Friday, January 27, 2023


Federal politics

Labor must sweeten “major win” for Manuka Honey producers: Littleproud

Australian Manuka Honey Association (AHMA) is celebrating a sweet win as New Zealand Manuka Honey Appellation Society backs out of an appeal over naming rights before the UK High Court and similar legal action in the EU ... Mr Littleproud welcomed the win over New Zealand producers in Europe and the UK, but said the Labor Government and in particular Agriculture Minister Murray Watt had a role to play in supporting our home grown Manuka Honey farmers over their Trans-Tasman rivals.

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.

Sun Cable fiasco undermines Labor’s 2030 $40b economy, says Barkly MLA

It wasn’t a good start for of the Barkly’s economic future when news broke recently about Sun Cable’s entry in voluntary administration. Member for Barkly and Shadow Minister for Mining and Tourism Steve Edgington says the announcement seriously undermines Labor’s promise of a $40 billion economy by 2030.

Nuclear energy must be considered: Bev McArthur

Mrs McArthur said Labor’s Federal position on nuclear submarines further changes the energy landscape, with the Liberal Party federally adopting nuclear as a potential energy solution ... “If the Victorian Government really thinks it is Australia’s most progressive jurisdiction – then it should be brave enough and big enough to drop the moratorium and get real about the energy solution staring us in the face,” Mrs McArthur said.

The invisible hand

Who would have thought that 34 years after the collapse of communism in the USSR and 43 years after the Hawke-Keating government started the process of dismantling Australia’s prices and income regulatory system, that Australia would be back reintroducing a Soviet style price control mechanism that caps gas and coal wholesale prices. Someone has not been reading their economic history. There are no lack of lessons from the past  that point to the unintended consequences of governments intervening in markets in an attempt to address short term political problems.

Bonza set for takeoff: King

The Australian Government welcomes the entry of a new airline into the Australian market, with Bonza today being granted its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) following a rigorous assessment process. This is a significant milestone for Australian aviation, marking the first new high-capacity entrant into the Australian market since the launch of Tiger Airways over 15 years ago.

US right to repair for farm machinery will disadvantage Aussie growers: NFF

The National Farmers’ Federation says an agreement struck in the US allowing farmers the right to repair their own farm equipment will place Aussie farmers at a disadvantage unless similar steps are taken here. The right to repair allows farmers to take their equipment to a dealer of their choice to fix a problem or repair the machine themselves.

Vital link’s ‘missing middle’: NSW Farmers

Farmers are frustrated by a stoush between state and federal governments that is holding up the construction of a vital freight link. On Tuesday Transport Minister Catherine King said the federal government would fund the start and end of the Great Western Highway upgrade, but there was “no money for the middle section” – a tunnel proposed by the state government.

Labor’s soil deception: Littleproud

In a cruel blow to Australian farmers, the Federal Labor Government has confirmed it has axed the $54 million pilot Soil Monitoring Incentives Program (SMIP) because of flooding ... "Labor’s decision to end the SMIP is disgraceful and it reflects their contempt for our farmers and the $85 billion agriculture industry": Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud.

The good, the bad and the ugly of regional banking in 2022

“There is not one bank still open in our local area. How much cash will the supermarket give me? So far I’ve only asked for $100 each fortnight because there are still transactions to be paid in cash. Now for Christmas and gift giving I need much more because after two operations this year I’m not very mobile so cash will be for gifts.” ... Lack of access to a bank or ATM adds a layer of complexity to this time of year that our politicians just don’t seem to be able to fathom.

Cutting-edge tech takes off at PEQ: DAFF

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is rolling out sophisticated new technology to detect and identify exotic plant viruses and viroids at its Post Entry Quarantine Facility (PEQ) at Mickleham, Victoria. Australia’s Chief Plant Protection Officer Dr Gabrielle Vivian-Smith said the department was using High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) to improve the efficiency of PEQ testing in imported plants.

Federal Labor snubs farmers: VFF

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) says Federal Water Minister Tanya Plibersek is continuing to ignore farmers. VFF Water Council Chair Andrew Leahy said despite multiple attempts by the VFF to meet with the Commonwealth, Minister Plibersek’s key water adviser and Murray Darling Basin Authority staff were in Shepparton, but did not meet farmers. “There is no group more impacted by the Basin Plan than farmers and the Commonwealth has chosen to ignore us.”

PALM scheme leaves smaller growers behind: NFF

The National Farmers’ Federation’s (NFF) Horticulture Council is calling on the Federal Government to ensure its much-heralded solution to the growing workforce crisis works for the whole of the sector. Following Covid-19 disruptions, there was a swift shift towards a greater reliance on the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, but with that came headaches for smaller employers who previously relied mostly on backpackers.

No regional Australians, things aren’t quite as the banks say

The Federal Government’s Treasury Department now has in its possession pages of first-hand accounts from bank staff admitting that they have been working under orders to move customers away from face-to-face banking and on to digital channels ... It is the first time hard evidence has been available to prove these long-suspected practices exist, yet the information, provided to the Regional Banking Taskforce through the Financial Sector Union, was ignored by the Government in its final report.

Sand slug season

As the Albanese Government is trying to rush through its water recovery strategy before Christmas, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s sand slug has been very active. Like a mythical creature that lurks in the watery depths, the sand slug was the MDBA’s answer to why the natural constraint of the Barmah Choke had reduced in water delivery capacity ... A recent photo from grass roots community members continues to highlight the rapid rate of erosion at Davies Beach, Cobram.

Mary off to Vietnam and Cambodia

Allora local Mary Higgins, who is a student at Griffiths University, studying Psychological Science and Business, has been awarded a Scholarship under the New Colombo Plan ... “Growing up in Allora, a small town of just 1200 people, I’ve seen my community come together through droughts, floods and many other crises, which has inspired me to work further toward social justice on a grander scale,” Mary said.

Aquaculture increases contribution to seafood production: ABARES

Aquaculture has continued its steady growth within the Australian seafood industry, according to the latest edition of ABARES Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Statistics. ABARES Executive Director Dr Jared Greenville said the aquaculture sector has continued its recent growth, accounting for 56 per cent of the total gross value of fisheries production (GVP).

Clarence candidates on nuclear fusion electricity generation

Rodney Stevens. As power prices are predicted to skyrocket by up to 50 per cent, a raft of alternative energy sources are being explored to satisfy our endless electricity consumption, including nuclear fusion, which the Nationals are open to exploring ... the CV Independent asked the candidates for the seat of Clarence their thoughts on the controversial topic.

Murray–Darling Basin Authority communique, 12 December 2022

The Authority commended the ongoing efforts of the MDBA river operators to provide significant flood mitigation for communities downstream of Hume Dam, with twice the volume of the dam's capacity having been carefully released over the past 6 months to manage downstream flows. This has enabled the peak outflow from Hume Dam to be moderated throughout winter and spring.

Indigenous rangers roundtable informs future of northern Australia’s biosecurity: DAFF

Biosecurity and safeguarding were front of mind at the Indigenous Rangers Biosecurity roundtable in the Northern Territory ... Indigenous Ranger organisations contracted to undertake biosecurity surveillance are generally located along the northern Australian coastline, with a focus on high-risk pathways with a potential for pest and disease incursions.

Coming up to speed on farm connectivity

If you understand the difference between 5G low and high band, fixed wireless, repeaters and extenders, then you don’t have to read this. While the tech savvy know their way around digital connectivity, the vast majority of us are staggering around in the dark when it comes to getting information on how to get a couple of extra signal bars on our mobile phones or stop the download lag on our broadband.

Ministers must make sure energy projects don’t diminish food production: NFF

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is calling on Australian energy ministers to make sure the transition to renewable energy is overseen by a national code, so we don’t sacrifice food security for energy security ... NFF CEO Tony Mahar said energy, agriculture and food prices were inextricably linked and at a time when food security was high on the agenda, careful consideration had to be given to how the energy and farming industries could work together.

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