Saturday, April 20, 2024

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Topics to watch

Bioenergy

Radial Timber taking on power

Radial Timber in Yarram, with a strategy already in place for its mainstream timber operation, has embarked on a new approach to using its wood waste that takes the company deeper into the heart of the sustainable, circular economy. Radial has installed a pilot plant that uses pyrolysis technology; organic material, in this case wood residues, is burnt at high temperatures without oxygen to produce biochar, a stable solid that is rich in carbon and can fertilise and endure in soil for thousands of years.

Farming

An opportunity for young farmers

With BCG’s Young Farmer Network rapidly expanding, Senior Manager of Extension and Communications, Grace Hosking, is encouraging more young farmers to register now. "In our role as the Vic Hub’s North West Broadacre Node, BCG has brought together hundreds of young farmers from across the region in recent weeks to build knowledge, create networks and support each other through our BCG Young Farmer Network events...."

Doctors

Welcome Dr. Maryna

It is with immense pleasure that we at the Donald Family Clinic would like to welcome a long anticipated new addition to our medical team. Dr. Maryna Aliakseyeva has officially joined us and her books will be open as of Monday, April 22, 2024. 

Food & beverages

Falcons ginger beer launch

On Thursday last week the Mount Alexander Falcons Women’s Sports Club launched a ginger beer made in collaboration with Shedshaker Brewing as a fundraiser to support the club and their community programs, which includes the outreach program at Tarrengower prison.

Infrastructure

It’s dam important – Cressbrook Dam an utmost priority

Toowoomba Region Mayor Geoff McDonald and Deputy Mayor Cr Rebecca Vonhoff last week stepped up the call for external funding for the $270 million Cressbrook Dam Safety Improvement Project ... Without grant funding, Council’s submission to the State Government said the full cost of the dam wall upgrade will be transferred to ratepayers through increased water charges.

Governance

MIL vote outcome

The proposed resolutions to remove the two current MIL non-member directors, Trisha Gorman and Robert Burbury, from the Murray Irrigation Board failed to garner the necessary votes last week ... The infighting at the board level has seen division spill over into the community, with the company, certain directors and influential farmers taking a leaf out of the MDBA book and hosting closed-door meetings for invite-only attendees.

Regional air

Flight reductions under watch

Narrandera and Leeton Shire Councils will be keeping their eyes open and continuing dialogue with Regional Express executives in relation to flight reductions and timing of flight schedules being resumed at the Narrandera Airport. An overview of the continued Regional Express flight reductions through until at least the end of October 2024 was considered by the joint airport management committee.

Regional banking

Another NAB branch bites the dust

Local readers who may have been used to ducking across to Pittsworth to use the services of NAB will have to change their ways from today (Thursday). The Pittsworth branch of NAB has closed permanently. The closure comes despite a strongly supported petition organised by the Federal Member for Groom, Garth Hamilton as well as a personal letter from Mr Hamilton to the CEO of the Bank.

Try telling this to people in Pittsworth and Clifton…

The new Group Chief Executive Officer for the NAB has made contact with the bank’s customers explaining how the bank is continuing to support its customers. Andrew Irvine has been appointed NAB Group Chief Executive Officer, replacing Ross McEwan ... "During more than 20 years in banking I’ve learned that delivering the best experience for customers should be at the heart of why we come to work each day," Mr Irvine said.

Banking - Tennant Creek

ANZ celebrates opening of its new, improved branch office

The ANZ branch in Tennant Creek has celebrated the opening of its new location after serving customers at its Paterson Street premises for decades. The new branch is still located on the main street, but now boasts a modern interior that’s bright and welcoming, showcasing ANZ’s unwavering commitment to the local community.

Banking - Maldon

Your bank turns 25!!

The Community Bank Maldon & District is now 25 years old, and you’re invited to the celebration at Bank Corner ... It all began with a determined group of local residents who banded together to see what they could do about the fact that the Commonwealth Bank and the National Bank had deserted the town.

Mining

BHP Operational Review for the nine months ended 31 March 2024

We have released our BHP Operational Review for the nine months ended 31 March 2024. “We remain on track to meet copper, iron ore and energy coal production for the year...": BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry.

Education & training

TAFE staff member not all business!

Brenda Poole of Narrandera serves as the vibrant and dedicated Aboriginal Education and Engagement Coordinator at TAFE NSW. With over 20 years of experience, Brenda is a force to be reckoned with, especially her infectious energy and passion for her work.

Indigenous

NIAA opens doors to its new office location

The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) has established its new home in the former Westpac Bank building in Tennant Creek ... The agency works in partnership with First Nations communities to enable their self-determination and aspirations, ensuring they have a say in the decisions that affect them.

Youth - NT

Labor Govt has failed Barkly youth: Edgo

The Member for Barkly has called out Labor for its dereliction to support regional young people at risk after he highlighted the shocking cases of two Tennant Creek children who he says was failed by the NT Government. Mr Edgington, also the Shadow Attorney-General, says the children had a history of neglect and abuse and were allowed to escalate into violent offenders despite 67 child welfare notifications.

International

Stein follows in mum’s footsteps

In September 1995 a shy young Norwegian girl, Ingvill Backman, came to work on the Campbell farm, “Springbank” at Corack. For eight months she helped Trevor and Adam with all types of agricultural activities ... Now, almost twenty-nine years later her elder son, Stein Sira, has paid a visit to the Campbells.

Biosecurity

Fire ant inquiry shows Labor failing and too slow to act: Littleproud

“The frightening thing is that if fire ants get up above the Great Dividing Range, it could potentially get into the Murray Darling Basin and that could effectively see the fire ants go right down to Adelaide. It would impact the whole country and have devastating consequences. Labor now needs to urgently respond to the inquiry and eradication must continue to be the focus”: David Littleproud.

Gas

Economic confidence in the Beetaloo Basin grows: Lawler, Monaghan

Today, announced on the ASX, Empire Energy has successfully raised over $46 million enabling them to progress drilling in the Beetaloo Sub-Basin for natural gas. The drilling will comprise of a pilot development well for pre-production testing. Empire Energy is anticipating commencement of commercial production by 2025 with the first supply of natural gas going into the Northern Territory Market.

Regional health

Doctor struggles to get Yamba GP appointment

A General Practitioner who retired from clinical practice to live in Yamba and took five months to secure an appointment with a local doctor whose books were open, says a large percentage of GPs don’t have their own doctor ... Dr M has offered some solutions to the health crisis in the region, which could ease the pressure on local GPs and enable doctors to access consultations with colleagues.

Wind farm

People power wins

The company which had been looking into the possible creation of a wind farm in the Goomburra district, east of Allora, has abandoned further action on the matter. Wind Prospect Pty Ltd’s Regional Development Manager, Michael Sale, told The Clifton Courier this week of the decision.

Renewable energy

AGL Energy and Someva Renewables announce community funding as part of Pottinger Energy Park near Hay

AGL Energy and Someva Renewables have announced tens of millions in funding for the Hay Shire and Edward River Councils regions if the proposed Pottinger Energy Park proceeds ... The bulk of the funding will be delivered via two voluntary planning agreements between Someva, AGL Energy and the two councils.

Transmission lines

Shire meets with farmers

Carey Brennan. On Thursday, April 11, approximately 80 farmers filled the Donald Memorial Hall supper room to hear from the Buloke Shire and several speakers, to find out exactly what the Victorian NSW Interconnector (VNI) West Transmission Lines project means for this district.

Health - SA

YP health services risk ‘collapse’ – union

Yorke Peninsula hospitals are on the brink of a collapse of services, according to the nurses and midwives’ union, which is calling on residents to support its statewide campaign to counteract staff shortages in regional hospitals.

Health - SA

“GP tax” burden

A trip to the doctor is expected to soar by an extra $12 per visit under a State Government bid to claw payroll tax out of independent GP clinics. Following a brief amnesty, the extra $12 charges for GP visits will go straight into State Government coffers.

Energy

Coal cancellation

A drive to establish new industry and jobs using Latrobe Valley's brown coal in non-energy ways is effectively dead after the state government stopped funding research into the work, a decision denounced as "folly" and "ideological madness" by local leaders. Australian Carbon Innovation at Federation University, which since 2011 has been researching the non-energy use of brown coal that does not produce greenhouse gas emissions, will close on June 30 after the government pulled the plug on funding.

Health - SA

Minister awaits report

As The [Naracoorte Community] News deadline loomed last week, the Limestone Coast Local Health Network (LCLHN) was still working on reconnecting telephone services to the Lucindale Health Centre. And Health Minister Chris Picton expects to hear from a working group regarding nursing services at Lucindale “by the end of this month”.

Biosecurity

Biosecurity tax still fails fairness and equity tests: GPA

Under the Federal Government’s new Biosecurity Tax, Australian grain producers are being forced to pay 10 times more than the existing biosecurity levies that they already contribute towards emergency responses and other proactive initiatives, investments and partnerships. These levies are established by growers themselves and hypothecated for specific purposes.

Flood recovery

Resilient Lismore receives full ‘repair to return’ funding

“After nearly two years of our home repair work being privately funded by local organisations and philanthropists we are very grateful that the NSW Reconstruction Authority is providing this additional funding so that we can continue to help people return to safe and secure homes”: Resilient Lismore Executive Director Elly Bird.

Flood recovery

Flood-affected land to be regenerated, turned into koala habitat: LVRC

Hundreds of native seedlings are set to be planted on flood-affected land, helping to bolster native habitat and reduce future flood damage. The project area, adjacent to and including Lions Park, Lower Tenthill, consists of two recently acquired lots which were bought back under the Voluntary Home Buy-Back (VHBB) program.

Flood management

Donald to enhance flood management with Victorian Government funding

Buloke Shire Council is set to bolster its flood management capabilities with the support of Victorian Government funding. The Donald Flood Protection Demountable Levee Project ... will play a pivotal role in safeguarding residents from flooding and optimising the deployment of Council resources during emergency situations.

Agriculture - Indigenous

Roundtables seek agreement for defining Indigenous agricultural products: NFF

The National Farmers’ Federation will host a series of roundtables across April and May to confirm support for the broad characteristics and principles that must be used in defining Indigenous agricultural products ... NFF President David Jochinke said it was essential the widest range of voices were heard at this stage to ensure project’s objectives are achieved, including delivering ongoing prosperity to Indigenous peoples and business by being able to demonstrate authenticity and verifying claims about their products. 

Environment - NT

Only biological control can eradicate buffel

The green that surrounds you is buffel, as far as the eye can see, a malicious plant predator that has overwhelmed much of The Centre, and is continuing its relentless advance. Renowned Central Australian botanist Peter Latz, who has studied the introduced plant for decades, likens the magnitude of impact on the country of buffel with the megafauna’s extinction.

Environment - NSW

Advance Our Nature Fair

A free family event was held at the Federation Botanic Reserve on Sunday. Sixteen sites were set amongst the regenerated ground, which was a bare paddock not long ago … Attendees stood among 130 native species of ground cover, shrubs and trees that have thrived on the site and had the opportunity to listen, sharing the opportunities and experiences of people connecting with their natural environment. 

Forest - WA

Forests facing collapse

Patricia Gill. Forests and reserves around Denmark have been hit by a ‘forest collapse’ event as the region struggles through a dry six months and feed for farms is depleting. Murdoch University fire and plant ecologist Dr Joe Fontaine says Denmark and South Coast regions may not be having the driest spell on record but the ecology was suffering due to an unusually long summer.

Murray-Darling

Water leaders convene at summit on future challenges for the Basin: MDBA

More than 100 senior leaders will meet under one roof today for a 2-day summit hosted by the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to collaborate, listen and share the diverse points of view on current and future management of the Basin ... the summit continues the conversation with First Nations people, industry, environmental, science and community leaders collaborating on the future of the Basin. 

Commonwealth backs down on Basin Plan blackmail: VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is relieved the Commonwealth Government has finally stopped blackmailing Victoria and agreed to fund environmental projects that will ensure floodplains are watered. VFF President Emma Germano said it’s pleasing to see that Victoria will no longer be short-changed for key Basin Plan projects.

Environment

Environment and business to benefit from Nature Positive Plan: Plibersek

Key updates are: Australia’s first national independent Environment Protection Agency with strong new powers and penalties to better protect nature. More accountability and transparency with a new body called Environment Information Australia ... Faster environmental approval decisions on projects ...

Infrastructure

What phase 2 upgrades to the Two Rocks marina will include

Betheney A’Vard. The Department of Transport provides an update on the upgrades to the Two Rocks marina, including those due to be undertaken in phase two. Reporter Betheney A’Vard spoke to Cameron Smith from the Department of Transport’s maritime section who said the marina mainly catered to the fishing and boat servicing industries but also the charter industry and recreational boating.

Public transport

All aboard for a free ticket to ride

City of Coffs Harbour’s bold free bus travel initiative aims to help all members of the community, including people who don’t drive. The free bus travel trial starts on Friday 19 April, and Mayor Paul Amos said it would particularly support older people who no longer drive and unlicensed teenagers...

Land - NSW

State Government exposed by tale of two cities

If it’s good enough for the NSW South Coast then it should be good enough for the NSW North Coast – as City of Coffs Harbour fights to keep the prized public land at the Jetty Foreshores in the hands of the community. Mayor Cr Paul Amos has won support for a Mayoral Minute which detailed inconsistencies in the NSW Government’s approach to public holdings. 

Research

World Vegetable Map 2024 – Turbulent times for the global vegetable sector: Rabobank

Global vegetable trade value rose amid cost increases; production down in some major markets. The value of the global vegetable trade rose in line with rising prices, reaching 3 per cent average annual growth from 2017 to 2022, according to Rabobank’s recently-published World Vegetable Map.

Communications

Telstra’s 5G and 4G upgrades promise enhanced connectivity for Nhill

Telstra has announced significant upgrades to its mobile base station in Nhill, which will bring enhanced 4G services and introduce 5G coverage to the community. However, these improvements come with a temporary inconvenience—scheduled outages are expected from April 15 to April 19, during which there will be no 3G/4G coverage available from the site.

Regional news

How your community newspaper works for you: Oscar Tamsen

Oscar Tamsen. As we all know only too well, inflation, the Web and the presence of TV advertising have collectively put paid to many community newspapers in various parts of Australia and elsewhere. Your ‘Clarence Valley Independent’ is, however, committed to continuing printing its weekly edition to carry the latest local news and timely shopping information to you, our many faithful readers. The 30-year-old philosophy of our editorial and management team has always been to serve our community by standing up for your individual rights when needed.

Farming

Around the paddock

Farmers across the district are gearing up for the cropping season which is fast approaching. Brett Jewell said, "We are busy preparing for sowing, with a few internal fences being removed, gypsum to spread, some seed still to clean, a couple of stubble to burn, and some maintenance to be done on the sprayer and airseeder.

Emerging industry

A superfood renaissance down under: AgriFutures Australia announces new research plan for the quinoa industry

Known for its ancient origins and impressive nutritional profile, quinoa has not only captured the attention of health-conscious consumers globally, but also some entrepreneurial Australian farmers. Quinoa fuelled ancient Andean civilisations in South America for more than 7,000 years … along with high protein levels and essential amino acids has earned it the “superfood” title.

Pharmaceuticals

Dechra welcomes Numnuts® into the Gold Standard for pain relief

In a significant stride towards elevating pain relief standards for farm animals, Dechra Pharmaceuticals proudly welcomes Numnuts® into its product offering. Numnuts®, a revolutionary solution for ring marking in lambs, will be distributed alongside Dechra’s flagship wound care, anaesthetic, and antiseptic product, Tri-Solfen®.

Research

Eagle slayer myth hard to kill off

Shaun Hollis. A trio of majestic wedge-tailed eagles rises out of the paddock stubble as our farm ute approaches ... Honiton farmer Matt Smith said he likes the huge birds living in the scrub beyond the bottom paddock because they help clean up the remains of any lambs which have become too weak to survive on their own. He said he has never seen an eagle kill a healthy lamb on his farm.

Craft beer

Fun, Star Wars pun-inspired event for annual craft beer showcase

May the fourth beer with you! The Cairns Craft Beer Festival is back in 2024, with a frothing good lineup of ales from six of North Queensland’s craft breweries, delicious pub grub, lively entertainment, and competitions from noon until late...

Meat

‘We meat again’: unique program helping ‘Gong butchers snag new staff

TAFE NSW Wollongong West will partner with a meat industry peak body to host a unique program this month offering local jobseekers a “taster” of the butchery trade and helping address a worsening skills gap. The three-day Introduction to the Retail Butchery Industry course ...

Property

RSM Club buys the Clydesdale Steakhouse as part of its future plans

The Casino RSM Club announced its plans to refurbish the Royal Hotel and to buy the Clydesdale Motel and Steakhouse and the former Sil Gava commercial site on Walker Street. The club’s expansion plans were shared with club members at a recent forum.

Hospitality

It’s time to say goodbye – historic pub for sale

Lisa Stewart first saw the pub at Rappville when it was surrounded by ash and burnt ground. Despite the devastation in Rappville from the 2019 fires, Lisa saw the beauty of the historic Commercial Hotel rising from the ashes.

Air show

What a show!

A great day was had by all who came from near and far to the Nhill Airshow 2024. Planes had been flying all week but on the morning of the show they were coming in from every direction, including the Gooney Bird up from Melbourne and a number of private planes, many of which formed part of the aircraft ground display.

Air show

Only three more sleeps till the airshow

You've been hearing and reading about it for months, but it's finally here; this Saturday strap on your boots for an amazing day; gates open at 8.30 am. Here's just some of the exciting events ... Around 11am Paul Bennet's world class aeronautics spectacular commences with an Australian Flag Parachute drop...

History & heritage

Nhill air pageant a “roaring success”

John Williams. 65 years ago, it was marked as "our best air pageant ever" when a Canberra Bomber and Meteor jet buzzed the 3,000-strong crowds at the two-day event in March 1959. The RAAF display was a highlight with the Canberra fly-over on the Saturday and the Meteor staying overnight for another demonstration which ended when the jet rocketed up to a height of 23,000 feet to disappear into the wide blue yonder.

Defence

RAAF training at Evans Head

Lower Clarence residents will hear the sound of Royal Australian Air Force supersonic fighter jets in the skies over the next two months as squadrons conduct training exercises from the Evans Head Air Weapons Range. The training of pilots in the Number 1 Squadron and the Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit involved training flights and air-to-ground bombing training in both F/A -18F Super Hornets and F-35A Lightning II jets during April and May.

Rescue

Goomburra now has a helipad

After three years of fundraising by Brad and Teresa Badgery a helipad has been built for emergency use at the Goomburra Valley Campground. It ensures visitors enjoying the picturesque Goomburra Valley Campground and surrounding campsites will now have easy access to the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter services, if needed.

Bush poetry

The autumn draft to Corryong

Anonymous. A thousand head of ‘forward steers’ are listed for the sale - cold country reared, good doers, to go forward without fail. So runs the stock advertisement and buyers from the plains are on their way to Corryong to beat the winter rains. Away in far-off Groggin and out near Buenbar, the mountain lads are mustering the cattle, near and far ...

Military history

The Malayan Emergency

As an Australian military history nut, I like to think I know at least something about most of our major military actions since the late 1800s ... So what better opportunity to fill in that missing piece of my history puzzle for myself than to try and explain to you what it was all about? So here we go, the Malayan Emergency.

Tourism

Festival goers roll in – the fun begins

People have been flocking into Corryong this week for the 29th edition of The Man From Snowy River Bush Festival which officially starts today. The festival promises rugged adventure and a celebration of traditional Australian culture.

Trade

Norco resumes international exports

Australian dairy products from Southern Queensland and northern New South Wales are on their way to Japan, marking the first international shipment from Norco’s Lismore dairy operations since before the Northern Rivers floods in 2022.

Transport

“Weighting” their weighbridge turn

Day after day they come from all around the district, their destination being the weighbridge south of the Donald township. This was the view from above on Tuesday morning.

Hay

Hay plant in construction

A new hay export plant is being constructed at Warracknabeal by farmers and businessmen Scott Somers and Paul Johns, who, after six years of planning, are finally seeing the results of their efforts with the footings for the air-conditioned production shed now under way.

Rowing

World champ pumpkin paddler

It has elements of Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella, but our story is far from a fairytale, and doesn’t take place in a magical far away land. Our story involves one man’s dream, giant pumpkin seeds, a pumpkin boat, and our mighty Murray River.

Racing

Clancy looms large as racing industry icon and mentor across six decades

Kim Woods. Peter Clancy will cut the 80th anniversary cake at the CopRice Leeton Cup ... and mark eight decades of involvement with the club. Octogenarian Peter Clancy is simply "Mr Racing" – the racehorse trainer and breeder has been the mainstay and face of the industry in the Leeton area for more than 60 years.

Emergency services

Greater extreme weather incidents lead to need for SES facilities expansion at Narrandera Airport

Expansion of the NSW State Emergency Services at Narrandera Airport in conjunction with the NSW SES is taking place as a result of co-operation between the state body and the Narrandera Shire Council. As previously announced the Council approved the usage of the southern section of the airport hangar…