Thursday, May 30, 2024

Politics & Opinion


Are we uninsurable?

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite insurance costs have risen, resulting in home and contents insurance being cost prohibitive for some Clarence Valley homeowners with prices ranging from $35.51 to $252.36 per week, while in some parts of the valley some companies refuse to insure homes ... To determine home and contents insurance costs across the region and if we are insurable, the Clarence Valley Independent sought quotes for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, single storey home...


Big changes to address local housing shortage

The minimum lot size is to be removed in Hay township (both North and South Hay) and some primary production land will be rezoned to low density residential in a bid by Council to address the housing shortage … Council recently received funding under the regional Housing Strategic Planning Fund to undertake a planning proposal to change the Hay Local Environment Plan (LEP) which governs the land uses and zoning of properties.


Ivanhoe region faces desperate financial outlook- $1.225M deficit for Central Darling Shire

Central Darling Shire Council will have an operating deficit of $1.225M for 2024/2025 and is facing an extremely strained and desperate financial outlook. It comes as Council prepares for a number of essential, but unaffordable expenses. General Manager, Greg Hill said this was happening at a time when an application for $1.3 million in Natural Disaster Declaration assistance for storm damage had been declined.

Biosecurity - pigs

Pig problem escalates: NSW Farmers

Farmers are reporting a fresh surge in feral pig numbers, prompting a call to escalate funding to fight the state’s feral pig problem ... “There’s reports of feral pigs weighing well over 100 kilograms charging through the paddocks, trashing food crops and killing calves and lambs at the drop of a hat”: NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin.

Biosecurity - fire ants

Dean addresses CWA on fire ants response

Kimberly Grabham. Dean Whitehead spoke at a recent meeting of Hay CWA in response to the threat of fire ants, and to explain the Fire Ant Eradication Program. Mr Whitehead said the objective in regards to fire ants is eradication, and a stringent process is followed to achieve this goal.


NT in top 3 regions worldwide for critical minerals potential: Lawler, Monaghan

The Northern Territory has 17 of the world’s most in demand critical minerals, including lithium, rare earths, graphite and copper and in independent report ranks the Territory in the top 10 globally for investment attractiveness, and 3rd globally for Mineral Potential behind WA and Nevada in the US ... An outcome evaluation report by Deloitte has shown that the first four years of the Resourcing the Territory initiative – introduced by the Territory Labor Government in 2018 – has helped significantly boost investment in resources exploration in the NT.


Forest Wars – What lies beneath?: Peter Rutherford

Peter Rutherford. After reading Mark Poynter’s brief critique of The Forest Wars and the David Lindenmayer response, a few points seemed to need further exploration ... Many SETA members and others working in the forest industry have been curious as to what appear to be strong connections that Mr Lindenmayer has with a number of media reporters, who regularly report his opinions on native forest issues.

Council rates

Farm rates pain

Rachel Hagan. Primary producers and other residents have packed the Yorke Peninsula Council gallery to witness an impassioned debate about whether farmers should be asked to pay an increased rate across the next financial year. The special council meeting, held at Minlaton on Wednesday, May 22, became heated at times as councillors argued about whether to charge farmers higher rates than they currently pay to help cover the costs of services such as road maintenance.

Tax - Vic

A reprieve for regional patients: Doctor tax backflip

Regional Victorians can breathe easy after five years of advocacy and the Victorian Liberal-National Opposition’s criticisms embarrassed the State Government into pausing its $10 million doctor tax, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Regional Health, Dr Anne Webster, said at the weekend.

Regional development

Regional renovate to rent

Every country town has at least one building that lies abandoned or underutilised which could be turned into a house or unit that could attract another worker or family to the community. We have old train stations and roads boards buildings, there are abandoned shops in the main street, empty pubs, unused halls, even farmhouses close to town left to deteriorate.

Need a business? Build it and they will come

Don’t have a plumber, electrician, aircon mechanic, car mechanic, tyre shop, independent ag mechanic, hydraulic shop etc in your town? Then do something about it. The council or a group of farmers should get together to buy an industrial lot, build a lock up shed, offer it out for $1 a year then stand back and watch the rush.


Low emissions truck trial has QFES leading the nation: Boyd, de Brenni

Two new prime movers are set to be delivered to QFES as part of an Australian first trial. The Volvo trucks - one running on Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and the other electric – will support operational logistics at Caloundra and Townsville ... the HVO-powered truck comes with the latest 13-litre Euro 6 technology, allowing it to run on either the alternative fuel or regular diesel.

Flood recovery - SA

Recovery Pods help flood-affected communities rebuild: Watt, Champion

Recovery Pods have been deployed to help South Australians still recovering from the River Murray floods. To date, six of the self-contained homes have been deployed to help individuals and families who lost their primary place of residence, with more still available.


Yanchep tavern proposal deferred for up to three months

A tavern, to cater for 800 patrons, proposed for the corner of Marmion Ave and Peony Blvd has been deferred for up to three months with a shortage of parking bays one of the issues highlighted. To be called The Carnaby the $3 million tavern is proposed to operate from 11.30am to midnight seven days a week.

Flood recovery - NSW

Funding helps council forge ahead with 1500-blocks at Fairy Hill for flood-free housing

On a bright day, next to the bridge arching across the swollen Richmond River at Woodburn, an announcement was made about funding for affordable flood-free housing. The State Government is giving $245,000 to Richmond Valley Council to scope out what is needed for the 1500-blocks at Fairy Hill to proceed.

Regional banking

Banks blow their chance to self-regulate by betraying trust

It may have taken 20 years but a Federal Government inquiry has finally made good on a warning that if the 'big four' banks did not improve their treatment of regional Australian customers, they would be stripped of the privilege to self-regulate. Many thought this day would never come but the most surprised must be the banks or they would have never behaved in the ways outlined in detail during a senate committee’s 15-month deep dive into the welfare and economic impacts of regional bank closures. 

Report calls for rebuild of financial services in the bush: Canavan, Colbeck, Rennick, Brockman

The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee released a report which recommends investment in the financial services available in rural and regional Australia to make up for the loss of services from bank closures in recent years. There are 596 Australian towns which once had a major bank branch but now do not have a bank branch at all. In most cases, our major banks left these towns with no plan on how financial services would be provided after a bank closure.

Regional banking

Report signals party is over for Australia’s big four banks

Official recognition of banking as an essential service, the end of self-regulation of the banking industry and a pathway forward for the consideration of a new government bank are some of the key recommendations to come from a Senate inquiry into the impact of regional bank closures.

Election NT

Borrooloola local throws hat in the ring for Barkly seat in 2024 NT election

A woman who has thrown her hat into the political ring has vowed to guide a community-led response to deal with crime and social disorder problems that are plaguing Tennant Creek and other communities across the Barkly. Lizzie Hogan from Borroloola has today been formally announced as the Territory Labor Barkly candidate for the 2024 Territory Election ... Speaking exclusively to the Tennant & District Times ...


CCS in the GAB – Agriculture, rural communities and conservationists say no and now the science does too: QFF

The Queensland Government has rejected the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Glencore's carbon capture and storage (CCS) project confirming the grave concerns raised by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF), industry and other representatives. The EIS assessment process has found that the science behind this project is inadequate, and the risk to the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) too great, meaning the precautionary principle must apply.

Farm crime

Farm crime forum to be held in Locksley: Cleeland

Nationals Member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland will host a farm crime forum in Locksley in June to discuss ongoing safety concerns across the region. Ms Cleeland will be joined by Shadow Minister for Police Brad Battin at the Locksley CFA building on Wednesday, June 12. Together, the pair will also hold general community safety meetings in Benalla, Broadford, and Euroa.


The Moorlort Plains chicken wars continue

Remember the protracted battle regarding the plans to build broiler farms on the Moolort Plains, west of Baringhup, in the Shire of Mount Alexander? After court hearings and the extraordinary step of building two houses out near the proposed site for the proposed broiler sheds, that battle was won by local residents.

Brumby cull

Robert Borsak expresses deep concern over NPWS responses to aerial shooting program

Robert Borsak, Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, today expressed his profound concern over the statements made yesterday by Atticus Fleming, Deputy Secretary of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), regarding the welfare outcomes of the aerial shooting program targeting feral horses in Kosciuszko National Park ... "How can an average of 7.5 shots, up to a maximum of 15 shots, be considered humane?" Mr. Borsak questioned. "The RSPCA has deserted their principles and the people who support them."

Property tax - Vic

Backing Victorian business by abolishing stamp duty: Pallas

The commercial and industrial property tax reform will progressively abolish stamp duty and replace it with a more efficient commercial and industrial property tax ... ARR.News asked a question about primary production property, answered by a government spokesperson.

Volunteering - SA

New report reveals significant economic benefit of volunteering to SA: Cook

South Australians’ volunteering efforts reaped a net return on investment of $29.3 billion for the state last year – with every dollar invested through volunteering returning $5.20 to the community ... The critical economic impact was revealed in South Australia’s first State of Volunteering report ...

Planning inquiry

Outrage after public hearings scrapped

Public hearings before the committee of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the Planning system and the impacts of climate change on the environment and communities will not be conducted on the NSW mid and north coasts from Port Macquarie to the Tweed ... The Northern Rivers area, and particularly the Clarence Valley has the highest flood risk hazard of all, as outlined in the NSW State Disaster Mitigation Plan 2024 – 2026. Surely this triggers the necessity for the committee to provide hearings in the mid-north and north coast regions of NSW, Yamba CAN Inc members said.

Council rates

Community views ignored by IPART in approval of rate rise

Former Narrandera Shire councillor and mayor Wesley Hall, who led a community revolt against Narrandera council’s proposal, said IPART’s decision to allow the Narrandera Shire Council’s substantial special rate variation to proceed showed that community views don’t matter. He said the group had put a lot of work into the submissions only to see the community views ignored which was very disappointing.


CSIRO releases 2023-24 GenCost report

Shaped by the highest volume of feedback since its inception in 2018, the 2023-24 annual GenCost report has been released ... GenCost is a leading economic report by CSIRO ... in collaboration with AEMO on the cost of building future electricity generation, storage and hydrogen production in Australia. The latest report introduces a range of changes in response to stakeholder feedback, most significantly, the inclusion of large-scale nuclear for the first time.

Transmission lines

GSC councillors clash over VNI West sellout

The proposed Victorian New South Wales Interconnectors 500kv overhead transmission lines and towers that can reach almost 80 metres in height, is once again under the spotlight. The VNI project will carve a path through farmland and across communities on the journey from Bulgana in Victoria to the substation at Dinawan, near Jerilderie in NSW. Last week, Gannawarra Shire’s Cr Garner Smith put forward a motion that Council oppose the construction of VNI West through Gannawarra...


Tamsen’s Territory – the U.N. and its new world order

The United Nations is quietly encouraging a policy of making all countries adopt a host of new laws and regulations aimed at creating a new world order with international control by its target year of 2030. Evidence of this is provided by various U.N. management reports calling for a different world direction away from the post-World War II way of life and the way people have been governed by individual States. These reports claim that the U.N. intends to “reshape the world for the better,” by means of a common (U.N.) agenda driven by solidarity as prescribed by its declarations on human and associated rights, such as those for reparations for indigenous people.

Council rates

Rates down for some

At least 749 properties will receive a decrease in council rates under a proposal by Naracoorte Lucindale Council’s administration. The decrease is included in a breakdown of the average 5.8 percent rate hike included in council’s draft 2024-25 Business Plan and Budget. There are 6578 rateable properties in the council area, and Cr Monique Crossling claimed during council’s May 1 meeting an average 5.8 percent increase was an extra $17.73 over a year.


Council sets cheap rental rate for doctors’ accommodation

The Narrandera Shire Council has agreed to a two year residential tenancy agreement for the property 19 Argyle Street with NGPM Pty Ltd, owners of the Narrandera Medical Centre … Mrs Elizabeth Romeo from the Narrandera Medical Centre met with the General Manager George Cowan about the doctor shortage … Market rental at $380 per week with an agreed rental of $100 per week means that Council will have to subsidise the rental to the value of $280 per week.


Community stonewalled over hospitals

Member for Benambra, Bill Tilley, says the Victorian government’s ongoing refusal to provide vital planning papers for hospitals in Wodonga and Albury is either contempt or incompetence. "Last Wednesday marked 10 weeks since the request for the documents was passed unanimously in the upper house of the Victorian Parliament," Mr Tilley said.


Heavy vehicle detour finished

Towong Shire Council has announced that work on the Corryong Heavy Vehicle Bypass along the Stock Route has wrapped up, with the project now completed. The works included realignment of the Briggs Gap Road/Stock Route Intersection and two main corners along the Stock Route, installation of new drainage and culverts and pavement construction.


Allora to have its first roundabout

Construction at Allora’s first roundabout at the intersection of Forde and Warwick streets is scheduled for the 2025-26 financial year. The installation of the new roundabout was announced by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) in September 2022.

Budget 2024-2025

Investment in education

A South Australian education union has slammed the 2024 Federal Budget for failing to deliver the much-needed investment in education. SA Branch of the Australian Education Union says public schools, including the ones in areas like Naracoorte Lucindale District, are not currently funded to the minimum school resourcing standard. “The current resourcing agreement for South Australia is set to expire at the end of this year…”: branch president Jennie-Marie Gorman.

Warrego Highway funding criticised

Member for Groom Garth Hamilton has taken aim at the Federal Labor Government over the budget allocation for the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Ipswich ... "All of this $177 million commitment has been allocated to the 35 kilometre section in the government-held electoral division of Blair (which is in Ipswich). This has shamefully ignored that the Warrego Highway is a critical freight route in Southern Queensland that moves product from paddock to port."

Budget 2024-2025

Budget 2024: What does it mean for you?

When Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down the Albanese government’s 2024 budget last week it was touted as a ‘cost-of-living budget’, aimed at relieving the pressure of everyday costs. Member for Farrer and Opposition Party Deputy Leader, Sussan Ley is concerned at the lack of money for the bush. “My key concern is the $315 billion in new spending by Labor risks adding further to inflation and keeping interest rates higher for longer,” Ms Ley told The Riverine Grazier. 


Balranald: this is our time

Kimberly Grabham. ‘Make Balranald great again’. This was the resounding message and vibe of a recent meeting held at the Discovery Centre Café ... Recently appointed Director of Governance, Business and Community Services, Glenn Carroll said it was time for Balranald to take the reins and benefit from the significant boom the area is having...

Forestry - Vic

Helping timber workers transition to new opportunities: Spence

The Allan Labor Government’s Forestry Transition Fund has helped an East Gippsland timber worker to successfully transition from working in a mill to running his own small business ... Riverview Installations installs flatpack kitchens, including those from Bunnings and Ikea, in Bairnsdale and the surrounding area. The business also helps homeowners to measure and design their own kitchen.


Don’t cry for me Albanese

Argentina has long interested me. Just how a country blessed with their natural assets and European colonial history has managed to turn itself from being one of the 10 wealthiest countries in the world prior to the first world war to 65th in the world is a case study of the failings of popularist socialist government policies ... Imagine paying out $50 per tonne tax for the privilege of growing a tonne of wheat and then having to pay tax on any profits you manage to make.  It may sound mad but it's not that far from Albanese's new biosecurity tax on farm gate production.