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Rural News

Rabobank appoints new Armidale branch manager to head up New England business 

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Rabobank appoints new Armidale branch manager to head up New England business

Leading agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank has appointed Scott Neilson to head up its business in the New England region.

Based out of the Armidale branch, Mr Neilson brings extensive banking experience to the role, notching up more than three decades in financial markets in Australia and abroad.

Announcing the appointment, regional manager for northern New South Wales and southern Queensland Brad James said Mr Neilson brought a wealth of experience to the role and as “no stranger to the local area” he had a good understanding of the wool, sheep, beef and sugar sectors in which his clients operated.

“With Rabobank well established as a leading ag bank in rural Australia, Scott’s skill set is ideal for our operating model as he is passionate about agriculture and working with clients to assist them in building and expanding their farming enterprises,” he said.

Mr Neilson – who moved from Sydney, where he headed up a spot trading desk with a major retail bank, to Armidale in 2012 – said he loved the area with its genuine community.

“I was not home much in Sydney so we moved our young family up here so I could work with farmers to help manage their FX, interest rate and commodity price risk,” he said.

Melbourne-educated, Mr Neilson has had a long connection to agriculture with his father “off the land down near Hay” and close ties to the land through friends over the years, particularly at Dungog where he ran his horses.

Mr Neilson says after finishing up in the financial markets last year, he was initially hesitant to get back into banking but it was Rabobank’s global cooperative structure that drew him to the role.

“I took some time off to help a mate out with harvest by driving a chaser out at Moree, as well as a stint helping out other friends with lambmarking and cattle work,” he said.

“But I was drawn to Rabobank’s principles and values, which align with my own, as their metrics are not solely revenue generated but focussed on ensuring we have a genuine relationship with our clients, which leads to a far greater banking relationship and mutual long-term goals.”

The team-working environment was also important, he said, with Mr Neilson heading up a team of 10 agri bankers – that collectively have 173 years of experience between them – and a remit covering the cane fields on the north coast down to fine wool-breeding country at Walcha.

“The region is looking magnificent at the moment,” he said, “with full water profiles and grass up to your knees. The only thing lacking is the number of sheep and cattle on hand, and to that end we are working closely with our clients assisting them in their efforts to rebuild stock numbers.”

Mr Neilson takes on the role from previous long-standing branch manager Mike Stace who has moved with the bank to Perth.

Mr Neilson joins head of relationship manager for northern New South Wales and southern Queensland Nick Pearce in the Armidale branch as well as rural managers Kyle McDonald (based in Inverell), Duncan Whan, Ben Muirhead, Charles Hope (based in Lismore), Donna Matheson and Michael Clark and analysts Megan Kliendienst, Jenny Brown, George Sedgwick and Anna Hoy.

To contact Scott Neilson or Rabobank Armidale please call 02 6738 7300 or 0418 902 743.

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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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