Monday, November 28, 2022



Banking taskforce report opens the gate for mass closures

The number of banks closed in regional Australia in the six weeks since the Albanese Government quietly released the Coalition’s Regional Banking Taskforce final report is comparable to a dam opening its spillways. The blame for the acceleration – at least 71 branches across all states and territories – can be laid squarely at the feet of the two opposition MPs who led the inquiry, Michael Sukker and Perin Davey, and Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones, who released the report.

Murray Darling Basin Authority is out of touch: VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation has expressed outrage towards the comments made by Murray Darling Basin Authority Chief Executive Andrew McConville in his Rural Press Club address, 10 years after the Basin Plan gave the green light to take water from farming communities. VFF Water Council Chair Andrew Leahy said Mr McConville’s commentary ignored the ongoing impact of the Murray Darling Basin Plan on farming communities and sounded like it was designed to appease the Federal Labor government ... “We expect the MDBA CEO to be professional and impartial, not a political sycophant. It seems he needs to re-read the Basin Plan as he forgot to mention in his speech that the 450GL is only possible if there are no negative social and economic impacts”.

Major Event Review of the 2019–20 Victorian bushfires shows need for major forest management overhaul: Forestry Australia

A comprehensive report into the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires highlights the need for a major overhaul of current forest management strategies ... “This report confirms that to avoid future repeats of 2019-20 and protect human life and biodiversity, forest and fire management must be viewed and managed at a landscape scale, with active management over long timeframes, using expert knowledge of forests and their processes”: Forestry Australia Vice President Jim Wilson.

Mayor speaks with council management

Chris Oldfield. Recently elected mayor Patrick Ross has hit the ground running, meeting one-on-one with CEO Trevor Smart and various managers within the Naracoorte Lucindale Council ... “I just asked each of them to fill me in on where we are at - what they were doing and what their job descriptions were and what their various departments looked like when it comes to staffing and some of the budgets – their allocation,” Mr Ross said.

David Speirs MP, Leader of the South Australian Liberal Party

I am very excited that the South Australian Liberal Party will host its first Shadow Country Cabinet in the South East this week ... We want our visits to be meaningful and genuine, eschewing Labor’s FIFO approach to regional visits and city-centric decision making. We saw a prime example of this with the recent plebiscite into merging the District Council of Grant and the City of Mount Gambier ...: David Speirs MP, Leader of the Opposition.

More on koala monitoring: Brad Law

Australian Rural & Regional News followed up with some further questions for Dr Brad Law, NSW DPI Principal Scientist ... "We state that koala occurrence or site occupancy has been stable in hinterland forests of north-east NSW, which is not the same as koala numbers" ... "We don’t have any evidence that koalas are irrupting ..." ... "It does appear to be the case that nutrition is high in epicormic leaves produced after fire, and that koalas rapidly recolonise burnt areas if there is good connectivity with unburnt forest."

SA beef a winner at 2022 World Steak Challenge

Teys. South Australian produced beef, 36° South, has been named top in its class at the recent 2022 World Steak Challenge in Dublin, Ireland. Teys Australia entered two of its premium brands – 36° South and Teys Certified Angus – in the prestigious meat competition that showcases product quality, breed credentials and processing standards on an international stage.

Tenants urged to get ready for new public housing rent collection overhaul

The Territory Government is changing the way it collects rent for remote tenants in Tennant Creek and Barkly communities ... In rolling out the new framework, historical rental arrears accrued up until 11 December 2021 have been waived. Nearly $70 million in rent was not collected for more than 11 years, providing a major shortfall of reinvestment back into repairs and maintenance of public housing.

Mozzie Mob on the job to rid Tennant of the dengue mosquito

After recent rains in Tennant Creek, the Mozzie Mob is back to work under a renewed program to cleanse the town of the dengue mosquito. NT Health Director of Medical Entomology at the Centre for Disease Control, Nina Kurucz, said a fresh round of home backyard inspections will begin with technical officers in town to conduct inspections to prevent an outbreak.

Interview with founder of farm to plate marketplace, Half A Cow Online, James Gilbert

Find out about the inspiration, operation and plans for the online marketplace that helps farmers sell their meat directly to customers and customers find the meat they want from its founder, James Gilbert.

Covid case stats

In the past three months, 3,200 Covid patients were hospitalised in Victoria. 41.9 per cent of those patients had not received their third vaccine dose. 961 (30 per cent) were unvaccinated; 27 had received one dose, 352 had two doses, 769 had received three doses, and 1,091 had received four doses.

Clean-up at Baringhup after the floods

“This is the worst flood I have encountered in the 10 years since I have been here. We experienced flooding in 2010, 2011 and this one which came into the house, the shop and other buildings for the first time. These buildings had remained flood-free for the past 100 years": Loddon House Caravan Park proprietor Robert Wilson.

2022 State election – Q&A

What do you think will be the three issues uppermost in people’s minds when they cast their vote this election? ... What can you and your party offer the voter that other parties can’t?

Exhibition success for Wik and Kugu Arts Centre

Aurukun’s famous ku’ (camp dog) carvings are among 160 works installed in the inaugural display of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in the newly located Yiribana Gallery at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Pipeline secured for local towns

Cambooya, Greenmount and Nobby are set to be connected to the Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline after Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) gave its approval last week, subject to conditions. The pipeline will see the townships of Cambooya, Greenmount and Nobby, as well as Clifton, connected to treated water supplied from Wivenhoe Dam via Toowoomba.

Cambooya Landcare going strong

Felton Community Hall played host to the Cambooya Landcare Association 2022 Annual General Meeting last week, which saw the group retain a strong financial position and the current committee continuing into the new year ... The meeting included a presentation by guest speaker Ken Keith, who gave a background explanation of Agro-Ecology through his presentation ‘Transitioning to Agro-Ecology in Australian Agriculture - The Landcare Way’.

Council seeks help to honour Her Majesty

How do you honour the incredible life and memory of our late Sovereign, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II? That is the question Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio would like to ask residents as the Council seeks community engagement to consider memorial options for Queen Elizabeth II.

Ukraine endorsement for Aussie grain initiative: Grain Producers Australia

Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, has endorsed the efforts of Australian grain producers to help Ukraine farmers and rural communities with their recovery from the war. Mr Myroshnychenko met with members of Grain Producers Australia’s farmer sub-committee recently to discuss the #GRAIN4UKRAINE initiative and thank them for supporting his people.

Right mix takes Raintree off grid

Serena Kirby. The Birkbeck family’s Raintree Farm distillery and restaurant arm is completely ‘off grid’ after more than a decade of research and infrastructure construction. By being energy self-sufficient Steve said The Dam expected to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by between 105-150t a year. The move to energy self-sufficiency has been a long-term goal that has cost more than $1 million.

Denmark cyclists impress in teams championships

Colin Ashton-Graham. Cyclists, 960 in total, from 160 teams including two Denmark teams raced on November 3 in the Australian Teams Cycling Championships at the Tour of Margaret River in Nannup ... The gruelling Margaret River tour is set up like a mini Tour De France, with teams competing over five race stages totalling 223km and 3440m elevation (equivalent to climbing Mt Kosciuszko and then Bluff Knoll).

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