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News and Reviews

Greenhouse credentials of Australia’s canola industry recognised by the European Commission

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Senior CSIRO scientist Dr Surinder Singh who has engaged in extensive research in canola.

Greenhouse credentials of Australia’s canola industry recognised by the European Commission

 

New analysis from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has led to the European Commission’s recognition of the Australian canola industry’s low-emissions credentials for the second time, enabling local canola growers continued access to lucrative international markets.

Australia is a major supplier of canola to the European Union (EU) biodiesel market, with over 1.8 million tonnes exported annually to European countries.

CSIRO’s report, Greenhouse gas emissions from the cultivation of canola oilseed in Australia, looked at the footprint of Australian canola growing at every stage, from fertilisers to pesticide use and found it met the European Commission’s greenhouse gas (GHG) savings targets for biofuels entering the EU transportation fuel market.

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Speaking at an international canola conference in Sydney, CSIRO’s Dr Maartje Sevenster said the report, now approved by the European Commission, gives EU biofuel producers the certainty that they can source canola from Australia and still meet the GHG savings target.

CSIRO scientists Dr Xue-Rong Zhou and Dr Matt Nelson are at the forefront of canola innovation

CSIRO scientists Dr Xue-Rong Zhou and Dr Matt Nelson are at the forefront of canola innovation

“This demonstrates that the emissions of Australia’s canola industry are well below the default allowing Australian canola growers to maintain access to important EU markets,” Dr Sevenster said.

“To secure this ongoing certainty for our growers, we needed to demonstrate once again that canola can be grown at a low enough carbon footprint so that once all processes of shipping and refining are added, the final product can be delivered within the target emissions range.

“From 2 October this year, Australian canola will be used in European biofuels with the updated carbon footprint results.”

CEO of the Australian Oilseeds Federation Nick Goddard welcomed the news and said it was another boost for Australia’s canola industry, now the country’s second most valuable grain crop after wheat.

Senior CSIRO scientist Dr Surinder Singh who has engaged in extensive research in canola.

Senior CSIRO scientist Dr Surinder Singh who has engaged in extensive research in canola.

“This shows our canola farmers are leading the way in demonstrating solid environmental standards and social licence to operate,” he said.

“Australia remains one of only a few non-European countries that continue to demonstrate low GHG emissions for canola production globally.”

The report, commissioned by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, is the second prepared by CSIRO supporting the competitiveness of the Australian canola industry in the European biofuel market.

The first report was approved by the European Commission in 2017.

Learn more about CSIRO’s research in canola and other oilseed crops.

 

For more rural news, click here.

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$3.8 MILLION TO HELP NORTHERN RIVERS COMMUNITY HEAL AFTER 2022 FLOODS

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$3.8 MILLION TO HELP NORTHERN RIVERS COMMUNITY HEAL AFTER 2022 FLOODS

 

RESEARCHERS at Southern Cross University have been awarded more than $3.8 million to help Northern Rivers locals affected by the devastating 2022 floods.

In a world-first approach, the researchers will implement a stepped care model to support over 200 people left with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the floods.

To date, there have been very few clinical trials focused on recovery from disaster-related PTSD. None have focused on a stepped care model.

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Stepped care is an evidence-based system for treating mental health, involving a hierarchy of treatments, from least to most intensive.

The stepped care treatments in this clinical trial will include an arts-based group compassion program and group-based MDMA-assisted therapy. It is hoped the findings will provide additional treatment options for those impacted by future disasters.

People can register their interest in participating in the clinical trial by emailing compassiontrial@scu.edu.au

The Albanese Government is providing these funds as part of the 2022 Clinical Trials Grant Activity, with funding commencing from March 2024.

Grants totalling $62 million were awarded to 26 recipients as part of the grant opportunity.

The Albanese Government has committed a total of $750 million for the Clinical Trials Activity Initiative over ten years.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Health Mark Butler MP:

“Supporting the mental health of Australians is a key priority for the Albanese Government.

“In a country often ravaged by bushfires, floods and cyclones, the world-first research by Southern Cross University will look for new and innovative ways to help communities recover following natural disasters.

“We hope that this research project will help the Northern Rivers community to recover following the flood tragedy.

“Our Government is proud to support this groundbreaking research through the Medical Research Future Fund.”

Quotes attributable to NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery and State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin MP:

“This project not only offers innovative evidence-based practices for trauma relief, but also means something positive can come out of our local experience. This research will add to the body of knowledge around trauma and post-traumatic growth.

“James Bennett-Levy has an international reputation for innovative mental health approaches and a commitment to the wellbeing or rural Australians, particularly the residents of the Northern Rivers Region. That’s why I was happy to throw my support behind this project.”

Quotes attributable to Lead Researcher, Professor James Bennett-Levy, of Southern Cross University:

“I thank the Minister for funding this world-first clinical trial of a stepped care model in a post-disaster context.

“In 2022, northern New South Wales, and Lismore in particular, experienced Australia’s most devastating floods. People are still suffering from disaster-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Our research after the 2017 floods showed that mental health problems were compounded if people were self-critical and blamed themselves. We have therefore designed a stepped care program with a self-compassion focus. Step 1 will evaluate a five-session arts-based program which engages participants in creating compassion-focussed artworks. If participants still have PTSD, they may be eligible for Step 2, MDMA-assisted therapy. Prior research has shown that MDMA-assisted therapy is an effective evidence-based treatment for PTSD and enhances self-compassion.”

Quotes attributable to Vice-Chancellor and President, Southern Cross University Professor Tyrone Carlin:

“Under Professor Bennett-Levy’s leadership and expertise, this novel trial will broaden our knowledge about the effectiveness of therapeutic treatments for addressing serious trauma following a natural disaster.

“Lismore is the most flood-prone city in Australia. We know that many in the Northern Rivers community remain traumatised by the 2022 back-to-back flood disasters. Lismore is also the birthplace of Southern Cross University, and with our roots deeply embedded in the community it is appropriate we lead this project.

“We congratulate Professor Bennett Levy for being awarded the MRFF grant. It represents the largest block MRFF funding received by Southern Cross University to date and illustrates the excellence and impact of critical research conducted by the University in our region.”

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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Council investigating possible DA Tracker data breach

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DA Tracker data breach

Council investigating possible DA Tracker data breach

 

On 24 April, an upgrade to Byron Shire Council’s document management system resulted in some internal development related documents being viewable on the DA Tracker public web portal.

The DA Tracker is Councils online portal that allows users to track the progress of development applications.

“Access to the DA Tracker was temporarily suspended as soon as we became aware of the issue, and the removal of the internal documents from the DA Tracker public web portal was completed on 29 April”. Councils Manager Business Systems and Technology, Colin Baker said.

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“We are currently investigating this incident to determine the exact nature and extent of the documents incorrectly published.” Mr Baker said.

Council takes the privacy of its customers very seriously and has engaged the NSW State Government’s Cyber incident response team to assist with the investigation. If it is determined that a data breach occurred, Council will be contacting any person directly impacted, and following other mandatory reporting requirements.

Customers concerned about this DA Tracker data breach incident can contact Colin Baker, Manager of Business Systems and Technology by calling 02 6626 7347.

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

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Dive into the Latest Northern Rivers Times Edition

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Dive into the Latest Northern Rivers Times Edition

Dive into the Latest Northern Rivers Times Edition

Catch up with the heart of Northern Rivers through in-depth articles and community highlights in our newest issue. Northern Rivers community news.

The Northern Rivers Times is thrilled to announce that our latest edition is available. Find your copy at local newsagents, Woolworths supermarkets, Ampol, and EG service stations, as well as various general and rural stores throughout the region.
This week’s issue is rich with content that touches every corner of local life, from environmental initiatives to exciting community events. Here’s a preview of the engaging stories and reports you can expect:
• Charity in Action: TV Star Lucinda Lights Up Byron Coastal Charity Walk
• Honouring Heroes: Comprehensive Guide to Anzac Day Services Across the Region
• Political Landscape: Ballina Greens Reveal Slate for 2024 Local Elections
• Infrastructure Updates: Progress on Ballina Bridges Duplication Enhances Flood Resilience
• Environmental Concerns: Latest Fish Kill Signals Ongoing River Health Issues
• Green Initiatives: Wollongbar TAFE’s Horticultural Insights
• Community Support: Lifeline’s New Warehouse and Store Opening in Goonellabah
• Environmental Advocacy: Byron Shire’s ‘The Drain is for Rain’ Campaign
• Cultural Celebrations: Casino Beef Week’s Breakfast with the Butchers
• Development News: Casino’s $14 Million Equestrian Centre Unveiled
• Conservation Efforts: Clarence Property Commences Approved Ecological Works
• Safety Measures: New SMS Alert System for Tyalgum Road amidst Ongoing Repairs
• Heroic Rescues: Man Rescued by Marine Volunteers after Brunswick Bar Incident
• Social Issues: Spotlight on Youth Homelessness
Beyond these features, our edition includes a wide range of sections designed to cater to diverse interests within our community, from cooking and gardening to real estate and senior activities. Enjoy puzzles, a detailed TV guide, travel features, and much more.
We are dedicated to keeping you informed and entertained with well-rounded coverage that celebrates and supports our vibrant Northern Rivers community. Pick up your copy of the Northern Rivers Times and stay connected with the stories that matter to you.

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