News briefs 24 August 2011

Beef Central, 24/08/2011

Carbon Farming Initiative passes Senate

The Carbon Farming Initiative – the legislation that provides the framework required to enable landholders to be paid for storing carbon in trees and soil – cleared its final parliamentary hurdle on Monday night when it was passed by the Senate. In simple terms the legislation will allow farmers to sell credits they earn for carbon stored on-farms to businesses that want to offset their emissions or become carbon neutral. However, much of the science and the conditions that will shape the credit-earning process are yet to be completed. The bill was supported by Labor, Greens and Independent senators, but not by Coalition senators who cited concerns about the lack of detail. “This package is built on the basis of 'Trust us'," SA liberal senator Simon Birmingham told the media, adding that there were too still many gaps in the methodologies that would be applied to support the scheme. Related story: No easy credits in carbon scheme

WA shocked by cattle abuse

The Western Australian cattle industry has been shocked by the shooting and desecration of five prize heifers on a cattle property at Kalgoorlie. WA police reported on Monday night that five cattle were shot and “left for dead” at Mt Monger Station. The cattle had been shot in the stomachs and left to die slowly, and had beer bottles placed in their mouths and cigarettes in their ears. WA’s Pastoralists and Graziers Association has warned farmers to remain vigilant over trespassing and immediately report suspicious activities to police. “With spring and summer soon approaching, there is always an increase in traffic throughout regional WA,” PGA spokesman Ian Randles said. 

Exit Grants close for 2011-12

The Federal Government has advised that Exceptional Circumstances (EC) Exit Grants have now been closed to all new applicants as the program allocation of $9.6 million has been fully committed for the 2011-12 financial year. The Exit package consists of an exit grant of up to $150,000, an advice and training grant of up to $10,000 to assist in planning for farm exit, and a relocation grant of up to $10,000 to pursue new employment opportunities. NSW Farmers said some farmers had recently sold farms on the understanding they would receive up to $150,000 to help them set up a life after farming, but were now being told that unless they settled by a certain date they would not be eligible for the grants. NSW Farmers President Fiona Simson said the association supported the National Farmers Federation in its request for the Government to provide grants to farmers who sold their farms before 10 August 2011, regardless of the date of settlement.


New Darwin Ports CEO named

The Northern Territory Government has announced the appointment of a new chief executive of the Darwin Port Corporation.  Terry O’Connor is the current acting chief executive of the port and has been general manager of landside operations since 2008. NT Minister for Transport Gerry McCarthy said Mr O’Connor brought significant experience to the role, having also worked previously in senior Navy roles including Maritime Operations Coordinator Northern Command based in Darwin. 

Last chance for Rising Champions Initiative

Cattle Council of Australia is reminding people between the age of 21 and 35 that they have until August 31 to apply for the 2011 Beef Industry Rising Champions Initiative. The aim of this initiative is to inspire, empower and support young people, who are passionate about the Australian beef industry and to provide them with an opportunity to be directly involved. One finalist will be selected from each state and territory in Australia and the successful candidates will travel to Longreach, Queensland to share their views on the ‘real-life’ challenges and opportunities in the Australian beef industry with Cattle Council of Australia. For more information  visit



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