an exemption – the State or Territory government holds the decision-making authority.
Please work with your Defence sponsors when a need for travel is identified.
Where the Band 2/2 Star authority agrees the travel is essential and can occur, Defence will provide a letter to the industry partner that:
- supports the travel,
- identifies the proposed travellers and dates of travel, and
- states Defence’s expectations with respect to industry staff adherence to COVID-19 preventative measures including:
- quarantine periods,
- social distancing requirements,
- plans for symptom vigilance and action,
- access to personal protective equipment, and
- compliance with all State/Territory directions.
Once Defence agrees to the provisions of the Defence letter, it will detail how you need to comply with Defence’s expectations, and that your travelling staff member(s) will carry identification and the letters with them at all times.
For activities approved as essential, it is the responsibility of the industry traveller to ensure appropriate State and Territory exemptions and permits are obtained prior to the travel commencing. Defence, through the sponsor and the COVID-19 Taskforce Industry Support Cell, can provide advice on these exemptions should industry need assistance to understand the requirements. The letter from Defence does not give permission for the traveller to cross borders or not comply with State and Territory restrictions – rather it offers Defence support for industry to seek any exemptions that may be allowed by the State and Territories.
Should travel be denied due to State or Territory restrictions, for example, industry should try using other means to mitigate delay and consider accessing the provisions in the Recovery Deed if deemed appropriate.
Defence related International travel and ‘posting’ information
Defence is seeking, for planning purposes, information from defence industry on its understanding of international travel requirements out to the next 12 months.
Defence has been supporting a very limited number of overseas defence industry personnel to travel to and from Australia, in line with the Defence direction that travel only be supported where it is absolutely essential. Defence is now in need of a better understanding of future international travel requirements into and out of Australia. We are not seeking fine details, but a broad understanding of international travel. Examples are:
Postings / Permanent Change of Station (PCS) – Foreign workers posted to Australia for longer periods; typically accompanied. If there are Australian workers being posted overseas, please provide those too. For example, are some of the big projects reaching levels of maturity where there is likely to be a requirement for new postings?
Longer term / Temporary Duty (TDY) – maintenance of capabilities where personnel will be required in Australia for longer periods – more than a month, less than six months as a rough guide. Typically unaccompanied. If there are Australian workers on overseas TDYs, please provide those too. Again, consider if the big projects are reaching levels of maturity where there is likely to be a requirement for new TDYs.
Short term / travel – is industry aware of short term travel requirements that will become due or have been delayed and now becoming essential? For example, certification of new equipment or processes, travel for warranty purposes, travel that has been delayed until conditions improved but has become essential. Similarly, if industry has travel it needs to conduct overseas that it has delayed or is impending, a snapshot of those figures is also important – for example support to Defence international engagement and assistance missions such as Fiji’s Blackrock Training centre.