Saturday, August 13, 2022



High expectations for Tasmanian medicinal cannabis farm

ASX-listed local and international supplier of medicinal cannabis ECS Botanics is offloading its production enterprise in Tasmania’s Northern Midlands ... ECS cultivates and manufactures medicinal cannabis products in both Tasmania and Victoria, and supplies domestic and overseas markets. Last year, it secured a five-year, $4.5 million deal to supply Polish company Alivio Spolka with GMP-manufactured medicinal cannabis, and a one year rolling supply agreement with local company Canngea, after it took over Murray Meds early in the year as part of a $1 million deal.

TFGA suggests review of land acquisition legislation

Ian Sauer, TFGA President believes that it is time for an independent or parliamentary review into legislation such as Land Acquisition Act 1993, Irrigation Company Act 2011, Hydro-Electric Corporation Act 1995 and other associated legislation, which allows for the authorised acquisition of land for the purpose of infrastructure ... An irrigation scheme was fully sold before the relevant GBE approached the Scott-Youngs’ and informed them they would need to acquire around 5 per cent of their land to locate a dam. This parcel included 20ha in the middle of the farm. Right outside their front door.

Citizen science helps determine climate change impacts on Tasmanian fisheries: FRDC

Citizen science has made an important contribution to an FRDC-funded project to predict the impact of climate change on three fish species of increasing recreational and commercial importance in Tasmania ... Data from the project was gathered from several sources, including fish frames (skeletons) donated by recreational fishers at 16 drop off points around Tasmania, which yielded 801 frames in the 24 months to July 2021. Frames were also donated by commercial fishers and fish processors.

Tasmania’s carbon negative is due to forestry, not its absence: Forestry Australia

The peak national organisation representing forest scientists and professionals has refuted claims that native forest harvesting in Tasmania has impacted negatively on the climate. Forestry Australia President Bob Gordon said on the contrary, the carbon sequestering power of growing trees meant sustainable forestry played a key role in reducing the state’s carbon emissions.

Carbon, cash, cattle and the climate crisis: UTas

An invited presentation by Associate Professor Matthew Harrison from the University of Tasmania presents a summary of recent research in climate change adaptation and greenhouse gas emissions mitigation for the agriculture sector. Questions are welcome.

Tracking the impact of plastics

Dr Jennifer Lavers. Since 2007, the Adrift Lab research team based in Tasmania has been fortunate to visit Lord Howe Island in Apr/May to study plastics ingested by two mutton-bird species, Wedge-tailed and Flesh-footed Shearwaters. The database contains a wealth of information on the origin of items (e.g., bottle caps, balloon clips) and amount consumed by each bird species. Over time, it’s become one of the longest-running plastic monitoring programs in the world (certainly in the Southern Hemisphere).

New tanker for Newstead

In addition to a 2,000 litre tank, the new tanker contains 650 litres of water set aside for crew and vehicle protection sprays in the event of a burnover. It also includes brackets to hold breathing apparatus cylinders as well as a cabin that allows a crew of five to travel safely together.

The effects of biochar feed supplementation on GHG emissions and cattle liveweight gain: is it worthwhile?

Nicoli Barnes, UTas. It has been suggested that biochar improves animal health and liveweight gain. It has also been suggested that biochar reduces enteric methane and, by increasing carbon content in the manure, may improve soil carbon over time. Together these effects would theoretically reduce whole farm emissions. In an MLA-funded research programme, we are testing this theory using in a farm experiment near Deloraine, Tasmania.

Scientists urge deeper dive into ocean afforestation and seaweed as a carbon storage solution

Two new studies led by Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS, UTAS) scientists provide an approach for accurately assessing the carbon storage capability of seaweed before it is factored into carbon offset initiatives, and highlight the need for further research into the impact of extending seaweed forests offshore into oceanic ecosystems.

TFGA: An extension to permitted development rights provided a lifeline for UK farmers – can we do the same in Australia?

In the UK, supported a successful campaign to extend permitted development rights allowing change of use of land for camping. This small change to planning rules facilitated the opening of 1,000 pop-up campsites across the country over the summer season, primarily at farms, and helped over 300,000 holidaymakers book a much-needed break in the outdoors.

2022 Budget: Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association

When it comes to the big-ticket items for Tasmania the federal budget doesn’t meet Tasmania’s needs for agriculture. The infrastructure spend on water and roads only provides small change for Tasmania. Water is 0.18% of national spending and roads are 0.55%.

Book review – Fires, Farms and Forests – A Human History of Surrey Hills, north-west Tasmania

The author has set himself an enormous task to survey in depth the history of the Surrey Hills district of north-west Tasmania. Fires, Farms and Forests represents the culmination of much detailed and careful research, combined with the author’s extensive personal experience as a forester, and, in particular, his role managing the native grasslands and buttongrass moorlands on Surrey Hills. All this enables the author to weave a story which encompasses both general history as well as specialist insights into the management of land and forests.

Mining mum ready to take reins of Cape York’s biggest employer

Shona Markham already had a busy life in northern Tasmania, but the pace is likely to quicken in 2022 as she takes the reins of Rio Tinto’s Weipa operations ... Despite her experience with Rio Tinto and previous leadership roles, the Weipa general manager position is a job like no other on the company’s books.

Taking a balanced approach to wild fallow deer management

The first Tasmanian Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan brings together existing and contemporary management strategies to form a single point of reference for deer management in Tasmania. The growing number and widening geographic range of wild fallow deer in the State continues to have increasing economic, environmental and public safety impact.

Crumb rubber in road resurfacing to help cut tyre waste

About 1.3 million tyres reach the end of their life each year in Tasmania, most of which ends up in landfill or stockpiles. Some of these tyres are now being processed into crumb rubber and blended with bitumen for use as asphalt in the State road maintenance program.

Protecting NSW beaches from coastal invader

“Sea spurge is now reappearing in NSW, this time in more regional and remote areas of NSW, and we suspect it’s spreading from Victorian and Tasmanian beaches .... A spraying program is underway, using a highly specific biocontrol agent of sea spurge, a fungus, which is native to France" : James Griffin, NSW Environment Minister.

Exemplary effort to contain oil spill: Jaensch

Responding to the oil spill at the Port of Devonport has been a mammoth task, but years of planning and preparation meant multiple agencies were able to act quickly to contain the spill. The Environment Protection Authority, TasPorts, BridgePro, Tasmanian Divers Group, Marine and Safety Tasmania, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau have all have worked in unison since a commercial vessel collided with two tugboats on January 28, causing fuel and oil to spill into the Mersey River.

King and Flinders Island flights will continue to soar

Regular passenger flights between Hobart and two Bass Strait Islands will be extended following the success of the Sharp Airline services that were introduced in September 2020 ... The services have been a roaring success, and have given more Tasmanians the ability to explore these unique parts of our special Island State.

Ongoing forestry debate: Senator Jonno Duniam, Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries

As I have consistently said, science, facts and non-emotive debate are what is needed when it comes to making the big decisions about the future of our primary industries – or indeed any public policy decision. Unfortunately the same view is clearly not held by anti-forestry ideologues, including those Labor governments in both Victoria and Western Australia who have decided to shut down their sustainable forest industries without any discernible evidence to do so.

King Island Racing Club – back on track! Summer 2021/ 2022

Country racing always has a story to tell, but none like King Islands. Situated in the middle of the Western Entrance to Bass Strait. The King Island Racing Club Incorporated should logistically not have survived over 125 years of racing.

Circular Head – 39th annual Greenham Trade and Export Cattle (hoof and hook) competition

The 39th annual Greenham Trade and Export Cattle (hoof and hook) competition saw a yarding of 75 entries with a quality field of 48 yearling steers and heifers, and 27 heavy prime beef steers, entries being accepted in pens of three. Each year this competition hosts the best line-up of 100% grass finished cattle in Australia.

Tasmanian exports hit record $4.225 billion

Tasmania’s economy continues to surge as the latest ABS export statistics reveal a record export figure of $4.225 for the 12-months to October 2021. This is 18.6 per cent higher than the previous year and marks a run of three consecutive months when the annual export figures have exceeded the $4 billion mark.

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