Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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Flood recovery - Vic

Students return to schools in Rochester after floods: Hutchins

Students in Rochester will return to their schools this week after being affected by the devastating flooding across Victoria last year. It’s the first time the students at Rochester Primary School and Rochester Secondary School will be able to walk back through the school gates since the flooding left both schools inundated with water.

Floods - WA

Nutrien Ag Solutions & Elders dig deep to kick off donation drive for flooded Kimberley graziers: Rural Aid

Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, has joined forces with the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association (KPCA) to create a fundraising drive for flood-affected graziers in Western Australia’s Kimberley region ... Ex-tropical cyclone Ellie brought unfathomable volumes of rain to Fitzroy River catchments – up to 800 millimetres in a week for some locations - resulting in a flood that exceeded previous water levels by more than two metres. Properties such as Yeeda Station, just outside of Derby, were battling up to 40 kilometres of flood frontage.

Trade

Exports to Singapore get a digital boost: DAFF

Australian exporters will see faster export documentation and easier access into Singapore’s markets, as certification between Australia and Singapore moves towards paperless trading ... “Using electronic export certification (eCert) means the relevant information is sent directly to overseas government agencies almost instantly, allowing for quicker clearance times so producers can get their goods to market faster”: A/g Deputy Secretary Nicola Hinder.

Councils

International delegation to provide lasting benefits for the Lockyer Valley

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor, Cr Tanya Milligan is honoured to be part of an upcoming international delegation to north America, which is set to focus on a range of issues for the Lockyer Valley. The Council of Mayors South East Queensland delegation will put a spotlight on waste management issues and better transport connectivity ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Timber

Announcement of agreement to sell J Notaras & Sons business and assets

After more than 70 years supplying quality hardwood timber and timber products, the Board of J Notaras and Sons (“the Company”) is pleased to advise that the business will be continuing its strong legacy and commitment to the family-owned service ethic and outstanding quality its customers have come to admire and respect under the direction of the Marshall family.

Event

24th International Seaweed Symposium

The 24th International Seaweed Symposium will be held for the first time in Australia. It will take place in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia’s most southern state, from Sunday 19th to Friday 24th February 2023.

Australia Day awards

Super volunteer recognised

A staunch advocate of women in agriculture, long-time Landcare supporter, strong community proponent and anti-cancer fighter has received an Order of Australia (OAM) in today’s honours list. Julie De Hennin of Talgarno was recognised for her service to the North East community and is well known in the Upper Murray.

Gannawarra Australia Day citizens recognised

An emergency services leader and a passionate musician have taken out Gannawarra Shire Council’s 2023 Australia Day Awards. Kerang Fire Brigade captain Ramon Steel was named Gannawarra Shire Council’s Citizen of the Year, and Deaken Fawcett presented with Council’s Young Citizen of the Year Award.

Barkly’s Australia Day Awards focus on our local heroes

Tennant Creek’s born and bred doctor Sarah Goddard took the top honours in the Local Government 2023 Australia Day Awards for Tennant Creek. Dr Goddard has spent well over a decade reaching her goals to become a doctor and Citizen of the Year Awards adds to her list of growing accolades, winning best Indigenous doctor in Australia late last year in the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) awards.

Australia Day

Yanchep’s Sharon Conley recognised at Two Rocks Australia Day event

About 650 breakfasts – cooked and served by volunteers – were consumed at the 2023 Australia Day event in Two Rocks ... Yanchep resident Sharon Conley, who is a member of the Yanchep Netball Club, received the YTRCRA citizen award.

Opinion

Are farm machinery dealerships doomed?

Why do we have so many new car dealerships, machinery dealerships and electronic shops when the buyers are embracing the world of virtual e-commerce platforms for purchasing everything from clothing to cars? ... We need a revolution in how we buy and sell our farm machinery as the hidden costs of an old outdated system are being loaded onto the prices making expensive equipment even more expensive.

Funding

East River funds to bring relief for channel users

Patricia Gill. An overdue public toilet block will be built at Prawn Rock Channel ... The toilets will be a welcome facility in the peak holiday times for many families of picnickers when the nearest public facility is at Ocean Beach. Walkers in the area have complained about the state of the PRC water and surrounds due to there being no toilets.

Hospitality & tourism

Family dream being realised with Sedgers redevelopment

The realisation of a more than decade-long dream for the McGeary and Gilmore families will begin next month when the redevelopment of Iluka’s iconic Sedgers Reef Hotel commences ... “Everyone is welcome to come and farewell the old Sedgers Reef Hotel right up until the time we close”: Rowena Drew.

Harwood Marine’s $1.3m barge refit for accommodation

A huge vessel being guided into the Port of Yamba by two tugs and a pilot boat last weekend is now berthed at its temporary home, Harwood Marine ... “Harwood Marine previously has done work for TSA and have now been engaged to build a floating accommodation block for the vessel”: Harwood Marine owner Ross Roberts.

Council

Porcupine Village woes

It was an announcement that was significant enough for the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events to visit Maldon in May last year: a State Government decision to invest $1.7 million in a development at Porcupine Village ... After eight months, progress on the Porcupine Village development has stalled, with works shut down by Council owing to lack of compliance regarding appropriate planning permission.

Fire

Plumes of smoke seen for miles

Hot windy conditions last Wednesday morning led to two fires developing at Old Talgal and Pratten with smoke visible from Allora, Hendon and Deuchar. A 'Prepare to Leave" warning was issued by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Wednesday afternoon for the Old Talgai fire, which also affected Ellangowan and Victoria Hill.

Volunteers

Marie and Mick blaze on with BlazeAid fencing jobs

The BlazeAid camp saga continues. BlazeAid co-ordinators Cindy and Wayne Lusted were told to pack up the camp of volunteers staying at Rappville Sportsground ... Mick and Marie Evans, who were volunteers at the first BlazeAid camp in Casino are taking on the smaller jobs on the BlazeAid list and plan to finish the fencing themselves as M&M Fencing, not under the BlazeAid umbrella.

Commemoration

Louise remembered one year on

A hideous fatal fireground accident near Lucindale was one year old last week. Recalling the day, a sombre group gathered at the Lucindale CFS Station for the unveiling of a plaque in honour of CFS fallen volunteer Louise Hincks.

Wildlife

New challenges and solutions at WCTTAA Forum: Cape York NRM

It was a year of new challenges for turtle nesting protection on the western Cape York Peninsula, with unprecedented early nesting, vehicle breakdowns, weather events, shifting landscapes and data collection unreliability ... Rangers from Apudthama Land Trust and the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council (NPARC), Napranum Aboriginal Land Council, Mapoon and Pormpuraaw gathered in Weipa in December for the annual forum on the turtle nesting season.

Infrastructure

New bridge takes shape

The first of three spans of girders are now in place as the basis of the new Towong Bridge deck slab begins to take form. The first five pre-cast bridge girders were craned into place early this week with each spanning up to 20 metres in length and weighing up to 30 tonnes.

Floods

Country Hour in Benjeroop

ABC rural reporter Angus Verley was on location last Friday, January 20 in the flood ravaged Benjeroop area ... “We haven’t been flooded out in 100 years but we’ve been flooded out twice in 13 years,” Mr Schultz told Mr Verley. “Something’s not quite right and that’s what we have got to get to the bottom of.”

River health

Exploding carp numbers are ‘like a house of horrors’ for our rivers. Is it time to unleash carp herpes?: CSU

With widespread La Niña flooding in the Murray-Darling Basin, common carp (Cyprinus carpio) populations are having a boom year. Videos of writhing masses of both adult and young fish illustrate that all is not well in our rivers.

Environment

Mineral sands project set for public environmental review

A public environmental review has been set for a mineral sands project proposed for about 21km east of Ledge Point and 800m south of the Moore River due to the extent of further information required, the number of preliminary key environmental factors identified and the moderate level of public interest in the project. When the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) published its decision to assess the Bidaminna project proposal it said out of the 156 submissions received 153 had called for public environmental review.

Flood recovery

State Government finalises strategy to reconnect Great Northern Highway through Fitzroy Crossing: Saffioti

Sections of the highway around Fitzroy Crossing were completely washed away in the recent one-in-100-year flood event, while the Fitzroy Crossing Bridge sustained significant damage and will need to be fully replaced. The plan will involve the implementation of a barge system across the river, which will initially be operated by tugs, with a cable system to be operationalised shortly after.

Youth crime

Youth crime crisis: Robbie Katter

The youth crime crisis has not only once again revealed the Queensland Labor Government’s ineffective way of dealing with a problem but also exposes their disregard to the regions ... the fact that it took a response for a murder in Brisbane, not the constant high levels of violence and off the charts levels of offences occurring in Mount Isa, Townsville and Cairns, to incite some sort of change, is disappointing.

Labour - NT

Consortium departs for Philippines and India on skilled worker search: Kirby

A consortium of Territory businesses are heading to the Philippines and India ... to recruit much needed construction workers and other critical workers needed across the economy ... The expos will promote the Territory as a preferred destination to live and work as well as facilitate connections between potential workers and Northern Territory businesses. Master Builders Global Roadshow will help raise the profile of the Territory and expand and diversify our skill base.

Connectivity

Regional Tech Hub launches new book-in phone service: NFF

Say goodbye to connectivity frustration in rural, regional, and remote Australia with a new and convenient book-in phone support service from the Regional Tech Hub. The team is ready to provide free, independent personalised connectivity assistance, answer questions, and provide advice on internet and mobile options, no matter where you live in regional Australia.

Vaccines - SA

Vaccine supplies run short as mosquito virus threat spreads its wings to the city: Speirs

The Opposition is calling on Peter Malinauskas to urgently source more Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) vaccine doses and expand the criteria for those who want to boost their safety and be vaccinated against JEV – as concerns over the potentially deadly virus grow ... “It’s clear JEV is no longer a Riverland specific problem and $300 for a vaccine is completely unreasonable given so many South Australians are battling through a cost of living crisis": SA Opposition Leader, David Speir

Rural doctor

Dr Alex Sleeman – diving into a country practice

There’s something very special about country doctors; they rarely work in the places they were born and raised and often bring with them a wealth of knowledge and life experience. Alex Sleeman is one country GP who had a big life before he became a small town GP.

Rural doctors

NSW welcomes record intake of junior doctors: Hazzard, Taylor

Staff and patients in NSW public hospitals are set to benefit from a major workforce boost with almost 1,100 medical graduate interns starting work in city and country hospitals this week – more than any other state or territory in Australia ... Minister Taylor said the new medical graduates will be welcomed with open arms to our rural and regional hospitals, with almost one third or 396 of the positions in the bush.

Aeromedical

Toowoomba is LifeFlight’s busiest base

Toowoomba LifeFlight was the aeromedical service's busiest Queensland base in 2022, with 659 people helped. The aeromedical missions were performed by the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue and Toowoomba LifeFlignt Surat Gas Aeromedical Service (SGAS) helicopters, which are based at the Clive Berghofer LifeFlight Centre and cover a huge area of the state, from the Darling Downs and beyond.

Covid - WA

Cases falling but the XBB.1.5 variant now detected in WA

In WA Covid-19 cases are continuing to fall but ... WA Health said one case of the Omicron XBB.1.5 variant has been confirmed in the state. The Omicron XBB.1.5 variant is a sublineage of XBB, which emerged when a person was infected with two BA.2 sublineages.

Health

Chronic pain study targets rural communities: Ashley Grant

Chronic pain doesn’t discriminate. It can impact anyone, of any age, and in any location. However, how it is managed can differ greatly ... The problem of chronic pain is complex, so solving it is going to be difficult. However, progress is being made and researchers at the University of South Australia are exploring how to bring better outcomes for rural Australians challenged by chronic pain.

Warning

Warning about swimming in Moore River in Guilderton

The Shire of Gingin and the Department of Health are warning people to avoid swimming and other full-body water immersion activities in Moore River at Guilderton after recent sampling results detected amoeba and high bacteria levels at several sampling locations.

Health - SA

South Australia’s world-class medical precinct on show at global tech event: Champion

South Australian medical and biotech companies will get the opportunity to pitch to global investors at a major trade event in the Middle East, which begins today. The Arab Health Exhibition and Congress, held at Dubai’s World Trade Centre, will provide local companies the international platform to showcase their world-class medical products, devices and capability.

Health - SA

Patients in pain waiting more than seven years to see a specialist: Hurn

Record ramping under Peter Malinauskas continues to have a ripple effect throughout the health system, as new government data exposes that some South Australian patients have a gruelling wait of more than seven years to see a specialist ... Shadow Minister for Health Ashton Hurn said these wait times go hand-in-hand with record ramping where patients are regularly forced to wait more than 24 hours for a bed.

Virus - NT

Mosquito-borne disease alert following monsoonal rains: NT Health

Territorians and visitors are being urged to protect themselves from mosquitoes bites, with mosquito numbers expected to increase following recent heavy monsoonal rainfall. Some mosquito species can transmit viruses including the Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses, as well as the potentially fatal Japanese encephalitis and Murray Valley encephalitis viruses ... three cases of Japanese encephalitis have been diagnosed in the Northern Territory (NT), with the first detected in in 2021.

Mosquitos - WA

After the rain: Shire of Broome commences program to combat mosquito-borne diseases

While the heavy rains that lashed the Shire of Broome last week from ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie caused relatively minor damage in Broome, they have presented an increased risk of exposure to mosquito-borne diseases in town and surrounding communities. The Shire has commenced a pest management program ...

Virus - Vic

Protect yourself from Murray Valley encephalitis virus

Mildura Rural City Council’s routine mosquito monitoring program has detected Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) virus in our municipality ... This detection of the virus in Mildura and northern Victoria, marks the first detection in Victoria in more than a decade.

Recycling

A new year to recycle your old things

Christmas and New Year are over for another year, we have just celebrated Australia Day and school is about to go back. For all those people who are wondering where to fit all those extra presents, or have just finished spring cleaning over the holidays, you can take heart.

Convention

Header drivers converge next month

If you have driven a header, seen a header or seen a picture of a header, you are welcome at the annual Header Drivers Convention in Narrandera on February 3. Main organiser of the event for the past 20 years, Neil Seidel, said the night was a great opportunity for farmers or anyone interested in a good night out, to tell lies about the harvest just gone...

Recycling

Scenic Rim forges ahead on the Garage Sale Trail

Scenic Rim sellers who turned their trash into cash during two weekends of garage sales in November 2022 generated more than $40,000 in sales and saved almost 3.2 tonnes of unwanted items from landfill ... “Programs such as the Garage Sale Trail play a valuable role in shifting community perceptions of purchasing second hand, supporting the transition to a circular economy and enabling more effective reuse and recycling of unwanted items”: Mayor Christensen.