Saturday, June 3, 2023


Land & environment

Seen deer in a headlight? We want to know about it!

A new survey has just been launched to gather community support to better understand the prevalence, impacts and perception of feral deer in the Northern Rivers. Tweed Shire Council, in partnership with Kyogle and Byron Shire councils, has launched a survey to understand the community’s perception of feral deer, the impacts of feral deer, the presence or absence of feral deer in the Northern Rivers and the need to control them.

Tarrangower Cactus Control Group honours Ian Grenda with the first life membership

The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group (TCCG) along with many volunteer Cactus Warriors gathered in the warm ambience of the Baringhup Supper Room last weekend to pay tribute to a remarkable individual who has dedicated over two decades to eradicating the invasive Wheel Cactus from the region. Ian Grenda, a true champion in the fight against this insidious plant species, was honoured with the first-ever Life Membership bestowed by the TCCG.

Grant allows bush communities to care for own Country

Barkly Regional Deal Backbone Team has secured five tractor packages to improve services in the bush. The funding package from the Barkly Regional Deal Community Projects Fund will enable communities to look after their Country in a range of ways including slashing grass, building fire breaks, moving wrecked cars and rubbish to make their communities safer.

Long term study finds lethal control not putting dingo purity at risk: National Wild Dog Action Plan

A decade long study has found there is no evidence that lethal control to reduce livestock losses and for conservation of native wildlife in the southern rangelands of Western Australia is putting dingo purity at risk. The research found that lethal control did not accelerate hybridisation between dingoes and domestic dogs or have any impact on the genetic structure of the population in the study area over 11 years.

Gannawarra Shire Council supports VNI West option 5A route

Gannawarra Shire Council has welcomed a proposed realignment of the VNI West route, which would involve constructing new high capacity electricity transmission lines that will pass through the Gannawarra ... “Council, along with the Murray River Group of Councils, has been advocating for VNI West to pass through the Gannawarra, and we have been promoting the benefits of these works to our residents for the past six years,” Mayor Charlie Gillingham said.

Lights upgrade nearly done

A final seal was laid on Lights Road last week signalling the end of the $700,000 road upgrade which is expected to be finished at the end of this month ... Local contractors and the Shire have faced weather delays, but the project is set to be delivered within budget and with minimal environmental impact on the community.

Hallowell birds make the list

The Friends of Mt. Hallowell-Kooryunderup and the Denmark Bird Group last month hosted a bird walk and launch of an official birds of Mt Hallowell-Kooryunder- up list. This aims to help identify and count birds in the A-class environmental reserve.

TFGA supports government culling programme

Tasmania's feral deer population is costing the state more than $100 million a year. The peak body for farming in the state, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, says the deer population in Tasmania is exploding.

VNI West: power line angst

As government policies lead to soaring energy prices, the Victorian Government is changing the preferred route and accelerating works on the 500 kilovolt double-circuit overhead transmission line between Victoria and New South Wales ... According to the AEMO report, councils have indicated there is a broader social licence for VNI West crossing the Murray River north of Kerang (option 5a) instead of the Echuca route, and therefore more likelihood of timely implementation. 

Outrage at South Australia’s use of Murray River water

Farming and community groups across the NSW Murray region have come together to express outrage at a revelation that water will be piped from the Murray River to supply a new hydrogen plant in Whyalla. At a time when South Australia keeps screaming that it needs more water for its environment, the groups say this week’s announcement reinforces that its priority appears to be getting as much cheap upstream water as possible, regardless of the national consequences.

Drones set to fly further to save lives: Surf Life Saving NSW

Surf Life Saving NSW will trial the use of specialised long-range drones which could greatly enhance coastal safety and improve how we respond to emergency situations or natural disasters. With support from the NSW Government through the Department of Primary Industries, Surf Life Saving NSW currently provides the largest coastal uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) surveillance program in the Southern Hemisphere.

Adrift Lab

Jenn Lavers. In April, the Adrift Lab team returned to Lord Howe Island ... While Lord Howe Island is the world’s single largest population of Flesh-footed Shearwaters, this same iconic species also breeds throughout the Recherche Archipelago off the coast of Esperance.

Help reduce the global decline of Shearwaters by ‘Moving a Mutto’

Suzie Christensen, LHIB. It’s that time of year when young Shearwater birds emerge from their burrows on LHI ... Flesh-footed Shearwaters (Ardeena carneipes) and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (Ardeena pacificus) breeding grounds are intersected by the Island roads, increasing the risk of juveniles being run over by cars and bikes.

Students join UNESCO in global eDNA research

On 14th of February 2023, 20 students aged 8 to 11 years old from Lord Howe Island became marine scientists for the day. In doing so, they joined UNESCO’s global environmental DNA research initiative that is being rolled out across 25 marine World Heritage sites to better understand ocean biodiversity and the impacts of climate change.

‘What goes up, must come down’ – Australian winter crop outlook: Rabobank

The nation is on track to plant an impressive 23.48 million hectare winter crop this year – up slightly on last year’s crop area – Rabobank says in its newly-released 2023/24 Australian Winter Crop Outlook ... overall harvest totals are forecast to be lower than last season, with expectations of drier growing conditions due to the likely transition to an El Nino climate cycle, the specialist agribusiness bank says.

Councillors divided over post flood motion

A motion to address community and business concerns following the 2021 and 2022 floods that devastated the region has divided councillors at the May 23 Clarence Valley Council meeting. The motion was moved by Cr Novak and seconded by Cr Alison Whaites before Climate Change Committee CCC chair Cr Greg Clancy asked Cr Novak how many meetings of the committee she had attended.

Award winner planning additional success

In receiving the 2023 Dr Helen Proudfoot Women in Planning Award which recognises her outstanding contributions which have enhanced and improved agricultural planning policies ... DPI employee Tamara Prentice remains dedicated in her commitment to ensuring agricultural land maintains a pivotal role in the increasingly competitive rural landscape, and is motivated by her love of the natural environment.

New guide sheds light on challenges facing peri-urban communities from wild dogs

“Predation by wild dogs on threatened species can have a significant impact on local populations already under pressure from other environment factors ... Out of 144 koalas known to have been killed by predators in the study area, 117 were killed by wild dogs ... Wild dog attacks are leaving pet owners distraught and traumatised": Greg Mifsud.

New ‘Secure Our Farms – Hunt BioAware’ partnership launched: GPA

A new partnership is taking action to promote greater awareness, vigilance and understanding of the different farm biosecurity risks caused by the current ‘explosion’ in pest animals – especially pigs ... (t)hese serious concerns are being addressed in a new campaign that’s taking positive action on biosecurity protections, with Grain Producers Australia (GPA) joining with the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA National).

Stop horsing about, AEMO

Dear Sir, Despite AEMO’s best efforts to tick the box and grant a submission extension period, that hidden in the fine print was the extension was only for VFF members, AEMO closed their submission on the 5.4.2023 and then gave a selective extension of 13 days ... Quit horsing around AEMO. It is time for ANSWERS!

Council appalled as transmission line steamrolls over community concerns

Northern Grampians Shire Council is appalled that widespread community opposition has had no material impact on Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) final recommended alignment for the controversial VNI West power transmission project ... “Landowners need clear and concise answers to the questions they have asked and not simply to refer them to some other arrangement as a reference to how it might work here": Mayor, Cr Kevin Erwin.

Failed power plan forced onto farming communities: VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has slammed the Andrews Government’s decision to steamroll ahead with transmission developments in Western Victoria following the announcement of a new corridor for the proposed VNI-West project. VFF President Emma Germano said Victoria’s Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio is using extreme powers to come over the top of farming communities and force transmission towers to be built on their land.

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