Final chance to have say on foreign ownership register
The final opportunity for people to have their say on the design and operation of the national foreign ownership register for agricultural land is rapidly approaching, with the closing date for comments set at this Friday, Feb 1. Minister for agriculture Senator Joe Ludwig said the new register will provide a more comprehensive picture of the specific size and location of foreign agricultural landholdings, over and above what is currently available. The paper is seeking views on scope and definitions of ownership interests, compliance issues, access to information included in a register and overlaps with existing regulatory requirements. The consultation paper was compiled by the foreign ownership register working group, chaired by the Treasury and comprising a range of Australian Government agencies. A copy of the working group's consultation paper as well as details about how to make a submission can be found on www.treasury.gov.au/ConsultationsandReviews/Submissions/2012/agricultural-land
NSW Farmers launches fencing fund for bushfire victims
NSW Farmers has launched a special fencing fund for farmers suffering hardship as a result of severe bushfires in NSW. “With fencing being such a high cost and priority for farmers to repair after a fire, we thought it was the best way we could help our farmers,” NSW Farmers president Fiona Simson said. The association has already received offers totalling more than $15,000 from people in rural and regional NSW, and hopes the fund will encourage many more to get behind the state’s food and fibre producers. Official figures indicate that more than 3500km of fencing has been damaged by fires with the real number likely to be much higher following the number of fires across the state this summer. All donations, 100 percent of which will go directly to farmers’ fencing repairs, can be made to NSW Farmers’ Association Natural Disaster Relief Fund at NSW Farmers’ website (click here)
Entries called for livestock marketing industry achievement award
Entries are being called for the 2013 Livestock Marketing Industry Achievement Award. The Livestock Exchange offers the award each year to promote industry improvement and information and knowledge sharing, with the winner announced at the Australian Livestock Markets Association annual conference and AGM, which is tentatively booked to proceed at this stage on July 24-25 at the Gold Coast. The award is open to managers and/or employees of livestock marketing facilities and will be awarded to a manager or employee based on excellent work ethic, innovative ideas, industry service and or active improvement of the livestock marketing industry. This year’s winner will receive a livestock study tour to a nominated location within the next 12 months to be negotiated with Livestock Exchange. The award includes return airfares, hire cars and accommodation to the value of $2500. The award will be judged by an industry panel, under an interview situation. For details or nomination forms click here
Blizzard causes 180,000 cattle deaths in China
The coldest winter in decades has causing blizzards in northern China and threatens electricity supplies in the country’s south, where the government is not used to dealing with such freezing temperatures, Chinese media said last week. About 180,000 cattle have died in country’s northern regions, while hundreds of emergency shelters have opened in southern China to help people who do not have adequate housing or heat to survive the below-average temperatures. Record cold temperatures have recently struck India and even the Middle East as well. The fiercest winter storm to hit the Middle East in years brought a rare foot of snow to Jordan, caused fatal accidents in Lebanon and the West Bank, and disrupted traffic on the Suez Canal in Egypt. In Israel, snow fell outside Jerusalem, an unusual occurrence. Three feet of snow fell on Mount Hermon, and flakes were falling in Nazareth as well as in Galilee. In China, freezing weather has sent temperatures diving to a national average of 25 degrees Fahrenheit since November 20, the lowest average temperature in 28 years, says the China Meteorological Administration.
Get your land-caring project off the ground
Grants ranging between $5000 and $50,000 are available to support local sustainable agriculture and community engagement projects, as part of the Australian Government’s $2.2 billion Caring for our Country initiative. Landcare Grants make it possible for local community-based groups to take action to help achieve a sustainable, productive, profitable and resilient agricultural base. Community Landcare Grants aim to help:
- build a skilled and capable Landcare community
- encourage community participation and engagement in Landcare
- share information and learnings in sustainable agricultural techniques
- reduce the spread of pest species
- encourage the adoption of improved sustainable land management practices.
Organisations involved with Landcare, community-based groups and Indigenous groups are encouraged to apply. Applications close on 20 March. To find out more visit www.nrm.gov.au
Accreditation courses for bait poison use
The Cumberland Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) in New South Wales will hold two accreditation courses for 1080 and Pindone for local landholders in February. Cumberland LHPA Ranger Ben Serafin said pest animals such as foxes and rabbits were becoming an increasing problem for many landholders. Baiting is an efficient control method, however people wishing to use 1080 and Pindone baits must be accredited. Participants who complete the accreditation course will be allowed to purchase and use 1080 and Pindone products subject to meeting the requirements of the relevant Pest Control Order. The courses, which cost $44, will be held on Thursday, February 21, from 9am at Dooralong Lodge and Tuesday, February 26 from 10am at Tocal College. Bookings can be made by phoning the Cumberland LHPA on 4932 8866.
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