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Local News

Biosecurity breakdown – government failing Australians

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Today’s media reports of a new government plan to combat the spread of Red Imported Fire Ants only serve to further highlight the government’s continuing failure to fulfil one of its most basic responsibilities
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Biosecurity breakdown – government failing Australians

 

Today’s media reports of a new government plan to combat the spread of Red Imported Fire Ants only serve to further highlight the government’s continuing failure to fulfil one of its most basic responsibilities – the protection of Queensland’s environment, industries, and way of life from the threat of invasive pests and diseases, CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan has said.

Just weeks after a damning strategic review of the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program was reported in the media, State and Territory governments met in Perth where they agreed to a new strategy of containment and eradication.

At that time, it was reported that the new plan would see a 10km wide eradication zone encircling southeast Queensland, from Caboolture in the north to Coolangatta in the south, which would undergo broadscale treatment to contain and prevent further spread outside already infested areas.

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Under the new plan the treatment zone would gradually shrink, containing the destructive pest to a smaller and smaller area, until they could be finally eradicated by 2032.

However, no one has actually seen the new plan until now, with reports that a lack of funding and resources will make this strategy virtually impossible to implement.

Instead, a much smaller treatment area around the Scenic Rim and Gold Coast will be targeted, effectively allowing one of the most dangerous and destructive invasive species in the world to continue spreading north and west unhindered.

“We’ve seen the destruction and devastation these ants have caused in other parts of the world,” Mr Galligan said.

“There is no question, we must stop them from spreading to other parts of the state and country, and we must eradicate them in the areas already infested.

“Unfortunately, the government allowed the continued spread of fire ants for two years while it sat on a damning report that outlined in very clear terms that a lack of funding, resourcing, and leadership was hamstringing the program and preventing it from achieving its goal – the eradication of Red Imported Fire Ants.”

Biosecurity breakdown – government failing Australians

“We’ve seen the destruction and devastation these ants have caused in other parts of the world,” Mr Galligan said.

Mr Galligan said that while under-resourcing was a huge issue, the program’s problems went much deeper than money.

“The government has made much of its new Fire Ant Suppression Teams (FAST) and how effective they will be at rapidly treating infestations, but our growers in the Rocky Point district south of Brisbane have seen firsthand just how ineffective eradication has been to date.

“Treatments are being conducted without clear and consistent communication with the local community, leading to infested areas being missed by the FAST team. The bottom line is, a lot of time and taxpayer money is being wasted on inefficient treatment, which is clearly not preventing the spread of fire ants.

“All State and Territory governments, together with the Federal Government, must fully fund and resource an eradication program that has the leadership and expertise to actually get the job done. It is critical to the future of our industries and our way of life.”

Rocky Point cane grower Greg Zipf said recent efforts to suppress fire ants around the district had left “gaping holes” in the treatment area, rendering the whole process an expensive waste of time.

“Really poor communication between the FAST team, their contractors, and the local community is one of the biggest problems we face and it’s effectively torpedoing any chance we have of containing these ants,” Mr Zipf said.

“The local growers here spent a huge amount of manhours putting together information on infestations and mapping out nest sites on their properties.

“All of this info was provided to the FAST team. Whether they didn’t pass it on to their contractors or the contractors just decided to do their own thing, I’m not sure, but when the aerial treatment occurred there were huge gaping holes left in the treated area which made the whole the process a huge waste of time.”

The failure of the Fire Ant Eradication Program is indicative of a wider failure of the nation’s biosecurity system, Mr Galligan said.

“Australia is overrun with invasive species. Whether its cats, dogs, horses, camels, foxes, cane toads, ants or, probably the most problematic at the minute, feral pigs, we are simply not doing enough to tackle the destruction and devastation these species wreak on the natural environment and our industries.

“Agriculture loses hundreds of millions of dollars every year to feral pigs alone. They destroy farmland and crops, but also our native flora and fauna, yet they are breeding at unprecedented levels and most efforts to deal with this threat are complete failures.

“It’s time that state and national politicians started to fulfil their responsibilities to protect this country from the onslaught of invasive species.”

 

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Casino NSW News

Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

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Casino Showground
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Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

 

We are excited to announce that the recently revitalised Casino Showground and Racecourse precinct will commence accepting bookings starting from Monday, June 3rd.

With a generous funding injection of $12.8 million from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, alongside contributions from various sources including the NSW Showground Stimulus Program, Drought Communities Funding, Crown Lands, and Council, the total investment in this redevelopment has reached $14.4 million.

This newly enhanced facility boasts a range of features including a spacious undercover arena, an outdoor sand arena, turfed areas, covered stables, and a state-of-the-art racehorse stable complex capable of accommodating up to 80 horses. Additionally, new parking areas for cars, trucks, and floats have been added for the convenience of visitors.

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Of notable appeal is the newly constructed racehorse exercise area, which includes round yards, a horse walker, and a 50-metre equine pool. These amenities are expected to draw considerable interest from equestrian enthusiasts and event organizers alike. Furthermore, enhancements such as powered event camping areas have expanded the facility’s versatility, allowing for hosting a diverse range of events including country music festivals, car shows, trade exhibitions, and markets.

Despite the official opening ceremony held on April 20th to commemorate the acknowledgment of government funding, certain essential construction tasks remain pending due to unforeseen circumstances. These include the high-voltage power upgrade, completion of the equine training area, and fencing installations crucial for ensuring the safety of all facility users.

Unfortunately, adverse weather conditions in the Northern Rivers region have exacerbated delays, saturating many areas of the facility and rendering them unsuitable for immediate use. However, efforts are underway to expedite the finalisation of these outstanding projects in alignment with the originally tendered project costs.

In tandem with these developments, the Council is set to deliberate on its Draft Revenue Policy for 2024-2025 at its upcoming meeting. This policy will outline the proposed fees for utilising the facility and will undergo a public exhibition period of 28 days following the meeting, during which community feedback and submissions will be welcomed.

We extend our gratitude to all existing stakeholders and potential users for their patience throughout this project’s completion, which has been hampered by unforeseen challenges. We eagerly anticipate opening all elements of this facility to serve the broader community.

For those interested in booking the venue, please visit the Council’s venue hire website.

 

For more Casino news, click here.

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Evans Head News

Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

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Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head
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Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

 

Serenitas, a leading provider of lifestyle communities and resorts for individuals over 50, proudly announces the grand opening of the state-of-the-art Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort, Evans Head. The celebratory event saw enthusiastic homeowners joined by Mayor Robert Mustow and Serenitas CEO Rob Nichols, who officiated the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Nestled in the tranquil coastal enclave of Evans Head, the Clubhouse epitomises refined living and leisure. Located near the historic Evans Head Aerodrome and a short walk from pristine beaches, Thyme Evans Head offers an unparalleled blend of luxury and laid-back coastal charm.

Rob Nichols, CEO of Serenitas, expressed his excitement about the new facility: “We are thrilled to be opening the Thyme Evans Head Clubhouse, inviting residents and their guests to immerse themselves in the pinnacle of luxury living. With its striking architecture, ties to Evans Head’s aviation heritage, and a host of premium amenities, this opening heralds the next inspiring chapter for the resort’s homeowners and underscores Serenitas’ unwavering commitment to excellence.”

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The multi-million dollar Clubhouse features an array of exquisite facilities, including a fully equipped gym, heated swimming pool, health and beauty studio, luxurious cinema, sports bar complete with darts and pool table, croquet court, and more. A standout feature of the Clubhouse is the sophisticated Evans Lounge, providing homeowners a serene setting to enjoy views over the aerodrome by a cozy fireplace.

“The Clubhouse caters to every taste,” added Mr. Nichols. “From our active residents utilising the fitness facilities to our social groups making use of the Art & Craft Studio and other recreational spaces for gatherings and events.”

Demand for homes at Thyme Evans Head has been incredibly strong, with sales surpassing expectations since its inception. Located in the highly sought-after Northern Rivers district of NSW, Evans Head has emerged as a coveted community known for its relaxed coastal vibe and pristine waters.

“Our homes have garnered significant interest and are selling at an unprecedented pace,” remarked Rob Nichols. “With prices starting from $615,000, we are preparing to release our final homes for sale, reaffirming Evans Head’s status as a desirable destination for discerning homeowners.”

For more information about Thyme Evans Head, please visit here.

 

For more Evans Head news, click here.

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Local News

Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award

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Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award
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Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award

 

In a competitive field of contenders, Ranger Nick emerged victorious, securing the prestigious “Australian Owned Achievement Award 2024” in the recently announced Australian Owned Business Awards on May 7, 2024.

Surprised by the announcement, Ranger Nick received a message from the judging panel praising his unwavering commitment to Australian ownership and excellence. The panel acknowledged the stiff competition and commended Ranger Nick’s business as a leader in its domain.

Reflecting on the unexpected news, Ranger Nick expressed his elation, stating, “I was on my way to the Capella Country Music Festival, after spending a few days in the scrub with no mobile reception, when I received the news. Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled, flattered and honoured.”

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This accolade marks Ranger Nick’s third triumph in a year, following his recognition as a Finalist in the Australian Small Business Champion Awards and as a Winner in the Innovation and Sustainability Excellence category of The Australian Rural Business Awards.

Renowned as the charismatic Aussie Bush Cook, Ranger Nick embodies the authentic Australian spirit with his unwavering passion for Australian heritage and traditions. He has dedicated himself to sharing his camp oven cooking and bushcraft skills with fellow adventurewrs across the country and abroad.

With four published books, his own merchandise line, and notable appearances on television and radio, including Channel 7Mates’ “Step Outside with Paul Burt” and West Bremer Radio, Ranger Nick’s influence continues to grow.

Grateful for the support he has received, Ranger Nick humbly thanked his supporters, expressing his determination to continue his endeavors. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to all for your unwavering support,” he said. “I better pull up my socks and keep on going.”

Ranger Nick eagerly anticipates receiving his official trophy at the Dayboro Annual Show in early July, marking another milestone in his illustrious career.

 

For more local news, click here.

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