Connect with us
The Northern Rivers Times | NSW Northern Rivers News
The Northern Rivers Times Rural News
The Northern Rivers Times News Edition 107
The Northern Rivers Times | NSW Northern Rivers News
The Northern Rivers Times Rural News Edition 107
The Northern Rivers Times News Edition 107
previous arrow
next arrow

Rural News

NEW STRONGER BIOSECURITY POWERS AT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS

Published

on

NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

NEW STRONGER BIOSECURITY POWERS AT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS

The Commonwealth Government has established Biosecurity Response Zones at international airports, another strong measure in response to the Indonesian outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).

The Director of Biosecurity, and Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Andrew Metcalfe AO made the determination to establish the zones this afternoon, the first time this has been done under section 365 of the Biosecurity Act 2015.

 

Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said this step-up was the latest measure in the strongest biosecurity response in Australia’s history.

“Earlier this week, I directed my department to investigate what further control measures were available at our international airports,” Minister Watt said.

“I had been concerned about some rare reports that some return travellers were not doing the right thing when returning from Indonesia.

“These zones strengthen and widen the powers of biosecurity officers to direct passengers to use foot mats and other biosecurity control measures such as the cleaning of shoes.

Minister Watt said the latest measure was on top of already announced measures which had been rolled out in the past two weeks, since the outbreak was first reported in Bali.

“We have wasted no time in getting on top of this issue and have been consistently ramping up measures at our airports and mail centres around the country,” Minister Watt said

“We have already announced a $14 million assistance package to reduce the risk of FMD spreading from Bali to Australia which included increased detection and protection here in Australia and a million vaccines for the Indonesian cattle industry.

“I also announced the deployment of sanitisation foot mats at all international airports as an additional layer of protection for returning travellers from Indonesia.

“These mats have started to arrive in some airports around the country today and passengers will begin seeing them at customs in the coming days.”

 

Rural News

Varroa tracing confirms additional detections

Published

on

By

NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Varroa tracing confirms additional detections

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Varroa mite tracing and surveillance work has confirmed two new detections of Varroa, as field officers continue hive inspections with beekeepers across the state.

This brings the total number of infected premises to 64 since Varroa mite was first identified during routine surveillance at the Port of Newcastle on 22 June.

NSW DPI Deputy Chief Plant Protection Officer Chris Anderson said the new detections at One Mile and Anna Bay fall within existing emergency zones.

“Having conducted significant surveillance around the edges of the most affected eradication zone around Newcastle, we are confident that we have a clearer picture of the current spread of varroa mite,” he said.

“We have now refocused our efforts on tracing and euthanising hives within this zone, which has led to an increased number of detections in recent days.”

“The good news is that all the confirmed cases either have clear links to existing cases or are geographically linked through the movement of hives or equipment, which continues to give us confidence we are on the right track.”

DPI’s response plan for the eradication of Varroa mite in NSW follows a strategy agreed between the apiary industry, NSW DPI, neighbouring jurisdictions and the Commonwealth.

“Along with staff from Local Land Services, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the NSW Environment Protection Authority, the apiary industry and horticulture industry, NSW DPI has made significant progress in reducing the risk of any further spread of Varroa mite,” Dr Anderson said.

Australia is the only major honey producing country free from varroa mite, the most serious pest of honeybees worldwide.

More information is available from www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa.

 

Continue Reading

Rural News

Red zone expanded due to new Varroa detections

Published

on

By

NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Red zone expanded due to new Varroa detections

NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Varroa mite tracing and surveillance work has confirmed three new detections of Varroa mite, as field officers continue hive inspections with beekeepers across the state.

Two new detections near Salt Ash and another at Butterwick in the Port Stephens LGA brings the total number of infested premises to 59 since Varroa mite was first identified during routine surveillance at the Port of Newcastle on 22 June.

NSW DPI Chief Plant Protection Officer Satendra Kumar said the new infested hives fall within an existing red zone, but with a new biosecurity order being made, the eradication zone around the Butterwick detection will expand slightly to the west.

“NSW DPI has put significant measures in place to arrest the spread of the threat any further and has been working with apiary industry bodies and stakeholders to ensure all 13,000 registered commercial and recreational beekeepers in the State are up to date with the latest information,” Mr Kumar said.

“We are continuing to work closely with the apiary and horticultural industries to ensure beekeepers are able to manage their hives to prevent swarming as the weather warms up and that they can safely move hives for pollination.

“It’s critical that we take every precaution to ensure the threat is contained, but it’s also vital that the industry is able to safely continue operations where possible so that beekeepers and producers can maintain their businesses.”

Australia is the only major honey producing country free from varroa mite, the most serious pest of honeybees worldwide.

Beekeepers work side-by-side with government as part of Australia’s early warning system to detect exotic honeybee pests, the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program, which includes surveillance hives and catch boxes at strategic locations around our ports and airports.

More information is available from NSW DPI: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/varroa

 

Continue Reading

Rural News

Port bottlenecks holding Australia back

Published

on

By

NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Port bottlenecks holding Australia back

The state’s peak farming organisation has warned Australia will be left behind without significant improvement and investment in freight infrastructure at Port Botany.

NSW Farmers President Xavier Martin said access to export markets was critical for farmers, but high port charges, poor rail quality and port bottlenecks were limiting Australia’s competitiveness.

“Agricultural industries are an economic dynamo in New South Wales, but we’re being outpaced by other countries because of the situation at our ports,” Mr Martin said.

“We have three ports and we need to get them up to scratch; look at Port Botany, at the eastern end of the country’s biggest city, it can’t take big trains and requires trucks to travel Sydney’s congested roads – that’s hardly a recipe for success.

“Our members grow food and fibre and want to get it to market, but they’re held back by these issues that need urgent attention.

In a submission to the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy, NSW Farmers highlighted the fact our farmers produce more than $17 billion worth of food and fibre every year, or around 25 per cent of total national production, and contribute significantly to the state’s total exports. Data from the NSW Department of Primary Industries shows primary industries exports increased by 17 per cent to $6.6 billion in 2020-21. But without significant improvement in the rail access to and operations at Port Botany, supply chain challenges will increase over time and reduce the competitiveness of NSW grain exports.

“We need the NSW Government to continue to regulate access until there are significant improvements, and only consider increasing fees if services improve and costs reduce,” Mr Martin said.

“There needs to be a priority for the regional freight that drives so much economic activity, and I think there’s a role for the state government here in removing the roadblocks to future success.

“Ultimately we want to see more efficient, more cost-effective freight options for farmers, because that will have benefits for everyone.”

At the recent annual conference, NSW Farmers members voted to advocate for priority access for rail food freight, and more efficient port access.

“There was a real sense in the room that farmers want to get on with the business of farming without having to worry about these transport bottlenecks,” Mr Martin said.

“We’re really pleased to see the Port of Newcastle invest in mobile harbour cranes and move into the container trade – this is a common sense move in the right direction.

“The state government needs to embrace every opportunity to improve freight efficiency so we can take the handbrake off agriculture and grow our economy.”

 

Continue Reading

Latest News

Subscribe for our newsletter!

error: Alert: Content is protected !!