Thursday, October 28, 2021



Support for plantation estate in the south welcomed

The Tasmanian Government welcomes the announcement by the Federal Government to help grow and incentivise the plantation estate and support jobs in Tasmania ... unlocking the carbon farming market ‘water rule’ in the South of the State will help encourage private forester participants to fully participate in the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) across the State, including making the market more accessible to small scale landholders.

Climate Solutions Fund support for forestry jobs

In July 2020, the Government simplified access to carbon funding for forestry projects across five plantation growth regions. The Government is expanding access for four new regions in Tasmania, Gippsland (Victoria), the Green Triangle (Victoria) and Kangaroo Island (South Australia).

Finniss Lithium Project commences construction

The Territory Labor Government and Core Lithium have announced construction is underway on the $89 million Finniss Lithium Project ... Construction follows the project reaching Final Investment Decision last month, and Core Lithium successfully raising $150 million from institutional investors and shareholders.

Price hikes a double whammy on harvest efforts

NSW Farmers is calling for better long-term national fuel security as higher fuel prices take their toll during a tight harvest season. It’s the latest hit to the grains and horticulture sectors, which have been crying out for better access to harvest workers for several weeks. Not only will farmers be frantically trying to find labour, they will also be frantically trying to secure fuel before the price blows out.

Key rural health workforce program extended to get more medicos in the bush

A key rural health workforce program that enables nursing and dental students and trainee doctors to train in regional and rural Australia is being extended for another three years by the Morrison Joyce Government. Federal Regional Health Minister, Dr David Gillespie said the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program provides high-quality clinical rural training experiences for students in a range of career paths, including GPs, nurses, dentists and allied health professionals.

Supermarket forging ahead

Narrandera’s second supermarket, IGA Narrandera +Liquor opened for business in August with a minimum of fanfare due to Covid-related restrictions but they are now forging ahead with plans to expand services and products ... “The town will see a white delivery van with IGA logo on the streets of Narrandera soon ... We also aim to go live with our online shopping portal ..." : Harry Ajwani.

Rural Aid helps fill the ag worker shortage

Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, is helping fill the agricultural worker shortage created by border closures and travel restrictions.  Rural Aid’s Farm Army website provides a platform where volunteers and workers apply for jobs that are listed by farmers needing a hand.

More jobs: Ballarat manufacturing precinct grows

The Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) is going from strength-to-strength with five new tenants bringing more than 150 new jobs to the precinct – cementing BWEZ as an engine room for growth in regional Victoria. Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas visited the BWEZ headquarters of Office Vision, which is expanding its operations to the manufacturing hub.

Update: Border blue casts doubt on harvest

The Prime Minister’s decision to overrule a planned removal of quarantine arrangements has sparked fresh fears the NSW harvest will be spoiled. NSW Farmers President James Jackson said he was stunned to hear of the reversal just hours after Premier Dominic Perrottet promised to scrap hotel quarantine. “We had been calling for cheaper and more efficient quarantine arrangements heading into a big harvest season, and were relieved by the Premier’s announcement,” Mr Jackson said.

Public servants to hit the paddocks for harvest

More than 4,500 staff from the Department of Regional NSW, including Local Land Services and the NSW Department of Primary Industries, will be able to access five days’ special leave to assist farmers for an expected bumper harvest season in 2021.

Mackay biorefinery pilot plant ready for take-off

Mercurius has finalised commissioning and is about to commence operations at their pilot plant that will use their patented REACH(TM) technology to produce valuable renewable chemicals, diesel and jet fuel from sugarcane waste. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mackay, which is in the heart of sugarcane country, was the perfect place for this trial to take place.

Publicly-owned generator joins Gladstone hydrogen consortium

Publicly-owned renewable energy generator CleanCo has signed an agreement to join Sumitomo Corporation and its partners on the development of a hydrogen industry in Gladstone.

Training more doctors in the bush to benefit more rural communities

A program that provides young doctors with the experience of training in a rural general practice or Aboriginal Medical Services and provides more medical care to regional, rural and remote communities is being extended by the Federal Coalition Government. Federal Regional Health Minister, Dr David Gillespie said extending the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund (RJDTIF) for another year will mean 60 fulltime-equivalent rurally based interns and postgraduate doctors can undertake training in country practices.

BHP opens iron ore mine of the future

Premier Mark McGowan congratulated BHP on the official opening of its South Flank iron ore mine. The mine adds to BHP's existing mine operations in the Pilbara to create one of the largest operating iron ore hubs in the world, expected to produce 145 million tonnes of iron ore each year.

MoU to grow agricultural trade between Pacific Island Countries and Australia

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and DT Global will grow agricultural trade between Pacific Island countries and Australia, through improved food security, better market access and biosecurity outcomes.

More support arrives for state’s farmers

Almost 500 foreign workers will be added to NSW's agricultural workforce, joining the more than 2,000 whose arrival the NSW Government has already aided, to provide additional support to industry through the COVID-exacerbated labour shortage. Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said while this would be welcome news for the state’s farmers, the NSW Government was constantly reviewing its support measures to give industry the best help it can, and that continued today.

Petition against mandatory vaccination

Member for Mallee, Anne Webster, this week has released a petition calling for the reversal of the vaccine mandate. “Mr Andrews has crossed an important line. Where the Victorian government should be encouraging vaccinations, he has begun coercing the public with an economic exclusion notice. “The premier needs to explain how this mandate is proportionate to the risk of COVID-19, especially given the pace of the voluntary roll-out in Victoria. One of the founding principles of our democracy is the freedom to choose.  Although, some laws limit our right to choose, this is done based on risk, necessity and proportionality." 

More local manufacturing being returned to WA

The McGowan Labor Government has welcomed Rio Tinto's commitment to use local suppliers to build iron ore railcars for its Pilbara mining operations. Rio Tinto's announcement includes a commitment to the initial purchase of 50 iron ore railcars, followed by an ongoing commitment of 10 ore cars a year for at least the following five years.

History made as Ag Worker Visa created

The Australian Government has amended the Migration Regulations to create the Australian Agriculture Worker Visa (Ag Visa) to provide for a vital agriculture visa to help secure the future of rural and regional Australia ... “The Ag Visa will be the biggest structural change to agricultural workforce in our nation’s history. The visa will also be available to the fisheries, forestry and agricultural processing sectors and will target seasonal workers, skilled and semiskilled workers“: Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia, David Littleproud.

A new dawn for agriculture’s workforce

After five years of advocacy by the NFF, an Agriculture Visa is one step closer to becoming a reality with the Governor General signing the legislation into law. NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said the milestone represented a new chapter in Australia’s approach to addressing agriculture’s workforce shortages.

NSW gives nation’s biggest energy project the go-ahead

New South Wales is leading the nation’s charge towards a low-emissions energy system after the NSW Government approved stage one of a $1.8 billion transmission line that would link NSW and South Australia’s energy networks for the first time. Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said stage one planning approval had been granted for the NSW Western Section of Energy Connect, a 900-kilometre transmission line that would run from Wagga Wagga to Robertstown in SA, with a spur line to Victoria.

Proposed global scale Energy Hub one step closer for NQ

Townsville is a step closer to a huge industry and jobs boost from a proposed advanced manufacturing facility at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct that would refine ore to produce critical materials for use in new-technology batteries. Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the proposed Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) had been declared a prescribed project and would support North Queensland’s economic recovery.

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