Friday, September 30, 2022


Federal politics

Grants deliver $27k+ for community

Five local groups are among winners from the latest round of Toowoomba Regional Council community grants, with RM Equestrian Centre securing the lion’s share of the $27,106.59 total. Across the Region, 54 successful applications totalled $237,437.76 and 16 applications were not approved.

Strategy Group’s ‘positive’ meeting with Minister

The Murray Regional Strategy Group (MRSG) has been buoyed by positive engagement with new federal Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek ...MRSG Chair, Geoff Moar, said it was a positive meeting and that, “We felt we covered more ground today than we have in a very long time ... The minister understands that we do not support more water buybacks from our region, and also acknowledged there are a number of problems which need a flexible approach if they are going to be fixed.”

Renewed focus on Inland Rail in state’s south: NSW Farmers

Farmers and landholders in the Riverina are having their say on Inland Rail, according to NSW Farmers. NSW Farmers Treasurer and Inland Rail Taskforce chair Peter Wilson said there must be benefit for landowners and the broader farming community if railway lines were to cut properties in half.

Coalition Senators move to remove the nuclear ban

Nine Coalition Senators have moved today to remove the ban on nuclear power in Australia by introducing a Private Senators Bill ... “Australia’s unusual legislative ban against nuclear power was moved and debated with less than 30 minutes of debate in the Senate. But the nuclear ban may cause decades of pain if we continue to deny our country reliable power alternatives": Senator Canavan.

Grave concerns over Inland Rail

A small South East Queensland council holds grave concerns over the future of their community as Inland Rail proceeds full steam ahead with plans to rip through the heart of their towns ... “We have been raising our concerns since this project was first announced and continue to advocate for our community in our ongoing objection to the unreasonable impacts of Inland Rail": Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor, Cr Tanya Milligan.

More of the great koala scam: Vic Jurskis

Back in May, NSW’s Natural Resources Commission and Department of Primary Industries, as well as three universities, quietly published a report about forest monitoring. It states that north coast koala populations have been stable for the last five years, despite 30 per cent of koala habitat being burnt by the disastrous Black Summer megafires ... NSW bureaucrats obviously know that the koala population wasn’t adversely affected by Black Summer. So, one wonders why they’re not shouting the good news from the rooftops.

Build it and they will come: freshwater anglers to reap rewards of fish habitat trial: FRDC

Log cabins and synthetic trees are part of a successful trial of fish-attracting structures in Queensland which could be just the boon freshwater fishers have been angling for ... the dam stretches over 500 hectares and the hunting ground was too spread out, the fish too hard to find.

Bank petition a chance to be heard

Regional Australians angry over continued bank closures have a chance to have their voice heard in federal parliament. The Regional’s Australian parliamentary petition calling for an immediate moratorium on closures and a new banking inquiry has been approved and can be signed online until 12.29am on October 6. It comes as the number of regional ‘big four’ banks looks set to slip below 1000 by the end of the year, a reduction of nearly two thirds of their network since 1975.

Governments risk repeated ‘preventable’ flooding: NSW Farmers

Farmers in the state’s south say water authorities are failing to prepare for severe flood risks in the Murray Valley as La Nina conditions threaten to fill major dams and rivers. NSW Farmers Conservation and Resource Management Committee chair Louise Burge said while authorities may not be able to prevent all risks of flooding this year, they should “absolutely” avoid making flooding conditions even more extreme.

Dartmouth Dam to spill for the first time in 26 years: MDBA

After hovering around 99% capacity for 4 weeks, the largest water storage in the Murray–Darling Basin is expected to be flowing over the spillway tomorrow thanks to inflows from last weekend's rain. MDBA Senior Director of River Management, Joe Davis said water would begin flowing over the Dartmouth Dam spillway at low rates and contribute minor flows to the Mitta Mitta River downstream, with water also still being released through the valves at the base of the dam.

Biosecurity blunder – Coen facility faces the chop from state govt

Growers and graziers are angry their livelihoods could be placed at risk after the state government said it was reviewing the future of the Cape York Biosecurity Centre. “They should be looking at opening it 24 hours, not shutting it down”: Merluna Station’s Cameron MacLean ... “It’s absolute insanity if they close it. It would be madness”: Warren Entsch, Member for Leichhardt.

Darling/Baaka sacrificed for northern irrigators

‘The NSW Coalition and the Shooters Fishers Farmers Party have condemned the Darling/Baaka to longer periods of dry riverbed with stagnant slimy pools. This decline in river health started when floodplain harvesting exploded upstream during the 1990’s. The NSW Government has rewarded decades of unsustainable and unregulated water use with new licences while conducting no assessment of the downstream impacts on Darling/Baaka communities, native fish populations, groundwater recharge and important wetland areas’: Brian Stevens, spokesperson for Inland Rivers Network.

AMA holds emergency summit in Lismore to thwart collapse of healthcare services

Health leaders gathered on 16 September for an emergency health summit in Lismore to urge the State and Federal Governments to immediately support healthcare services in the region ... “It’s been more than six months since the floods devastated the region and many healthcare service providers have yet to recover”: AMA President, Professor Steve Robson.

Sugar mill steams ahead with long-awaited $12m grant

After six months of silence, steam from the sugar mill chimneys punches into a clear sky before quietly dissolving into the blue. It is a welcome and familiar sight for residents of the small riverside village. Finally, cane is being crushed again and its back to work at Sunshine Sugar in Broadwater.

Shuttle stallion elite touch down in Australia: DAFF

An elite stable of dedicated Post Entry Quarantine officers is ensuring some of the world’s most valuable shuttle stallions are happy, healthy – and won’t pose a biosecurity risk while on stud duties in Australia. The 55 horses – hailing from Europe, Japan, the USA and Canada, and worth a combined $450 million – have touched down in Australia for the Southern Hemisphere Thoroughbred breeding season.

Eroding confidence

When I think of tragedy and tales of woe, it is hard not to go past history’s greats like Romeo and Juliet, but Australia as a nation is penning an even more tragic story, one sadly not confined to fiction ... With water or the environment not being big enough portfolios for the Albanese Government to separate, Tanya Plibersek has the job of forcing Southern Basin communities to swallow the pill promised to South Australia in the federal election.

River People’s Forum

A diverse range of views were heard at the River People’s Forum held in Swan Hill on September 2. What do we want our river communities and river to look like? What is the balance between regulated flows and floods and natural ones? Do we want concrete giants like the KP regulators? Nothing was out of bounds.

How much can a koala bear before it faces extinction? :Charles Sturt University

Charles Sturt academic, Dr Joanne Connolly explores what makes koalas unique and how Charles Sturt University is contributing to saving endangered populations, including research into the Narrandera koala population ... ARR.News asks some questions of Dr Connolly.

Farming exports forecast to reach record $70.3 billion: ABARES

Exceptional growing conditions and high global prices are continuing to benefit Australian agricultural production and exports. The ABARES September quarter Agricultural Commodities Report is forecasting agricultural export earnings to climb to a record $70.3 billion for 2022-23 – almost 50% more than what it was 10 years ago after accounting for inflation.

Regional capitals welcomes increase to migration: Regional Capitals Australia

Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) has welcomed the announcement by the Albanese Government that Australia’s permanent migration cap will be increased, saying it is a welcome step for businesses currently struggling with crippling labour shortages. RCA Chair and Mayor of Ballarat Cr Daniel Moloney said “We congratulate the Government on today’s commitment to increase permanent migration, and thank them for listening to the collective voices of regional Australia.”

Government asked for practical help in energy transition: NSW Farmers

The state’s peak farming group says there is a clear opportunity for the federal government to help businesses transition to cleaner vehicles. NSW Farmers Business, Economics and Trade Committee chair John Lowe said targeted extension of the instant asset write off could be used to encourage farmers and other rural business owners to purchase more modern, energy efficient equipment.

Next phase of work steaming ahead for Barton Highway: King, McBain, Farraway, Tuckerman

The duplication of the Barton Highway is forging ahead with the focus now turning to construction of several intersections along a seven-kilometre stretch as part of Stage 1 ... ARR.News asked some questions for the Ministers and Members and received a response from a spokesperson for Minister King.

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