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Bligh eyes $100,000 cut-off for relief recipients

QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh has acknowledged widespread “confusion” in the community over how money raised from the flood appeal will be distributed.
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Ms Bligh said today she hoped the second round of payments from the appeal funds would be made available to flood victims with an annual income of up to $100,000, but this would depend on how much money was ultimately raised.

Means testing on flood relief payments has come under fire in recent days, with the state opposition attacking a $48,400 eligibility limit for couples seeking a $5000 state taxpayer-funded grant to home owners to restore essential utilities.

The first payments from the $168 million floods appeal fund – $2000 for adults and $1000 for children who were directly affected – will not be means tested and will start arriving in bank accounts this week.

However, Ms Bligh said an income cut-off would probably be needed for the next round of payments and the exact level would depend on how much money was ultimately raised.

“The Victorian bushfire appeal had a means test. Cyclone Larry’s appeal had a means test. And the trigger was around the $100,000 income mark. That’s where I would hope we would land,” she said.

A decision on means testing for the second round of appeal fund payments would be made in coming weeks, she said.

Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek said $100,000 would be a good cut-off.

But he called on the government to broaden its taxpayer-funded means-tested grants, too, as many earned too much to access them.

Ms Bligh said the federal government had developed the formulas for means-tested payments, and accused the opposition leader of “causing mischief” over the issue.

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Ludwig encourages Aussies to buy local

THIS Australia Day, the minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, is encouraging consumers to support local farmers and buy Australian produce.
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“I would like to congratulate our retailers who are getting behind flood affected farmers by stocking blemished fruit on supermarket shelves,” Minister Ludwig said.

“This is heartening news for farmers and primary producers who have been hit particularly hard in recent weeks.

“While there are widespread reports of damage to crops and horticulture, much of the winter crop has been harvested and the outlook for the coming year remains positive.

“In the short term some fruit and vegetables being sold may not look as good as they usually do, but they’re still nutritious and good to eat. Retailers will only sell foods that are safe to be consumed.

“I would encourage Australian consumers to help our farmers and primary producers get back on their feet by buying Australian grown fruit and vegetables.”

In his capacity as Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery, Minister Ludwig is touring Toowoomba, the Darling Downs and South West this week with Queensland Reconstruction Authority chair, Major General Mick Slater.

In Toowoomba, Minister Ludwig and Major General Slater met with the Toowoomba Regional Council to discuss reconstruction of the local community.

“The people of Toowoomba are continuing to clean up flood affected homes and workplaces,” Minister Ludwig said.

“I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the enormous generosity of the people here and their willingness to help others in need.

“Toowoomba was hit particularly hard by the floodwaters and there’s no doubt, given the size of the disaster, the rebuilding effort will take some time.

“The Gillard Government is here for the long term and we will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government to deliver assistance to those people most in need.

“We are committed to providing funding to assist communities like Toowoomba to rebuild infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and schools.”

The Minister and Major General Slater will attend Dalby’s Australia Day Breakfast at Thomas Jack Park from 7am on 26 January 2011.

For information about Commonwealth Government assistance for flood victims go to 梧桐夜网disasterassist.gov419论坛 .

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Dorpers/White Dorpers join forces

A MAJOR step forward for the Australian prime lamb and cleanskin sheep industries has taken place with the establishment of a new Australian Dorper/White Dorper Association (ADWDA).
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This body has been set up to have national representation and a core focus on the commercial sheep industry.

Speaking on behalf of the inaugural board of the ADWDA, president Neil Gadsden, Victoria said, “The growth in the Dorper and White Dorper breeds has been exceptional, but it is now time to take them forward, beyond individual stud breeder interests to a united group encompassing the total sheep industry chain.

“We see this association being a real paddock to plate organisation, representing all facets of the industry, whether they be producers, processors, marketers, retailers or consumers.”

“This commercial focus and representation, plus continual interchange of information and ideas will keep breeders informed and focused on producing the type of Dorpers required by the commercial industry and consumers.

“Australia’s history is littered with breeds of livestock that have fallen by the wayside because they did not have a wide commercial and national focus,” Mr Gadsden said.

He stressed that stud breeder members must strive to continually improve the carcase attributes, performance levels and ease of management characteristics that have made the Dorper breeds so successful in a wide variety of environments in this country, but especially in arid, low rainfall areas.

The breeds have succeeded where others have struggled due to attributes such as non selective grazing, doing ability in all conditions, low maintenance, non seasonal joining, high fertility, low birth weights, ability to rejoin during lactation, excellent carcase quality and yield.

Mr Gadsden said these attributes make the Dorper breeds ideal for use as either self replacing flocks, or in a traditional terminal composite role.

Mr Gadsden encouraged people interested in the Dorper and White Dorper breeds to view the new Association website ( australiandorper南京夜网 ) for updated information, or to contact one of the inaugural board members.

He indicated the current board was primarily a steering committee for the first 12 months, but amongst its objectives would be the setting up of information field days, working on quality guidelines and moving towards the establishment of continual supply channels of Dorper lamb to consumers.

Mr Gadsden explained that the registration procedures for stud members of the new Australian Association were being radically simplified. Stud rams would now be the only remaining group of animals requiring compulsory registration, with the decision to register stud ewes being optional for seedstock members.

He said the ADWDA would also set up an Appendix grading-up register that will greatly assist some breeders to become involved in seedstock production.

“There is enough carcase data around nowadays to verify that Dorpers produce as good a quality lamb as you can get. We are in the business of getting a quality product off our properties as soon as possible and we passionately believe the Dorper breeds can do this in a terminal sire situation better than all other breeds.

However for those wanting all the other benefits Dorpers offer in a self replacing flock, they can start to get Dorper production and management advantages at the F2 stage,” Mr Gadsden said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Outback trek to help fund flying doctors

Terry Clark and Max Hutchins have been preparing the car for the four-state trek. Photo: AMY GRIFFITHSA Dubbo man is preparing to travel almost 4000 kilometres across the outback in a modified 1964 EH Holden painted bright purple and yellow for charity.
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It’s the 10th time the intrepid soul has made the journey through some of the least populated parts of Australia to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

Terry Clark has raised $276,000 for the 22nd “Outback Car Trek” which starts in Dubbo on June 5 and finishes at Uluru seven days later.

Mr Clark knows the value of the RFDS after spending many years managing cattle stations in central Queensland.

“The RFDS was the only source of medical support for me and my family in the bush,” he said.

The passionate trekker endeavours to raise a huge $300,000 for the Dubbo RFDS.

Two new Beechcraft Super King Air aircraft fitted out with state of the art medical equipment now operate at Dubbo RFDS base thanks to the generous support of this event.

About 2,000 aircraft movements are operated from the Dubbo base each year.

The RFDS began as a dream of the late Rev. John Flynn, who had a vision of ensuring access to health care for the people of Outback Australia.

In 1928 the service treated 225 patients, today it transports over 750 patients a day- that’s 225 patients before lunchtime.

The trek sponsored by the Daily Liberal will start in Dubbo and travel to Tilpa, Noccundra, Birdsville, Marree, Coober Pedy, Mt Dare and finish at Uluru.

“The rally raises in excess of $1.2 million each year and over 20 years has raised $15.7 million for the RFDS,” Mr Clark said.

“We are $24,000 short of our $300,000 target so we appreciate any donations people would like to make,” he said.

Mr Clark’s EH Holden – ‘car 138’ – decorated with two giant giraffes will join 100 classic cars including Volkswagons, Fords, and Chevrolets, making the trek.

The only condition is the car must be older than 1971 and capable of making the 3800-kilometre journey.

“The car is being modified at the moment, it has different parts from a variety of cars,” he said. “The trek is amazing, I love the cold, frosty mornings, the dry dust billowing behind you and the amazing variation of scenery.

“I pledged to myself that when my business was in a position to buy a car then I would, that was nine years ago, it’s my 10th year doing the trek but my ninth year in my own car.”

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’93 flood levels on the way

AN imminent peak in the River Murray will threaten South Australian towns with 1992-93 flood levels, and more is on the way.
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But the Department for Water’s Murray Darling Basin operations manager Andrew Beal said river levels were likely to drop before water from the Queensland and Victorian floods arrived.

Recent updates from the department predicted peak flows of between 65,000-75,000 megalitres per day across the State border in late January to mid-February but a flow advice update issued on Friday has upgraded the flow to 90,000ML a day.

The 1992-93 flood peak saw about 93,000ML per day enter the State and, while little damage was caused in the Murraylands, several shacks and low-lying areas were inundated.

Mr Beal said the State was looking at a repeat of 1992-93 but current conditions were not likely to push flows much over 90,000ML/day.

“(The Queensland and Victorian floods) will extend the period of high flow but not the peak flow,” he said.

He said shackowners should prepare for inundation in coming weeks if their properties were affected by floods such as those in the early 1990s, but more major rain would be needed in the southern basin before a major flood risk emerged in the Lower Murray.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

GRDC NSW Updates confront global challenges

NORTHERN NSW grain advisers and growers will gain a better insight into their role in the global soft commodities trade at the upcoming series of Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Updates.
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Dr Ken Quail, business manager at Better Research and Innovation (BRI Australia), will present the latest information on Australia’s place in the global wheat market and what international customers are saying about Australian wheat and its performance at the three GRDC Northern Updates to be held in NSW in coming weeks.

His presentation will feature at the events to be held at the Dubbo RSL Club on February 22-23, the Trangie Research Station on February 24; and at the Warialda Golf Club on February 25.

The Updates will feature packed programs focussing on innovative responses to the challenges of modern farming, including disease risks for 2011 in the wake of the wet summer; the latest research into nematodes; and how to make more efficient use of nitrogen applications. Local issues relevant to each of the host regions will also be addressed.

GRDC northern panel chairman James Clark, said the three Updates to be held in Northern NSW during March would bring growers and advisers together with researchers.

“The GRDC updates deliver new data, practical advice and locally-focussed information to advisers and growers, with the agendas developed specifically in response to feedback from grains advisers,” Mr Clark said.

“It is a chance to understand how research levies are being invested by GRDC, which manages a northern region-specific research program of more than $25 million per year.

“This research is not only scientifically valid, but responsive to current needs and issues of producers, and is directly influenced by local and regional grower priorities.

“This is a prime opportunity for grains advisers to tap in to the latest research that will keep their advice at the cutting edge – benefiting their clients’ businesses by boosting productivity and sustainability.”

Some of the topics featured at the Northern NSW Updates include:

Cereal diseases – What are the carry over cereal disease issues for 2011 and how can they be managed. (Greg Platz, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), and Steve Simpfendorfer, Industry & Investment NSW (I&I NSW)) Insights into nematode management – many growers have them but are unaware. Picking the right cereal variety can improve profit by a staggering $500/ha. (Steve Simpfendorfer, I&I NSW; Tim Clewett, & Roslyn Reen, DEEDI) Chickpea disease risks in 2011 – the wet end to 2010 and the outbreaks of ascochyta and botrytis grey mould will have implications for 2011 variety and paddock selection. (Kevin Moore, I&I NSW) Getting nutrition right in 2011 after a big year in 2010. Big crop canopies, waterlogging over summer and high levels of stubble will all affect N budgeting for 2011. (Jim Laycock, Incitec Pivot; David Herridge & Guy McMullen, I&I NSW) To register contact John Cameron or Erica McKay on 02 9482 4930 or email [email protected]南京夜网419论坛 . For details of the agendas for each Update or for more information, visit 梧桐夜网grdc南京夜网419论坛/updatedates

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Qld producers still open for business

Supporting local producers, Phil Rhodes, co-owner South Bank Surf Club restaurant, Brisbane, and chef Sydney Stranger, where only Queensland and Australian produce is used, are pictured with Ballandean Estate winery brand development manager, Stuart Ostle. Picture: RODNEY GREEN
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LISTEN to various sections of the media, and you could be forgiven for thinking all of Queensland’s producers have had their operations ground to a halt from the recent floods.

Certainly, many have been devastated by the floods, but a great many are still operating or starting to get back on their feet and have produce and value-added goods to offer consumers.

In response to this situation, a motivated group of business people, primary producers and restaurateurs with the support of the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), have set up a website, 梧桐夜网supportqldproducers.net to allow retailers, wholesalers and growers of local Queensland produce the opportunity to let consumers and potential stockists know how they can still access their products despite the recent devastation.

Support QLD Producers has been set up as a not-for-profit organisation to provide a forum for industry to get the message out that they are still operating and to let Australia know what they have to offer and where it is available.

Stuart Ostle, brand development manager for award-winning Granite Belt winery Ballandean Estate is one of the central figures behind the website.

“Originally I thought, how do we get the message out that we (Ballandean Estate) are still up and running and then I thought well there’s hundreds of other producers in the same position, hence the website,” Mr Ostle said.

“Some people have lost produce but others have lost their market as well, and so some producers are really doing it tough.

“And it’s not just direct damage from flooding but the knock-on effect of not being able to get a product to a market or a market to you because of road closures.

“Australians know that farmers and other primary producers are the backbone of many regional communities, and that so many of them have been dramatically affected by the floods, while many more have lost everything.

“However it is important that we realise that there still are a great number of producers that are still operating, even if at a reduced level, and they still have products to sell.

“We also want to give the producers that have lost everything, including their immediate market, a place to start once they get back up and running.

“The last few weeks have seen many Australians prepared to chip in and help out to get Queensland up and running, so the next time you are wondering `how can I help?’ make sure you choose Queensland grown and help get the producers back on their feet.”

Mr Ostle said while the Ballandean Estate winery itself hadn’t suffered flood damage beyond erosion from huge amounts of rain and burst dam banks, road closures had curtailed a lot of festive season/New Year trade for many cellar doors on the Granite Belt.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Qld producers still open for business

Supporting local producers, Phil Rhodes, co-owner South Bank Surf Club restaurant, Brisbane, and chef Sydney Stranger, where only Queensland and Australian produce is used, are pictured with Ballandean Estate winery brand development manager, Stuart Ostle. Picture: RODNEY GREEN
Nanjing Night Net

LISTEN to various sections of the media, and you could be forgiven for thinking all of Queensland’s producers have had their operations ground to a halt from the recent floods.

Certainly, many have been devastated by the floods, but a great many are still operating or starting to get back on their feet and have produce and value-added goods to offer consumers.

In response to this situation, a motivated group of business people, primary producers and restaurateurs with the support of the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), have set up a website, 梧桐夜网supportqldproducers.net to allow retailers, wholesalers and growers of local Queensland produce the opportunity to let consumers and potential stockists know how they can still access their products despite the recent devastation.

Support QLD Producers has been set up as a not-for-profit organisation to provide a forum for industry to get the message out that they are still operating and to let Australia know what they have to offer and where it is available.

Stuart Ostle, brand development manager for award-winning Granite Belt winery Ballandean Estate is one of the central figures behind the website.

“Originally I thought, how do we get the message out that we (Ballandean Estate) are still up and running and then I thought well there’s hundreds of other producers in the same position, hence the website,” Mr Ostle said.

“Some people have lost produce but others have lost their market as well, and so some producers are really doing it tough.

“And it’s not just direct damage from flooding but the knock-on effect of not being able to get a product to a market or a market to you because of road closures.

“Australians know that farmers and other primary producers are the backbone of many regional communities, and that so many of them have been dramatically affected by the floods, while many more have lost everything.

“However it is important that we realise that there still are a great number of producers that are still operating, even if at a reduced level, and they still have products to sell.

“We also want to give the producers that have lost everything, including their immediate market, a place to start once they get back up and running.

“The last few weeks have seen many Australians prepared to chip in and help out to get Queensland up and running, so the next time you are wondering `how can I help?’ make sure you choose Queensland grown and help get the producers back on their feet.”

Mr Ostle said while the Ballandean Estate winery itself hadn’t suffered flood damage beyond erosion from huge amounts of rain and burst dam banks, road closures had curtailed a lot of festive season/New Year trade for many cellar doors on the Granite Belt.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Dorpers/White Dorpers join forces

A MAJOR step forward for the Australian prime lamb and cleanskin sheep industries has taken place with the establishment of a new Australian Dorper/White Dorper Association (ADWDA).
Nanjing Night Net

This body has been set up to have national representation and a core focus on the commercial sheep industry.

Speaking on behalf of the inaugural board of the ADWDA, president Neil Gadsden, Victoria said, “The growth in the Dorper and White Dorper breeds has been exceptional, but it is now time to take them forward, beyond individual stud breeder interests to a united group encompassing the total sheep industry chain.

“We see this association being a real paddock to plate organisation, representing all facets of the industry, whether they be producers, processors, marketers, retailers or consumers.”

“This commercial focus and representation, plus continual interchange of information and ideas will keep breeders informed and focused on producing the type of Dorpers required by the commercial industry and consumers.

“Australia’s history is littered with breeds of livestock that have fallen by the wayside because they did not have a wide commercial and national focus,” Mr Gadsden said.

He stressed that stud breeder members must strive to continually improve the carcase attributes, performance levels and ease of management characteristics that have made the Dorper breeds so successful in a wide variety of environments in this country, but especially in arid, low rainfall areas.

The breeds have succeeded where others have struggled due to attributes such as non selective grazing, doing ability in all conditions, low maintenance, non seasonal joining, high fertility, low birth weights, ability to rejoin during lactation, excellent carcase quality and yield.

Mr Gadsden said these attributes make the Dorper breeds ideal for use as either self replacing flocks, or in a traditional terminal composite role.

Mr Gadsden encouraged people interested in the Dorper and White Dorper breeds to view the new Association website ( australiandorper南京夜网 ) for updated information, or to contact one of the inaugural board members.

He indicated the current board was primarily a steering committee for the first 12 months, but amongst its objectives would be the setting up of information field days, working on quality guidelines and moving towards the establishment of continual supply channels of Dorper lamb to consumers.

Mr Gadsden explained that the registration procedures for stud members of the new Australian Association were being radically simplified. Stud rams would now be the only remaining group of animals requiring compulsory registration, with the decision to register stud ewes being optional for seedstock members.

He said the ADWDA would also set up an Appendix grading-up register that will greatly assist some breeders to become involved in seedstock production.

“There is enough carcase data around nowadays to verify that Dorpers produce as good a quality lamb as you can get. We are in the business of getting a quality product off our properties as soon as possible and we passionately believe the Dorper breeds can do this in a terminal sire situation better than all other breeds.

However for those wanting all the other benefits Dorpers offer in a self replacing flock, they can start to get Dorper production and management advantages at the F2 stage,” Mr Gadsden said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

New Year, a new career in rural Queensland

ARE you looking for a new career in 2011? Primary industries is shaping up as the place to work in Australia with employment demand expected to increase by 27 100 jobs over the next five years.
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According to the latest Queensland rural skills and training demand report from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), the current rural skills shortage means employers are urgently seeking new workers.

Di Edelman, Coordinator of Rural Industry Skilling in DEEDI, said a critical issue facing Queensland is the attraction and retention of a skilled rural workforce.

“Queensland employs around 84 900 people in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries,” Ms Edelman said.

“In recent years, rural businesses have struggled to maintain capacity due to a shortage of labour caused by competition from other industries, poor promotion, and an ageing population.

“Agriculture is reported to have the oldest workforce in Australia, with the average age for workers being 48 years.

“This has led to an urgent need to attract new people to the industry, and ensure they have the right skilling to work in today’s rural environment.

“The strongest job growth is expected in sheep, beef cattle and grain farming.

“The rural skills report surveyed producers statewide, who identified a need for generic skill sets across Queensland.

“Those skills include soil health and nutrition, weed identification and management, erosion and soil conservation, and pest management.”

Ms Edelman said that to develop these skill sets industry needs improved training delivery.

“Stronger partnerships are needed between industry and the training providers to better deliver targeted training,” said Ms Edelman.

“Producers want more e-learning tools to improve access to training.

“Traineeships and apprenticeships also need to be improved as a way to attract new workers to primary industries.

“The recommendations in the report will help the Department of Education and Training (DET) make targeted investment decisions in rural training.

“As a result of the 2008 report recommendation to increase animal laboratory research skills, The University of Queensland and DET have introduced a new Diploma in Animal Technology and welcomed their first graduates.

“It’s important that we continue to identify training needs to build a skilled workforce, and expand career opportunities for new people to enter primary industries.”

For a copy of Queensland rural skills and training demand report, visit 梧桐夜网deedi.qld.gov419论坛 and click on ‘Agriculture’ or call 13 25 23.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.