Thursday, June 8, 2023



Regional housing squeeze holding back economy: NSW Farmers

In-demand workers are facing soaring rents and dwindling vacancies in rural and regional areas, creating an “unsustainable” situation for the agricultural sector. Tenants are paying at least 10 per cent more than last year for the majority of areas, with Upper Hunter rents the worst – jumping by 22.9 per cent.

Livelihoods destroyed at the hands of the Victorian Premier: Wellington Shire Council

"In three years, we haven’t seen any evidence or sign that the Premier ever had plans to deliver on his promises to support the native timber industry with new pine plantations or any form of alternative supply. Now the livelihoods of hundreds of locals are shattered in an instant without a single word from the Premier or his government": Cr Ian Bye, Wellington Shire Council Mayor

Williamson pleads for help for struggling prawn industry

Newly elected Member for Clarence Richie Williamson has called on both the state and federal governments to step up and financially support the struggling Clarence River prawning industry. Mr Williamsons impassioned plea via a private members bill in NSW Parliament last week is a month after he joined forces with Federal National’s Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, to financially assist the industry where about 50 locals haven’t received an income for 18 weeks.

CRFC’s 74-year-old Maclean co-op for sale

After 74 years’ service and millions of tonnes of seafood processed the Clarence River Fishermen’s Co Operative has listed its River Street Maclean premises for sale. Clarence River Fishermen’s Co Operative CRFC Chief Executive Officer Danielle Adams said the Co-Op was formed in 1945, and by 1949 it was established in the former premises of the Maclean Cooperative Dairy Company, where it has continued to trade for the past 74 years.

A budget for the ages – Grim, dark and deceptive: Bev McArthur

On 23 May 2023, the Premier Daniel Andrews said: “We’re doing everything we promised Victorians we’d do – and we’re not wasting a moment getting on with it”. What he perhaps should have said was: “We promised some things – we even promised to govern for all Victorians – but we will deliver only some things, dump plenty of others, and govern for a few.” For me there’s only one headline from this budget: Victoria is broke.

New business group in Allora

Last Friday in Allora, Jenco launched a new era in the company’s journey as it transitions from Jenco Feeds to the Millstone Group ... A powerhouse trio of leading industry brands - Jenco, Allora Grain & Milling and Running Cool has been brought together to create the all-encompassing Millstone Group.

Regional Victoria to suffer under state’s debt: VFF

Victoria’s State Budget reveals that regional Victorians and farmers are being unfairly forced to pay the price of the Andrews Government’s infrastructure cost blowouts and years of fiscal mismanagement in Melbourne. VFF President Emma Germano said regional Victorian’s were being made to pay as a consequence of the government’s decisions.

Big miner stings taxpayers – the impact of bauxite mining on water yield: Frank Batini

Frank Batini. Probably the world’s largest mine, in terms of area, is Alcoa’s bauxite mine, located in the northern jarrah forest, within a biologically rich area, close to the State’s capital city (Perth) and on its domestic water supply catchments ... In 2007, Alcoa reported that the loss in water yield from five monitored catchments, where mining had occurred on part of the landscape, was 40-50 mmpa greater than in the un-mined forest. In the intervening 16 years the trees have grown and would now be using much more water.

Queensland cane crush fires up: Canegrowers

The 2023 sugarcane crush is officially underway, with harvesters roaring into life across the Atherton Tablelands this week as growers, harvesting crews and mill workers start the race to get Queensland’s 30 million tonnes of cane cut and crushed by the end of November ... Latest estimates put the crop at 30.55 million tonnes of cane, producing between 4 and 4.5 million tonnes of sugar, the majority of which will be exported to overseas markets in Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia.

Forestry sector dismayed by decision to end native Victorian forestry: Forestry Australia

"There are very few production systems on the globe that offer stronger sustainability credentials than well managed native forests. In fact, we know that well managed native forests can actually provide superior biodiversity, fire and climate outcomes. Simply excluding harvesting from native forests does not guarantee biological diversity, particularly from the broader threats of wildfires, invasive species, and climate change. Closing the native forest timber industry in Victoria will constrain the silvicultural and management options for State forests": Dr Michelle Freeman, President of Forestry Australia.

Native forestry announcement a massive blow for regional Victorian families: FWCA

Today’s announcement to bring forward the end of native forestry by six years is a devastating blow for thousands of regional Victorian families. It is estimated that native forestry provides 5000 direct jobs and many more indirect jobs providing the lifeblood for regional communities such as Orbost, which stands to lose 37 per cent of its workers.

Delivering certainty for timber workers: Andrews

The Victorian Government is stepping in to deliver certainty for timber workers, sawmill operators and their communities, with an expanded transition support package as part of the Victorian Budget 2023/24. This package removes the uncertainty that has been caused by ongoing court and litigation process and increasingly severe bushfires, with an additional $200 million in support for workers and their families to transition away from native timber logging earlier than planned – by 1 January 2024.

Vintage 1912 McDonald ‘EB’ oil tractor highlights transformative change in agricultural industry: National Museum of Australia

The significant transformation of Australia’s agricultural industry is represented by the extraordinary McDonald ‘Imperial’ oil ‘EB’ tractor, which is going on display in the Museum’s Gandel Atrium ... “The McDonald ‘EB’ oil tractor represents a theme of Australian innovation in a revolutionary era for engineering. This acquisition represents our agricultural history, and we are thrilled to share it with Australia": Dr Mathew Trinca, National Museum Director.

Project snapshot – Impact on honey bee biosecurity of reduced access to public lands: AgriFutures

This project assessed the impact on honey bee biosecurity of reduced access to public land floral resources as a result of the 2019-20 Australian bushfire crisis. It investigated current biosecurity programs and practices, gaps in biosecurity coverage, beekeeper use of public lands and biosecurity risk as a result of changes in the beekeeper’s enterprise, and delivered recommendations relating to policy change, technology investment and research and development.

Australia delivers half a million lumpy skin disease vaccines to Indonesia: DAFF

Australia has handed over 500,000 doses of lumpy skin disease (LSD) vaccines to Indonesia as part of the Australian Government’s work to fight exotic animal diseases before they reach our shores. The vaccines are part of 1 million doses the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is providing to assist Indonesia to control LSD.

Forestry Australia welcomes return of China timber exports

"Australia is the sixth most forested country in the world but is a net importer of timber products. The current approach is not working if we want to continue to provide local timber products to support affordable housing and flow-on benefits to meet society’s needs. We are in effect, exporting our forest management challenges to other nations, when we have high environmental standards and highly skilled professionals and scientists to appropriately manage our resources locally": Dr Michelle Freeman, President of Forestry Australia.

GPS Tagging to reduce the risk of sheep theft

A new technology has been made available to Australian farmers to help reduce the risk of stock theft ... James and Bec learned about the tags at a gathering organised by another victim of stock theft, Kevin Butler.

Why should Australian farmers pay their competitors bills? :Bev McArthur

In last week’s Federal Budget, the Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, announced a new levy on farmers to help raise an extra $1 billion over four years to help overhaul the nation’s biosecurity protections ... “Australian farmers are not the ones posing the incoming biosecurity threat, so why are they the ones specifically paying for it when every Australian gets the benefits of good biosecurity?”: Member for Western Victoria, Bev McArthur.

New plan outlines the Gannawarra’s flood recovery targets

A new plan developed by Gannawarra Shire Council in partnership with more than 30 agencies will guide the Gannawarra’s recovery from the October-December 2022 floods. The Gannawarra Municipal Flood Recovery Plan features 48 priority actions across 11 recovery target areas that Council and other agencies will work on to guide recovery efforts.

Truffle growing triples

The Great Southern and Denmark is emerging as a grower and producer region of black Perigord truffle, which can retail for up to $3000 a kilogram. And WA accounts for 90 per cent of Australia’s truffle exports with most producer farms in the South West. In the past five years Denmark has expanded from just one truffle producer to six farms with the yield growing rapidly.

Agritourism consult provided fertile conversation

A meeting held at Murray Connect on Wednesday, May 10 with Destination Riverina Murray (DRM) and local tourism stakeholders provided stimulating conversations around the new agritourism strategy ... The developing Agritourism Strategy will provide significant opportunities for farmers, tourism operators and the wider community to capitalise on the Riverina Murray's unique combination of agricultural and tourism assets...

Across the district with local farmers

Cropping is in full swing across the district. Diapur farmer Tom Cook said, "Funny start to the season. I wouldn’t really say we’ve had the break, but I’ve got vetch and canola out of the ground. Still sowing into moisture at the moment as we move through our wheat program. Not sure the moisture will hang around for long though, unless we get more rain."

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