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News and Reviews

Supercharged $14.1M program to support nation’s vegetable growers

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Supercharged $14.1M program to support nation’s vegetable growers

Supercharged $14.1M program to support nation’s vegetable growers

Vegetable growers across Australia are set to benefit from the next generation of a national extension program aimed to boost productivity and deliver the latest research and development on-farm.
The new $14.1M VegNET 3.0 program is being delivered through Hort Innovation using vegetable industry levies and funds from the Australian Government, and led by Australia’s peak vegetable industry body AUSVEG.

Hort Innovation Chief Executive Matt Brand said the initiative represents the single largest research and development investment in the vegetable growing sector’s history, and it’s anchored on best-practice and what the industry has identified as priorities.

“This supercharged 5-year extension initiative takes a collaborative, local focus, with Development Officers based in 10 growing regions across the country. Each region will receive tailored support that meets local challenges,” he said.

“This network of experienced professionals will provide evidence-based tools and information in vital areas such as biosecurity, pest and disease management, soil and water management, the supply chain and protected cropping.”

Mr Brand said the VegNET initiative complements Hort Innovation’s dedicated extension arm which was created in 2019. He said it also builds on the foundation and momentum generated through previous VegNET programs.

AUSVEG CEO Michael Coote said that having a nationally-coordinated VegNET program will help ensure that growers all around Australia will have access to a consistent, industry-focused extension program that will put their needs first in their efforts to be productive, profitable and more competitive in an ever-increasingly global marketplace.

“VegNET is an important program for our industry,” he said. “Australian vegetable growers are world-leaders in the production of high-quality, healthy vegetables and are constantly looking for new ways to innovate and grow more sustainably and develop their businesses”.
“AUSVEG is well-placed to work with well-trained regional development officers, who are strongly supported, to deliver a high-performing, consistent and efficient VegNET program that will meet vegetable growers’ needs.”

Mr Coote said a strong extension network that connects growers with local, regional and international experts will be an important element to the industry’s future success.

“While growers are facing significant issues with labour shortages, rising input costs and an increasingly volatile climate, the industry is well-placed to overcome these challenges and take advantage of the research and services on offer in Australia to improve its productivity and increase its value to help the agriculture sector meet its goal of $100 billion by 2030,” he said.

The VegNET regional development officers will be based in the following locations:
· New South Wales through the Local Land Services NSW
· Northern Territory through NT Farmers
· Queensland (Bowen-Gumlu and Far North Queensland) through Bowen-Gumlu Growers Association
· Queensland (Bundaberg) through Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers
· Queensland (SEQ including Lockyer Valley, Granite Belt and Darling Downs) through Lockyer Valley Growers
· South Australia through AUSVEG SA
· Tasmania through RM Consulting Group
· Victoria (Gippsland) through Food and Fibre Gippsland
· Victoria (Northern, Southern and Western) through AUSVEG
· Western Australia through vegetables WA

News and Reviews

UPDATE: Fatal single-vehicle crash – Lane Cove

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UPDATE: Fatal single-vehicle crash – Lane Cove

 

A driver has died following a single-vehicle crash in Lane Cove on Sydney’s Lower North Shore this morning.

Just after 4am (Tuesday 9 April 2024), emergency services responded to Epping Road, Lane Cove, after reports of a single-vehicle crash.

The Mitsubishi Mirage appears to have lost control and hit multiple traffic lights at the intersection of Mowbray Road before spinning and flipping a number of times.

The male driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, died at the scene. He is yet to be formally identified.

Officers from North Shore Police Area Command established a crime scene which has since been examined by specialist officers attached to the Crash Investigation Unit.

An investigation is underway into the circumstances surrounding the crash and a report will be prepared for the information of the coroner.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or visit here. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

 

For more National Australia News, visit here.

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Kingscliff NSW News

Man charged over alleged home invasion – Kingscliff

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Man charged over alleged home invasion – Kingscliff

Thursday, 11 April 2024 01:29:40 AM

A man will face court today charged over an alleged home invasion on the state’s north coast, resulting in the death of a man and another seriously injured.

Emergency services responded to a concern for welfare at a home on Oxford Street, Kingscliff, just after 8pm on Tuesday (9 April 2024).

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District attended and found a 29-year-old man with a stab wound. He was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics; however, died at the scene.

The occupant of the home, a 66-year-old man, was also found suffering significant arm injuries. He was airlifted to Gold Coast University Hospital where he underwent surgery and remains in a stable condition.

A crime scene was established at the home and detectives commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident under Strike Force Chams.

Following inquiries, a 26-year-old man was arrested at a Kingscliff home about 5.30pm last night (Wednesday 10 April 2024).

He was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station where he was charged with special aggravated break and enter and commit serious indictable offence.

Police will allege in court that the man forced entry to the home and assaulted the occupant before fleeing.

The man was refused bail to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court today (Thursday 10 April 2024).

As investigations under Strike Force Chams continue, anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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News and Reviews

NSW Government looks to expand rice export industry

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NSW Government looks to expand rice export industry

 

The NSW Government will introduce a Bill to Parliament in May, to develop a new rice marketing and trade arrangement for the Northern Rivers rice export industry growing region. This is an important step in the NSW Government’s commitment to bring new opportunities to the state’s agriculture sector, and to ensure regulations do not hinder industry growth.

At the same time the NSW Government has committed to rice growers in Southern NSW and will keep existing rice vesting arrangements in place for that region with a review by 30 June 2029. This will ensure export marketing continuity for Australia’s largest rice exporting region.

These new arrangements will provide new opportunities for NSW agricultural exports – supporting a new emerging rice sector in the Northern Rivers that can contribute to expanding the state’s opportunities in overseas markets.

In practice, these changes will mean the Northern Rivers growers will for the first time be able to organise their own arrangement for exporting rice and not have to go through the vesting arrangements that binds growers in southern NSW. This aims to cut red tape and costs so the emerging Northern Rivers region can be assisted in developing.

The NSW Government’s actions recognise that there are two distinct rice growing regions in NSW and supports the implementation of changes which are considered responsible, appropriate and supportive to the continued development of both rice growing and exporting.

The NSW rice industry had an estimated farm gate value of $219 million in 2022-23. Presently around 98 per cent of NSW rice production occurs within the three southern irrigation regions of the Murrumbidgee, Coleambally and Murray.

The Bill will include a transitional start date of 1 September 2024 for the Northern Rivers arrangement, which will then occur after the 2024 Northern Rivers rice harvest.

These initiatives have been developed by the NSW Government after it was handed a report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), that was initiated by the former Liberal Nationals Government, recommending that the statutory marketing board for rice exports and its sole and exclusive export licence arrangement be removed.

The NSW Government has decided not to accept that ABARES recommendation because it wants to support and assist the rice sector to grow sustainably.

The Government will in its Bill also move to enhance the governance and transparency of the rice marketing arrangements to benefit the sector and growers.

The 2023 ABARES Independent Report into NSW Rice Vesting Arrangements and the NSW Government Response is available on the NSW DPI website.

Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Regional NSW, and Minister for Western NSW, Tara Moriarty said:

“The NSW Government is committed to creating new business opportunities for the state’s agricultural sector and we are taking action to do that for the rice industry by listening to their needs, cutting red tape and assisting growers expand their export potential.

“We are both recognising the needs and value of the established growers in the south and opening up opportunities for the emerging sector in the Northern Rivers.

“I want to acknowledge the valuable contributions made by stakeholder organisations and rice growers over the last year, who outlined what they thought was working, what wasn’t and how the Government could renew their export potential.

NSW RICE INDUSTRY

  • The NSW rice industry had an estimated farm gate value of $219 million in 2022-23 (DPI estimate) with an average farm gate value of $186 million over the past ten years.
    • The NSW rice industry is located across two separate regions of the State: Southern rice region: Roughly 97% to 99% of NSW rice production occurs within the three irrigation regions of the Murrumbidgee, Coleambally and Murray.
    • Northern rice region: A smaller quantity of rice is grown mainly within the Richmond Valley near Casino and Lismore and the Tweed Valley further North.
  • Australian (effectively NSW – as NSW makes up about 99% of national production) rice exports averaged $263 million over the past 10 financial years, ranging from $34 million in 2020-21 to $402 million in 2014-15. Rice exports are highly variable and predominantly influenced by water availability and the price of alternative crops, all of which determine supply.
  • Key Australian rice export markets include but are not limited to the following:
    • Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon)
    • Japan, South Korea, Taiwan
    • PNG, Solomon Islands, other Pacific nations
    • New Zealand

 

For more National Australia News, visit here.

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