Thursday, June 8, 2023


Federal politics

Koala politics: Vic Jurskis

Vic Jurskis. Since NSW koalas were declared endangered 12 months ago, they’re turning up everywhere. Here's the latest: "... uncovered a new population of 42 koalas at Coolah Tops, north west of Sydney, when the previous government only had five documented koala sightings in the area over the past 70 years."

Meters, morons and monopoly

When a Senate Estimates Hearing in Canberra interviews the Inspector General (IG) of Water Compliance, Troy Grant, you would expect reference to meters, but not to morons and the game Monopoly. However during his interview with the Senators on Friday 26th May, Troy Grant used morons and monopoly to drive home the problems with the current water legislation ... The reason he gave for the number closed is "the legislation is rubbish".

Crying out for accessible care

Australia needs a high-quality, universally accessible and affordable early learning childcare system, according to Thrive by Five. The organisation is calling on federal and state governments to reform early learning and child care to benefit more families and early education staff.

Remember to have your say: ARTC

We want to understand how we can better work with our communities to ensure you have the information you need and the opportunity to provide feedback as Inland Rail progresses. Now is your chance to provide anonymous feedback on how we can improve our future communication and interactions with you by completing this quarterly communication and engagement survey.

Charlton child care in limbo

Charlton families have been left in the lurch with the Buloke Shire’s exclusion from the Federal Government’s Community Child Care Fund (CCF). Member for Mallee, Anne Webster, has written to Early Childhood Education Minister, Anne Aly, urging her to intervene in Charlton’s Child Care Desert.

Rudderless PALM on the road to ruin: NFF

The NFF Horticulture Council has rung the alarm bells loud and clear that the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme is now heading toward calamity ... Horticulture Council spokesperson Rachel Chambers said it was increasingly clear relevant ministers aren’t working together to ensure the scheme meets the long-terms interests of the Pacific and Australian industries it’s meant to serve. 

Feds can’t rest on competition reform: NSW Farmers

Farmers are calling on the Federal Government to implement competition reforms that will tackle cost of living pressures. NSW Farmers CEO Pete Arkle said the ACCC had made a number of recommendations in its 2020 Perishable Agricultural Goods Inquiry that would bring food prices down for consumers, but so far they had been largely ignored.

Devil’s in the detail of new 10 per cent biosecurity tax: Barry Large, GPA

The devil’s in the detail of the federal budget’s announcement of a new 10 per cent Biosecurity Protection Levy ... Federal Agriculture Minister, Murray Watt, has proposed raising $47.5 million per year across all producers from the added 10 per cent levy, as part of a ‘sustainable’ funding model for biosecurity protections ... we don’t know what the value proposition is for grains and if it will actually deliver better protections.

State of the Industry 2022: TRA

TRA has now published the State of the Industry 2022 report. This annual report presents a snapshot of Australia’s visitor economy in 2022.

Atlas brings muscle to Australia’s clean energy future: King

An industry-led, wide-scale search through previously mined and discarded rock and earth could help boost Australia’s global position as a clean energy powerhouse ... Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King said the new Atlas of Australian Mine Waste, could provide industry with additional opportunities to extract valuable resources from previously mined rock and earth.

Let’s talk about a Voice to Parliament

This week is National Reconciliation Week, the crucial annual event observed in Australia to promote reconciliation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians ... The Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Maldon, on Djaara Country, is deeply committed to cultivating understanding, respect, and relationships with the Dja Dja Wurrung people, as well as with all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Senator speaks on the “Voice”

Alison McEwen. Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Senator for NT, addressed the Victorian Nationals State Conference held in Creswick ... The attendees were interested to hear that it is estimated that large numbers of the population do want the indigenous First Nations people to be included in the Preamble of the Constitution! This statement coming from an indigenous Senator who is a member of the Nationals, who in turn are saying Vote No to the Voice, was a surprise. Jacinta said this is the most divisive referendum ever held. 

Telstra’s “big project” rejected

Telecommunications company Telstra is seeking ratepayer funding to help build towers in the Limestone Coast region as part of a "big project". In a proposal to the Naracoorte-Lucindale Council, a Telstra SA and Tasmania area general manager Michael Patterson outlined Telstra's proposal for the South-East, asking for a five percent funding investment by the council.

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.

Staff and service losses ahead for pharmacies and clients

Australian pharmacies pleas to scrap the 60-day dispensing policy have fallen on deaf ears with the proposal confirmed in the recent budget release. The 60 day dispensing reform will mean that patients will be able to claim double the amount of medication with one script at no extra cost.

Not easy under Albanese for Australian farmers

The Nationals leader and Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the first 12 months of an Albanese Labor government had been tough for Australian agriculture, with the full effect to be felt in the coming few years ... Mr Littleproud said farmers and processors were making investment decisions not to plant and not to invest, because the government could not provide them confidence of a stable workforce, which was driving down supply and consumer prices up.

New Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) provider for Hindmarsh

Recipients of the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) in Hindmarsh Shire will continue to be able to access their services from 1 July 2023 after the Commonwealth offered the contract to West Wimmera Health Service. The announcement comes after the decision from Hindmarsh Shire Council to cease providing the CHSP service after 30 June, and West Wimmera Health Service receiving a funding offer from the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care to take over the service delivery for the whole shire.

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.

New Roma LifeFlight chopper base officially opens: Chisholm

LifeFlight Australia’s highly anticipated, brand new Roma helicopter base has officially opened its doors, with a formal ceremony on 30 May 2023, to mark the momentous occasion ... “For people in real need in isolated circumstances – there is no sight better than the vision of a LifeFlight rescue helicopter coming into view during an emergency”: Australian Country Choice CEO Anthony Lee.

Qantas steps up to fill gap

Following Rex Airlines’ decision to exit its operations from Whyalla, Qantas has announced additional flights to help address the gap that will be created by Rex’s departure ... “There is still a lot of work to be done to fill the gaps in service, so we are working extensively with the broader airline industry to explore options to help minimise the impact of Rex’s decision”: Mayor Phill Stone.

Activists ought to be called out on harassment tactics: NFF

Australia’s peak farm body has slammed radical animal rights activists following a spate of illegal and intimidating encounters with law-abiding industry participants, and joined calls for the Government to exclude them from policy making processes. The call follows evidence from the pork industry in yesterday’s Senate Estimates hearings, with Chief Executive of Australian Pork Limited, Margo Andrae, detailing alarming examples of recent protest activity. 

The Blueprint Institute’s ‘Branching Out’ report – a critique

‘Branching Out”, the latest report on the NSW native forestry by the Blueprint Institute, was released on 26 April and put into the media with the subeditorial line “Report outlines economic benefit of ending native forest logging’ ... The Report should be marked ‘draft’ given its deficiencies - and that is being generous.

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