The NSW government is sweating on final approval from Prime Minister Scott Morrison for a plan which will end the week-long roadblock to Victorian farmers and other agriculture sector workers being unable to travel interstate for critical work purposes.
NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall has crunched the revised permit arrangements in conjunction with Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Premier Gladys Berejiklian following growing angst to the latest rules around movement across the border.
The federal government intervened in the issue late in the week with Mr Morrison wanting input into the changes.
Mr Marshall revealed details of the proposed "agriculture only" permit plan to ABC radio on Friday.
"Critical ag workers will be able to access a permit, even those outside the border bubble, to cross into NSW to undertake that critical work," he said.
"They will have to demonstrate they are COVID-19 free before they can come across by a test showing they are negative to COVID-19.
"If they stay overnight they must isolate and ideally be accommodated on the property they are working at."
Mr Marshall said it was crucial the issue was resolved.
"Unless (farmers have) got really friendly neighbours or got employees on those properties, they need to get to those properties to undertake critical farm work," he said.
"The health process is a difficult one to navigate through.
"It is not as easy people might first think, but from my perspective agriculture is a critical industry."
Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes welcomed the break-through, but was concerned the process could be held up due to federal government intervention at the 11th hour.
"They have got solutions which would enable everyone in the agricultural supply chain to be able to access a permit," she said.
"The troubling thing for me is, after working very closely with NSW, for whatever reasons federal members have decided a week on to get involved in this issue."
The revised permit will be a major relief for workers located outside the revised border region zone.