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Local News

Long awaited good news on the Ag Visa

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Agriculture Minister David Littleproud

Long awaited good news on the Ag Visa

AUSVEG, the peak industry body for the Australian vegetable industry, has welcomed the announcement that the Federal Government will make a new agriculture work visa available to all 10 countries across South-East Asia.

The new visa would provide a wider pool of workers available to Australian agriculture from the UK and the ten ASEAN countries and will help to meet ongoing seasonal workforce gaps that continue through the pandemic.

According to the announcement from Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, the new seasonal agricultural worker visa would mirror the existing Seasonal Worker Programme and will add to the pool of workers available to work on Australian farms.

“The horticulture industry has been calling for a dedicated and productive workforce for many years and this morning’s announcement is great news for the sector,” said AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Tyson Cattle.

“Growers require access to a productive, reliable and competent workforce and while Working Holiday Makers will always have a role to play within our industry, giving growers and workers a pathway to primarily work on-farm should be seen as a major step froward for the development of the horticulture sector.”

“The ASEAN countries are some of our closest trading partners, so extending the Agriculture Visa to these countries makes economic sense and demonstrates our commitment in helping our regional neighbours.”

“What we need now is timely action to get this visa class up and running so that we can start bringing in workers as soon as possible when borders open up and international workers are able to enter the country.”

“While we await more details around the visa arrangements for this visa class, we understand the new visa will build on the successful Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme visas that have proved invaluable to the agriculture sector over the past 12 months.”

“This announcement is a positive development in our industry’s calls for a dedicated labour source to harvest and package fruits and vegetables.”

“We look forward to working with the Federal Government to ensure that the agriculture-specific visa meets the needs of growing businesses around the country and provides an effective solution to the industry’s growing labour shortages.”

Local News

Take part in this year’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count

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Aussie Backyard Bird Count and Lismore City Council

Take part in this year’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Next week marks the start of the week-long Aussie Backyard Bird Count and Lismore City Council is once again encouraging the community to get involved.

You can take part anywhere – your backyard, local park, botanical gardens, or schoolyard – wherever you might see birds.

Council’s Environmental Strategies Officer Wendy Neilan said the count not only helps identify trends in our bird activity, but it also enables the public to make an important contribution to citizen science from their own home.

“The bird count results in a nationwide snapshot of how birds are tracking with wonderful citizen scientists out there counting birds using the same method at the same time of year, each year, which is creating a picture of our bird communities and whether there are any changes over time,” she said.

“Most importantly it’s about getting out, having fun, and enjoying nature as we are so lucky to live in such a biodiverse part of Australia with so many opportunities to see native birds in their natural habitats, including our own backyards.”

Download the free Aussie Bird Count app, walk outside and look to the sky, the trees, the ground and the water – and start counting.

Just spend 20 minutes in your favourite outdoor space and count the birds you see.

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is among Australia’s biggest citizen science projects, and not only will you be helping science, participants also involved report feeling happier, more relaxed, and closer to nature after completing a count.

In addition to being able to count using the app on a smartphone, there is a printable form available at www.aussiebirdcount.org.au.

This annual Birdlife Australia citizen science event runs from 18 October to 24 October.

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Local News

Grants available to bring community together on Australia Day

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Council is encouraging community groups to apply for funding if they are planning to host a community event on Australia Day in 2022.
Council is encouraging community groups to apply for funding if they are planning to host a community event on Australia Day in 2022.

Grants available to bring community together on Australia Day

Applications open for Australia Day events

Council is offering financial assistance to community groups to hold small events on Australia Day 2022.

To be eligible for funding, the event must take place on Wednesday 26 January 2022 and be a public event which is accessible to the public.

Any community organisation requesting financial assistance for an event must be Tweed-based and provide an outline of the event.

The organisation must be incorporated and also hold Public Liability Insurance.

Funds are not to be used for a social activity for members of the community organisation exclusively and no financial assistance will be given to privately-owned businesses or companies.

There are 3 levels of funding available:

Category 1 – $300 for up to 149 attendees

Category 2 – $400 from 150 to 249 attendees

Category 3 – $500 for 250-plus attendees

Eligible applications will be assessed by the Tweed Shire Australia Day Awards Selection Panel on Wednesday 27 October 2021.

Successful applicants will be required to place event details on Council’s calendar of events whatsontweed.com.au to ensure the public has information of the event.

The successful applicant must also recognise Council’s support for the event on the day and in all promotional material.

All relevant approvals will need to be applied for and must be in place if the event is to be held on Council-managed land such as a park or beach.

The release of funding is subject to the organisers committing to keep attendees safe by following NSW Public Health Orders at the time.

To apply, please complete the application form on Council’s Australia Day webpage and return your application to Council by Friday 22 October 2021.

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Local News

Parking and landscaping coming to Mullumbimby’s Stuart St

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Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Parking and landscaping coming to Mullumbimby’s Stuart St

The next stage of the Green Spine project in Stuart Street Mullumbimby will start on 11 October 2021.

The Green Spine was a key priority identified in the Mullumbimby Masterplan, produced in cooperation with representatives from community groups including the Mullumbimby Residents Association, Mullum Cares and Creative Mullum.

The aim of the project is to formalise parking on the southern section of Stuart Street along with an on-road bike lane in the residential area, as well as landscaping including the planting of what will grow to be an avenue of green, shady, native trees.

Council has advised residents and businesses on Stuart Street that 20 trees, including golden cane palms and invasive African Tulip trees will be removed as part of the work.

Phil Holloway, Director Infrastructure Services, said Council does not take the removal of trees lightly however many have been privately planted on Council’s road reserve and new landscaping plans will incorporate even more trees that are native and will provide better habitat for wildlife.

“Of course we know the value our community puts on trees and some will say that we should not be removing existing trees to plant more but nine of these are invasive species and toxic to some bees and the majority of the others are not native either.

“We will be building new garden beds and planting 28 trees that are mature nursery stock that have been selected because they are appropriate native species for this area and will grow up to provide shade and habitat for birds and animals,” Mr Holloway said.

The Green Spine project also includes:
Line marking for car parks in the commercial zone
A land-scaped transition zone to reflect the change in speed limit from 50km/hr to 30km/hr
On-road bike lane in the residential area
Footpaths extended on both sides of Stuart Street to Fern Street
Letters have been distributed to businesses and residents in the area and the Mullumbimby Residents Association and the Chamber of Commerce have been notified.

“This project aims to make this part of Mullumbimby a green, shady space that is safe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers while providing parking for people wanting to shop in the CBD,” Mr Holloway said.

The project will take approximately two months with the aim being to finish in early-mid December.

Information about the Stuart Street Green Spine project and the Mullumbimby Masterplan is available on Council’s website.

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