Friday, January 27, 2023


Land & environment

Landcare’s bird survey surprises participants

Narrandera Landcare’s quarterly bird survey at The Wetlands recently surprised the group, with participants finding 25 species! There were almost no waterbirds but lots and lots of woodland birds.

Students’ long walk has its rewards

A group of Denmark Senior High School students took a long walk from Greens Pool back to the school as part of Duke of Edinburgh International awards camp ... Along the way of their walk, the group collected rubbish littering the trails ... Lightning weed was the target species over the morning in what had felt like a gym work out.

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.”

Native forestry myths

The ongoing and thorough debate on Australian Rural & Regional News on native forestry in 2022, highlighted directly and indirectly a few myths on the subject. Without any order of ranking, these are: 1. Native hardwood should be harvested from hardwood plantations ...

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.

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.

Renmark Hospital restores full services after floods

Patients will once again be able to access acute inpatient care at the Renmark Paringa District Hospital from 25 January 2023, as the hospital returns to business as usual following its flood response. As flood waters continue to recede in the area, acute inpatient admissions will recommence after being suspended on 5 December 2022 as part of Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network’s (RMCLHN) flood response.

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.

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.

Palaszczuk Government signs off on over $370 million for Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline: Palaszczuk, Butcher

The pipeline will carry raw water from Wivenhoe Dam and connect with Toowoomba Regional Council’s existing water infrastructure to deliver water to Warwick and will be an opportunity to deliver treated water to the Toowoomba region communities of Cambooya, Greenmount, Nobby and Clifton. Importantly the pipeline provides drought contingency for residents of Southern Downs Regional Council.

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.

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.

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.

Skip the seal just keeps swimming: Griffin

"Skip has now travelled more than 2,500 kilometres south, where he’s currently having a feed on the East Tasman Plateau, after spending Christmas week on secluded Craggy Island, north of Flinders Island, where he spent a few days hauled out and making short fishing trips": Minister for Environment, James Griffin.

Euston weir and lock 15 to be reinstated: MDBA

The Euston weir and lock 15 will be reinstated ... as high flows in the River Murray continue to recede. The weir was removed in mid-September 2022 to allow floodwaters in the River Murray to pass unobstructed.

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

Free sandbag removal resumes in Echuca

The state government’s program for the collection of sandbags from properties in Echuca and Echuca Village has resumed. Campaspe Mayor Cr Rob Amos is encouraging Echuca residents and businesses with sandbags on their properties to take advantage of the free service, which is provided through Emergency Recovery Victoria’s (ERV) Flood Recovery Clean-up Program.

Naracoorte High Ag news: Happenings on the Ag Block

Kristin Murdock. With the school year approaching an end, students have been busy finishing off projects ... Shearing and marketing of the lambs has also occurred recently, with Agricultural Studies students from all year levels taking part in the process.

Saving horses to save people

The wild Australian Brumby is seen by many as a threat to the native environment, especially in the Snowy Mountains, but horse trainer Joe Hughes has not only helped to solve the problem but in the process has saved the lives of people suffering the effects of trauma ... he now uses his unique 4BP horse training methods (4 Brumby Protection) to transform wild brumbies for a life working with people.

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.

Listen to the silence: Still no details on buybacks and land swaps

As the first anniversary of the floods approaches, residents are still wondering about buybacks, retrofitting and land swaps. They are still waiting to make decisions about their homes. The NRRC has not let residents know the options available to them.

Busting invasive species in the Clarence Valley

Emma Pritchard. Clarence Valley residents are being encouraged to hop into action this month to help prevent a devastating pest from spreading further across the region by participating in the Great Cane Toad Bust 2023. An annual national incentive, the event aims to raise awareness of the invasive species, to help control their numbers, educate communities to correctly identify them, and to ensure any cane toads captured during hunts are humanely euthanised.

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