Connect with us
The Northern Rivers Times | NSW Northern Rivers News
The Northern Rivers Times Newspaper
Sleepy Turtle Photography Carousel
The Northern Rivers Times | NSW Northern Rivers News
The Northern Rivers Times Newspaper
Sleepy Turtle Photography-Carousel
previous arrow
next arrow

Northern Rivers & Rural News

Rural Aid helps fill the ag worker shortage

Published

on

Rural Aid

Rural Aid helps fill the ag worker shortage

Australia’s most trusted rural charity, Rural Aid, is helping fill the agricultural worker shortage created by border closures and travel restrictions.
Rural Aid’s Farm Army website provides a platform where volunteers and workers apply for jobs that are listed by farmers needing a hand.
Since 2015, thousands of volunteers and workers have found meaningful work on Aussie farms through the Farm Army site.
The site has undergone an upgrade, making it easier than ever to find workers.
Southeast Queensland pumpkin grower Pauline* has had several volunteers help on her property after a tough few years dealing with flood, drought, mouse plague, personal injury, and covid-19.
“We couldn’t find any help. We would normally employ people but with the mouse plague here, the mice were eating our pumpkins faster than we could get them picked. We tried to find local workers, but we couldn’t get backpackers, and nobody could take us up on the paid work. We found it really difficult,” she said.
“With the Farm Army, we have had someone who was able to come and help us pick. It was lifesaver. Just to have another person on deck for my husband to work with… it just made such a difference to us.”
“With the covid stuff and time restraints, we haven’t had a chance to go out at all and have been probably quite isolated. But to have people on the farm, especially people who have a sense of farming, it just makes so much difference emotionally.”
Pauline is still looking for help on the farm, leading into pumpkin planting season.
“Everything that gives you a bit of hope, helps you to keep going,” she said.
Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the Farm Army is a valuable resource in the current climate.
“We know finding workers for harvest is difficult at the moment, which is why we are excited to relaunch the Farm Army website now,” Mr Warlters said.
“The platform is great for filling other jobs too. Keep an eye out for truck driving work, farmhand jobs and caretaking and housesitting roles too.
“More than ten thousand volunteers, job seekers and grey nomads are already part of the Farm Army and receive regular job updates,” Mr Warlters said.
Retirees and Farm Army members Sandra and Peter Kearns have attended a few jobs on properties across Australia through the Farm Army platform.
“We were looking for something other than just being on the road and travelling on the road, we were looking for something meaningful, something rewarding,” said Peter.
“We’ve helped muster sheep, crutch sheep and we looked after farmer’s kids. We helped with schooling, baking, and cooking,” Sandra said.
The Farm Army is open to primary producers who are registered with Rural Aid. For more information, check out the Farm Army website www.farmarmy.com.au

Northern Rivers & Rural News

Trailblazing women join together to discuss breaking bias on International Women’s Day 2022

Published

on

By

Trailblazing women join together to discuss breaking bias on International Women’s Day 2022

Trailblazing women join together to discuss breaking bias on International Women’s Day 2022

Landcare Australia and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment are bringing together a formidable group of women for a conversation about their challenges and triumphs.

In an online panel event on International Women’s Day, Tuesday 8 March, Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator Kerstie Lee will lead the discussion, focussing on this year’s theme – #BreakTheBias.

The panel includes Natalie Sommerville, a farmer, grazier and proud Torres Strait Islander woman from the clan Wagadagam of the Goemulgal people of Mabuyag Island. Currently living and working on Ngadjuri Country in South Australia’s Mid North, when Nat is not farming she is mentoring Aboriginal students.

Joining her is Sally Downie, who was selected as an ABC Heywire Trailblazer in 2019 for her work advocating for improved mental health services and support in drought-affected communities in Central West NSW. She is also a farmer, student and part-time drought policy officer.

Fiona Hill-Stein will add insights from her career advising on agricultural policy, drought and rural assistance, and natural resource management at the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Rounding out the panel is Tess Grieves, Regional Landcare Coordinator at North Central Catchment Management Authority in Victoria. A driven environmental achiever in her community, she is nominated for the Steadfast Young Landcare Leadership Award at the 2022 National Landcare Awards.

“We are thrilled to present an engaging, thought-provoking discussion with Kerstie, Natalie, Sally, Fiona and Tess about their experiences and accomplishments in landcare,” said Dr Shane Norrish, CEO Landcare Australia.

“Launched over 35 years ago by two women – Joan Kirner and Heather Mitchell – landcare has led the way with women in leadership roles across Australia. This event celebrates the thousands of women in landcare and their contribution to local communities and natural resource management,” said Dr Norrish.

International Women’s Day 2022 aims to inspire everyone to celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality.

Don’t miss Landcare Women Break the Bias, Tuesday 8 March, 2pm – 3.30pm AEDT.

Register to attend at landcareaustralia.org.au/webinars/iwd2022.

Continue Reading

Northern Rivers & Rural News

Farmers get their say on land use

Published

on

By

NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Farmers get their say on land use

The fight between farmers and developers could be a thing of the past thanks to a new mapping project that will shape future regional planning decisions.

With agriculture, urban development, renewable energy infrastructure and other land use interests competing for space in our increasingly busy regional areas, NSW Farmers is urging landholders to have their say on State Significant Agricultural Land mapping.

NSW Farmers Vice President Xavier Martin said it was an important process that would help protect farmers from conflicting land uses into the future.

“Farmers are being given a direct opportunity to have their say on the important issue of land use planning, and this could set the course for years to come as land use interests in regional areas grow,” Mr Martin said.

“Unfortunately, agricultural land can be viewed as a default zone when it comes to matters such as urban expansion, energy infrastructure and mining.

“There’s a finite amount of land suitable for agriculture and at the moment, we are losing it in a very fragmented way, but the state government’s mapping exercise is an opportunity to resolve that poor outcome.”

Mr Martin said the NSW Government’s understanding of the regional and state significance of agricultural areas would go a long way to minimising future conflict.

“The understanding of high value agricultural land must be multi-faceted, taking into consideration soil quality, yield, adaptability, proximity to export hubs and regional importance,” Mr Martin said.

“If the government is to identify and protect agricultural land on a tiered basis, then they need to understand what makes land strategically important – and farmers will be the repository of that knowledge.

“The goal of NSW Farmers advocacy in the land use space is to ensure agriculture is being considered in land use decisions. We need to start somewhere, and this mapping is the starting point.”

While the first iteration of the government’s mapping is not perfect, Mr Martin said consultation and refinement would help produce a planning tool that benefits landholders.

Consultation on the first State Significant Agricultural Land mapping is open until late January 2022 and the NSW Department of Primary Industries is welcoming input from farmers.

Continue Reading

Northern Rivers & Rural News

Northern NSW farmers to have their say on climate, regional opportunities

Published

on

By

The Northern Rivers own newspaper

Northern NSW farmers to have their say on climate, regional opportunities

Friday, 10 December 2021. From Taree to Lismore, Northern NSW farmers can have their say on what Australia’s climate policy should look like at one of Farmers for Climate Action’s end-of-year catch-ups next week.

The seven networking events, created by farmers for farmers passionate about a better climate future, are an opportunity to be updated on Australia’s climate policy, share local insights and learnings from the year, and ensure we’re feeding the right climate solutions back to industry and decision-makers.

The 1.5-hour sessions will run from Monday 13 December to Wednesday 15 December in the following locations:

Taree: Monday 13 December from 6.30pm at the Caravilla Motor Inn Bistro
Port Macquarie: Tuesday 14 December from 9am at Hibbard Sports Club
Dorrigo: Tuesday 14 December from 1.30pm at the Food Angel Cafe
Bellingen: Tuesday 14 December from 630pm at Bellingen Riverside Cottages
Grafton: Wednesday 15 Dec from 9.30am at Vines at 139
Kyogle: Wednesday 15 December from 2pm at Sugarbowl Cafe
Lismore: Wednesday 15 December from 6.30pm at the Lismore Workers Club mezzanine

Peter Holding, third-generation Harden farmer and FCA community outreach officer said:

“Here’s your opportunity to meet like-minded farmers and compare notes on the year we’ve had. We can have a frank discussion about where Australia’s climate policy is at and, more importantly, what this means for our region and livelihoods.

“Farmers are on the front lines of climate change, with many of us in this region living through droughts, floods, bushfires and more.

“Strong climate policy creates a raft of opportunities for regional Australia and we want Northern NSW farmers to be central to the conversation to ensure we get the best opportunities for the region.”

The events will be free of charge. RSVPs are essential and refreshments will be provided. To register visit www.farmersforclimateaction.org.au/events.

Farmers for Climate Action is a movement of almost 7000 farmers and agricultural leaders working to ensure that farmers, who are on the frontlines of climate change, are part of its solution.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Subscribe for our newsletter!

error: Alert: Content is protected !!