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Rural News

NSW CALLS FOR EAST COAST AGRICULTURE LABOUR TASK FORCE TO BE ESTABLISHED

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NSW CALLS FOR EAST COAST AGRICULTURE LABOUR TASK FORCE TO BE ESTABLISHED

NSW CALLS FOR EAST COAST AGRICULTURE LABOUR TASK FORCE TO BE ESTABLISHED

As NSW and Australian agricultural sectors grapple with critical labour shortages, ahead of a predicted record harvest season, Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall has called for an overhaul of the country’s approach to seasonal work.
Mr Marshall declared his intent to work closely with the Queensland, Victorian and Tasmanian Governments to establish an East Coast Agriculture Labour Task Force.
“The NSW Government is committed to stronger primary industries, a sector which is key to the food security of Australia and beyond, but the issues impacting labour availability need to be tackled now,” Mr Marshall said.
“Unfortunately, it is now at the stage where the states have to lead the response. I will work closely with my counterparts in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania to convene a cross-jurisdiction between officials, agricultural departments and industry bodies.
“I am confident my fellow Ministers will see the benefits of this alliance and we will be able to sit down within weeks to progress initiatives quickly to strengthen our primary industries sector.”
The Task Force would:

  • Identify opportunities to provide flexibility in the Commonwealth Pacific Mobility Programs to access workers and their movements within and across jurisdictions,
  • Develop local initiatives and solutions to mobilise labour and equipment,
  • Identify innovative tools, technology, processes, and machinery that will automate systems to reduce the reliance on temporary labour,
  • Identify skills, education and training gaps that will support industry into the future,
  • Develop a roadmap to address structural and reputational issues in the sector,
  • Develop a communication strategy to promote jobs and careers in agriculture, and
  • Advocate on behalf of the east coast states on issues of national importance.

“NSW has already led the way with support through the pandemic, including pioneering the Ag Workers’ Code, aiding the arrival of more than 2,000 foreign workers and subsidising their hotel quarantine costs to the tune of $3 million,” Mr Marshall said.

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Rural News

Australia’s $1.9b of carbon farming to reduce emissions

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Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Australia’s $1.9b of carbon farming to reduce emissions

Qld, NSW lead charge on $1.9b carbon farming contracts to reduce emissions

Queensland and NSW are the major beneficiaries of $1.9 billion of land sector emissions reduction contracted by the Commonwealth Government as the carbon farming industry seeks to play a greater role in growing jobs and investment while assisting the transition to net-zero emissions, said the Carbon Market Institute (CMI) today.

There are signs corporate demand to purchase emissions reduction may be increasing to fund compliance and carbon offsetting needs. But since the repeal of the carbon pricing mechanism in 2014, the Commonwealth has been the dominant purchaser through the Emission Reduction Fund (ERF).

CMI has analysed Clean Energy Regulator data of the ERF’s contracted abatement in the land sector, otherwise known as carbon farming.

It found there are 392 single-state carbon farming projects across Australia* contracted to generate at least $1.9 billion over 16 years.

Projects include activities protecting or regenerating native forests, managing bushfires in Australia’s savanna to avoid late season high intensity burns, capturing and destroying the methane from effluent waste at piggeries and building soil carbon through changed farming practices.

Queensland is leading the charge with 129 projects worth $794.9 million, and NSW is right behind with 159 projects worth $728.7 million.

Land-based project by State (excludes multi-state projects)

Land-based project by State

Land-based project by State

Value of land-based projects by State (excludes multi-state projects)

The findings come as Australia’s carbon farming industry prepares to discuss plans to urgently scale-up jobs and investment, while maintaining integrity, at the CMI’s 5th annual Carbon Farming Industry Forum today (10 September) and next Friday (17 September)**.

CMI CEO John Connor said:

“Carbon farming is a vital new agricultural opportunity to help Australia achieve net-zero emissions before 2050, it is adding extra commodity revenue streams for farmers and assisting international market access for agricultural and other export industries.

“Since the repeal of the carbon pricing mechanism, the ERF has ensured the survival of this fledgling industry with Queensland and NSW being the major beneficiaries followed by Western Australia. Other states are moving to develop carbon farming sectors.

“While the ERF has been the major driver of carbon farming in the last half decade, the 2020s will likely see the expansion of voluntary and compliance corporate activity. Carbon farming needs to grow alongside decarbonisation initiatives to achieve urgent emission reductions and it needs to do so with high integrity and transparency.

“These will be the issues focused on today at the first day of the 5th Carbon Farming Industry Forum. Next Friday’s sessions will focus on carbon farming’s additional social and environmental benefits, as well as the importance to agriculture of carbon as a revenue stream and as a means of assisting to demonstrate the sustainability of agricultural products to export and domestic markets.”

GreenCollar Chief Commercial Officer Dave Moore said:

“Carbon farming projects not only have economic benefits, but also environmental and social impacts.

“We’ve got a really good opportunity in Australia given our landmass and our mature offset scheme, that we can drive quite significant investment into regional communities with job creation, training opportunities and farming infrastructure investment.

“There’s also a good opportunity to bring Traditional Owners and local communities much more fairly into the centre of conversations around projects – listening to them and taking on board what they want to see in these projects.”

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Northern Rivers & Rural News

Watch out for bacterial infection

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YERSINIOSIS

Watch out for bacterial infection

YERSINIOSIS, also known as flood mud scours, is a condition seen during wet winters on the North Coast.
With an increase in surface water in many areas and cool weather, farmers are being warned to watch for this disease.

Caused by a bacterial infection in the intestine flood mud scours or Yersiniosis can cause severe diarrhoea and death in cattle.
The bacteria can be carried by a range of animals including cattle, rodents, and birds. Infected animals shed the bacteria in their faeces.
Animals stressed from low nutrition or parasite burdens are more likely to become affected.

Cattle aged between nine months and four years are most affected. However, district vets have recently diagnosed the disease in older animals.
Some cattle die suddenly with no signs, but it is more common to observe cattle lethargic, off feed, dehydrated and with profuse watery diarrhoea before death.

Early treatment with an appropriate antibiotic gets the best results. Talk to your private veterinarian or the Local Land Services District Vet team on 1300 795 299.

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Local News

Stanthorpe ‘Crushing It’ with Apple and Grape Festival Plans

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Apple and Grape

Stanthorpe ‘Crushing It’ with Apple and Grape Festival Plans

Australia’s most loved foot-stomping, grape-crushing festival is again ‘crushing-it’ with plans well underway to deliver the crunchiest ever Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival on 25 February – 6 March 2022.
In the cool high altitude of Queensland’s Granite Belt, Stanthorpe has been literally “crushing-it” since 1966, welcoming 70,000+ visitors from across Australia to celebrate the bounty of the apple harvest and the wine region’s grape crushing.
“Our festival is held every second year, yet the last one feels a lifetime ago, because we were actually the last festival held in Australia before we were all suddenly introduced to Covid-restrictions,” explained Festival President Russell Wantling.  “Thankfully there’s no stopping the stars of our festival – the apples and grapes, and while they are out there busily budding and bursting this spring, we are busy at work pulling together the 10-day festival.”
“There’s so much love out there amongst Australians for this iconic festival, we’ve decided for the first time to allow festival fans to join us on the journey and show their love of Stanthorpe by joining our new Apple & Grape Club,” said Mr Wantling.  “We’ve opened up a $30 membership and to thank our loyal fans we’re giving them back $50 of value in tickets and bonuses straight up.”
Apple & Grape Club membership comes with a 3-Day Pass to the Queensland Country Bank Food & Wine Fiesta, a highlight of the festival’s program on the ‘big weekend’, 4-6 March.  There’s also a free gift of a festival branded stemless picnic ‘glass’, access to early release tickets (which comes in handy for sell-out events like the Banquetto Italiano long lunch) and the feel goods, knowing you’ve shown the volunteer organisers your support.
Local love for the festival is alive and well, evidenced by the return of a full line-up of 9 Ambassador entrants, continuing the festival’s longstanding tradition of what was once Festival Queens and in more recent years Festival Ambassadors.
“We’ve come through drought and fire in recent history and it’s left our little town stronger and prouder than ever,” said Mr Wantling.  “In 2022 Stanthorpe celebrates a huge milestone marking 150 years since Stanthorpe was founded, so you can be sure we’re putting on a festival celebration befitting the occasion!”
Highlights of the festival program include the Grape Crush Championships, Queensland Country Bank Food & Wine Fiesta, the Channel 7 Grand Parade, Rebel FM Street Carnival, the Apple & Grape Gala Ball, Apple Peeling and Apple Pie Competitions, Orchard Tours, Meet the Winemaker Events and much more, filling 10 exciting days.
Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.
Stanthorpe is just 2.5 hours’ drive from Brisbane, 3 hours from the Gold Coast or Byron Bay and 2 hours from Toowoomba.  To join the Apple & Grape Club by 31st October and register to receive festival updates at www.appleandgrape.org

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