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Northern Rivers & Rural News

JOINING RAMS? DON’T FORGET TO CHECK

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JOINING RAMS

JOINING RAMS? DON’T FORGET TO CHECK

Local Land Services is encouraging landholders to check their rams before and after joining, to ensure they are fit to do their work and avoid potential spreading of disease.

JOINING RAMS

JOINING RAMS

said it is important to ensure any rams are healthy before joining and producers should be on the lookout for signs of lameness and checking feet, as well as abnormalities with teeth, eyes, and reproductive organs.

“It’s important producers are checking their rams, making sure they’re in good body condition with no signs of illness, so they can successfully join a flock and later breed,” Dr Ison said.

“Coming up to joining, producers should be allowing themselves enough time to see how many replacements are needed, especially if any infections such as Ovine Brucellosis (OB) be found.

“OB is an infection of the reproductive tract that causes infertility in rams and less commonly abortion in ewes, which can result in considerable economic losses for producers. It can spread quickly through the ram flock and is usually introduced with new rams or strays.

“OB can cause lesions in testicles and can cause reduced or prolonged lambing, so if you are noticing any of these symptoms, please speak to a vet.”

Dr Ison has also reminded landholders that rams should be adequately prepared and fit to load before they are transported to saleyards across the state, especially if they are being culled because they are lame, blind or have lesions.

Producers who sell animals that are not fit to load may be prosecuted by the RSPCA or other enforcement agencies.

“Rams, as well as all livestock, need to be transported in a way that reduces stress and minimises any risks to animal welfare,” Dr Ison said.

“To ensure rams are fit to load some may need veterinary treatment and producers should be checking for common health issues such as swollen or injured testicles, lameness and blindness.

“Injuries can be detected at saleyards or abattoirs by the on-plant vet and reported to the RSPCA for investigation – our advice is if in doubt, leave it out.”

To download the latest national ‘fit to load’ guide by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), visit mla.com.au/isitfittoload.

For more information and advice on pre-breeding assessments and animal load requirements, contact your local veterinarian or closest Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299.

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Northern Rivers & Rural News

NSW ABORIGINAL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE LAUNCHES

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NSW ABORIGINAL BUSINESS

NSW ABORIGINAL BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE LAUNCHES

Leading Aboriginal businesses have gathered to identify priorities for Closing the Gap implementation at the NSW Government’s inaugural NSW Aboriginal Business Roundtable.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Don Harwin said the commencement of regular Roundtables with the Aboriginal business community reflected the importance of economic opportunity as part of the NSW Government’s Closing the Gap agenda.

“NSW is the only state to have a specific, additional priority reform on Employment, Business Growth and Economic Prosperity,” he said.

“We recognise that in addition to their economic contribution, Aboriginal businesses are important vehicles for self-determination and better social and educational outcomes, and we want to develop an investment environment they can succeed in,” he said.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the event recognised the important role of Aboriginal businesses, as well as their diversity.

“I look forward to further hearing from Aboriginal businesses from across different sectors as we discuss how to better involve them in NSW Government work.

“Central to this is our Aboriginal Procurement Policy, which makes it easier for Government agencies to consider an Aboriginal business when procuring goods and services and will also see more jobs created and more opportunities for Aboriginal businesses,” he said.

The MC for the Roundtable is distinguished journalist and author Stan Grant, who noted the importance of consultative processes that enable Aboriginal organisations to identify priority areas for government action.

“As MC, I’m looking forward to connecting the voices of Aboriginal business leaders with NSW Government, particularly in the context of planning a COVID-19 recovery.”

Founder, Director and Program Manager of Aboriginal owned ICT delivery and consultancy firm Patonga Projects Brett Chamberlain said he was looking forward to working with the government and Aboriginal peak bodies on Closing the Gap actions to drive change in communities.

“We’re particularly interested in supporting digital inclusion and improved access to data, and the Roundtable is a chance for government to listen to and act on our feedback while growing relationships with the Aboriginal business sector,” he said.

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Northern Rivers & Rural News

INTERNATIONAL BORDER OPENING RIPE WITH OPPORTUNITIES FOR NSW AG WORKFORCE

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INTERNATIONAL BORDER OPENING RIPE WITH OPPORTUNITIES FOR NSW AG WORKFORCE

INTERNATIONAL BORDER OPENING RIPE WITH OPPORTUNITIES FOR NSW AG WORKFORCE

Primary producers will have their labour shortage pressures reduced with the NSW Government set to make it quicker and easier for foreign agricultural workers to safely start working on farms, Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall announced today.

From 1 November, the NSW Government will remove quarantine requirements and caps for overseas arrivals who the Commonwealth Government recognises as fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine.

“The welcoming of fully vaccinated overseas travelers into NSW is a fantastic opportunity to bolster the state’s agricultural workforce which has been decimated by the COVID-induced border closures,” Mr Marshall said.

“Forecasts show this crop will tip 16.08 million tonnes, and it is critical farmers have the workforce they need to bring that in.

“By the NSW Government removing quarantine requirements, it clears further financial and logistical barriers for the ag industry to bring in foreign workers to help keep our supermarkets shelves stocked as they have all through the pandemic.”

Further advice about testing requirements will be provided in the coming days.

Mr Marshall said this was further good news for the state’s primary producers as they look to acquire the necessary workforce ahead of another record harvest.

“Just yesterday, we announced more than 4,500 Department of Regional NSW staff would be entitled to a week’s Harvest Leave,” Mr Marshall said.

“While there is no short-term fix to the COVID-exacerbated workforce shortage, these two announcements in as many days will go a long way to alleviating labour pressures through a bumper harvest.”

To further assist industry overcome the labour shortage, the NSW Government has:

· Aided the arrival of 2,500 overseas agricultural workers;
· Provided $3.8 million in hotel quarantine subsidies for those workers;
· Spearheaded the Ag Workers’ Code; and
· Launched the ‘Help Harvest NSW’ website to connect agriculture employers with out of work Australians.

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Northern Rivers & Rural News

Blueberry farmer fined for water pollution

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Blueberry farmer fined for water pollution

Blueberry farmer fined for water pollution

A blueberry grower in the Mid North Coast town of Woolgoolga has been fined $7,500 for alleged water pollution.

During an inspection of the farm, officers from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) found pesticides being used close to a waterway, and poor storage of chemicals which had allowed the pesticides to enter the water.

The EPA also issued an Official Caution to the grower for failing to keep adequate pesticide application records.

EPA Acting Director Regulatory Operations Janet Sparrow said pesticides can be dangerous and lead to negative human health impacts and wildlife death, if not managed properly.

“Pesticide misuse and poor management can cause serious environmental impacts, such as contaminated water habitats and soil,” Ms Sparrow said.

“Regular exposure to contaminated environments can also lead to greater risks of negative health effects for communities.”

The EPA issued a clean-up notice to the grower requiring immediate clean-up and disposal of the used pesticide containers on the property.

The EPA will continue to monitor compliance with environmental regulations at farms in the area.
“It’s critical that pesticides are used responsibly on farms to protect community and environment health, including aquatic wildlife,” Ms Sparrow said.

“Keeping up-to-date records is legally required because it helps track how pesticides are used, and can prevent pollution.”

Members of the public are encouraged to report any pollution incidents to Enviro Line on 131 555.
For more information on pesticide usage in NSW visit the EPA website.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm

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