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DECEMBER 2018 EDITION NO.14

Roma Saleyards on track for big year ® PAGE 5


2 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Welcome

contact us EDITOR Shannon Hardy, Phone: 07 4672 5500 Email: editorial@suratbasin.com.au ADVERTISING Greg Latta and Stephanie Stonehouse Western Star Phone 07 4672 9927 Email greg.latta@westernstarnews.com GENERAL MANAGER Erika Brayshaw Email: Erika.brayshaw@apn.com.au All material published in Grazier and Farmer is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission for the publisher. DISCLAIMER: The information contained within Grazier and Farmer is given in good faith and obtained from sources believed to be accurate. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. The Western Star will not be liable for any opinion or advice contained herein.

STEAMING AHEAD: Poppies placed outside the newly renovated and painted Cunnamulla Railway Station to honour those young men from the area who lost their lives in war time. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

$350,000 funding set to light up the Cunnamulla sky THE Paroo Progress Association has received its first major grant of $350,000 to reinvigorate the Cunnamulla Railway Station and give visitors the chance to experience what rail used to be like in the outback. Karen Ticehurst from the Paroo Progress Association said the railway had been neglected and was desperately in need of restoration. “We were keen to make the railway station a tourist destination and had thought of creating a ticketed attraction that would entice tourists to stay an extra night in town,” Ms Ticehurst said. “We approached Queensland Rail about the lease and refurbishment and they were keen with the renovations happening almost immediately. “We have a large number of day-trippers in

Cunnamulla, many choosing to bush camp or continue on to other towns for their accommodation. “The Cunnamulla – All Aboard project will be the first evening attraction for our town. “It will be an immersive light and sound show that tells the history of the railway and the important role it played in our economic and social history. “The show will not be static. “We already have plans for continual updates to the story to allow for repeat visits. “Almost all the funding we have been successful in receiving can all be spent on interpretation rather than structures, which should make for a ripper of a show. “We hosted drinks at the railway station for a large crowd as part of Cunnamulla’s

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150th celebrations and got a great response.” The project, which is out to tender, will create more jobs with people being employed to run the show twice nightly in winter and there are hopes other jobs will be created with the increased tourist numbers. Local author Margie Brown has been appointed voluntary project manager. “We are hoping to get 30 to 40 people a night in winter and we will take group bookings during the hottest times of the year,” Karen said. “There will be information panels which daytrippers can access which will hopefully pique their interest to attend the show and stay the night.” The project is on track to open by May next year.

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THE life of a farmer is not an easy one and recent years have not improved circumstances. In spite of these adverse conditions, the life of a farmer goes on; crops are harvested and livestock go off to sale. Roma Saleyards have seen an increase in numbers this year with that set to continue in 2019 when the saleyards reach their 50th anniversary. We caught up with Cr Peter Flynn who attributed the increase in cattle numbers to drought conditions and said although they weren’t as good as last year, sales still held up for quality cattle. An improvement plan for the yards is also under way, solidifying the idea the industry is still holding strong. We can trust that this hardy sense of carrying on will keep those in the rural sector moving forward as inclement weather and the closure of agricultural colleges tries to bog people down. Things will turn around. Until then, farmers will continue moving forward.


GRAZIER & FARMER 3

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Why you should get your carpet installed by professionals? A savvy home renovator knows when to spend and when to save. In the case of carpet installation, we believe it’s best to call in the pros, and we’re not just saying that because carpet is our business. THE following are some of the reasons why we think investing in an professionally-installed carpet is worthwhile.

TIME

A novice may struggle to achieve the same high quality installation without the knowledge that lets professionals anticipate problem areas and how to work around them. This may not be an issue if you have time to spare, but any little errors will definitely pile onto the hours you spend on this task.

COST

Estimating the right amount of carpet is a challenge in itself, not to mention getting it out here. Professionals will be able to identify traffic patterns and light direction which affect carpet’s appearance. If an installer makes an error, any extra carpet and labour needed will be absorbed into the cost of the installation. If you make an error, you foot the bill for the cost of any additional carpet.

EQUIPMENT

The correct tools to install floor coverings are available

Andersens’ installers on the job. for hire, but without training in using this equipment you could be unknowingly using them incorrectly, resulting in a poorly installed carpet.

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usually only cover faults caused during the manufacturing process. If you install carpet yourself, you could be left out of luck and out of pocket if any issues arise. Andersens, on the other hand, offers a

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4 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Young beef producers step up to the plate

The next up-and-coming beef producers gathered in Roma for the 14th annual Young Beef Producers’ Forum. future from Michael Crowley, Meat and Livestock Australia, the current competitive landscape from Brad James, Rabobank, and from David and Prue Bondfield, Palgrove Pastoral Co, about their business and operation. Organising committee chairwoman Sarah Packer said the forum was impressive and she was pleased with the attendance. “I think this year was a younger crowd and I think

the word is getting out there. It is a really good way to find out if they are keen to continue in the industry or build a career in one,” Ms Packer said. “Guest speakers Prue and David Bondfield were unreal and I think everyone was intent on listening to them and their story. “They are doing an interesting investment opportunity with a superannuation company in New Zealand.” Thursday evening, guests

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attended the TopX YBPF dinner and auction at Explorers Inn where more than 280 people gathered. “We had a record number of auction items with 22 items up for sale and we raised a

phenomenal $15,655 which went to Start The Conversation and Youth Development,” Ms Packer said. Guest speakers for the evening were the creators and the loud and proud work shirts

Trademutt. Builders Ed Ross and Dan Allen shared their story behind the workwear and how they encouraged people to speak up about mental health.

We had a record number of auction items with 22 items up for sale and we raised a phenomenal $15,655 which went to Start The Conversation and Youth Development.”

— Ms Packer

PHOTO: MOLLY HANCOCK

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ABOUT 260 young men and women took part in the two-day forum where they heard from the industry’s leaders. This year’s theme Stepping Up To The Plate, provided a platform for attendees to explore different avenues in the beef industry. As part of the forum, participants went on a property tour of John and Angela Frith’s Glen Arden Cattle Co. They then heard about investments shaping the

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GRAZIER & FARMER 5

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

The new sales pens under construction at Roma Saleyards in late November.

PHOTO: ANNABELLE MURPHY

Roma Saleyards numbers increase, on track for a big year With the 50th anniversary of the saleyards in 2019, its shaping up for a big year JACINTA CUMMINS ROMA Saleyards has enjoyed a large increase in numbers in the second half of the year with 160,000 cattle going through the complex from July to November compared to 117,000 head of cattle for the same period last year. The biggest sale for the year was 10,700 and weekly sales are now averaging 6000 to 7000. Portfolio chairman for the Roma Saleyards Councillor Peter Flynn said if these numbers remain steady the saleyards will exceed its 2017-18 financial year numbers of 305,000 cattle in the 2018-19 financial year. “The recent sales have very much been up for the four previous months on what we have had for the same period in previous years. I believe that the month of November we had about

30,000 head sold,” Cr Flynn said. He attributed the increase in numbers purely to the drought conditions but said that while the market was nowhere near as good as last year, it had still held up for quality cattle. Cr Flynn said 2019 was shaping up to be a terrific one for Roma Saleyards with significant improvements under way and Roma hosting the Australian Livestock Markets Association (ALMA) conference in July. ALMA was formed in 2010 and is the peak national body which represents saleyards and lairage owners and operators. “The ALMA conference is usually on the eastern seaboard so it is a coup that we’ve got it coming to the country regions,” Cr Flynn said. “We put a lot of work into

our bid for the conference which highlighted the fact that it will be the 50th anniversary of the saleyards next year and also reinforced that we are the biggest selling centre in Australia.” Cr Flynn said stage one of the Saleyard Improvement Plan was well under way with the new sale pens nearly built and construction started on the drafting areas. “We are in the middle of the works at the moment. “Probably by March we’ll have a better idea of how it’s received once we get the drafting and the offloading situation improved, but the agents are very happy with the new works so far.

“We are going to have the stud stock selling section, which is about 40 years old, redone: it will be brand new and state-of-the-art in a different area to allow for further expansion of the saleyards in the future. “We are considering how we can integrate technology to improve the Roma Saleyards experience for the buyer and the vendor. “We are looking at some live sale online situations like an AuctionsPlus interface.’’

Roma Saleyards, 2018. PHOTO: FILE

We may not have this up and running by the ALMA conference, but it is something we are very interested in and will help cement our reputation for providing excelling vendor and buyer satisfaction.”


6 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New version of the TPP set to deliver the goods for Australian beef and wine Australia ratified the revamped version of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on October 31, meaning the deal will come into effect on December 31 with some tariffs reduced immediately and others gradually reduced in further rounds.

Australian beef is set to be one of the big winners from the CPTPP and is looking to capitalise on America's withdrawal as this could mean a bigger market share into Japan. PHOTO: JACINTA CUMMINS

JACINTA CUMMINS DONALD Trump walked away from the TPP which he had previously called “an attack on America’s business” and said he was doing a great thing for the American worker by pulling out of the free trade agreement. This led to a new deal being negotiated between the remaining 11 members: Australia, Japan, Peru,

Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico and Brunei Darussalam which is known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Australian Meat Industry Council welcomed the deal’s ratification as an “excellent outcome” saying market access is one of the four biggest challenges

faced by its members so the tariff reductions would help address this. Deloitte reports that beef is Australia’s leading agricultural export to other CPTPP nations, valued at $3.2 billion, averaged over the three years leading to 2016-2017. Japan is the largest consumer of beef out of the CPTPP countries, taking

around $2 billion in beef exports annually. The CPTPP will see tariffs on Australian beef entering into Japan fall from 29 per cent to 9 per cent in 16 years. Because America is not part of the CPTPP or any other Free Trade Agreements with Japan it will remain on the highest tariff structure, currently 38.5 per cent,

leaving Australian beef producers hopeful that they will expand their markets into Japan at the expense of America. Beef and Lamb New Zealand said the agreement would save New Zealand’s meat industry $63 million in tariffs into Japan once it is fully implemented. Australian horticulture is set to win with tariff

reductions into Mexico expected to expand Australian fruit and vegetables’ market into the country. The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia said the deal will give Australian wines access into growing markets such as Canada and Mexico. Chief Executive Tony Battaglene was quoted saying “the CPTPP will benefit growers and winemakers. Importantly, this deal gives some significant concessions in growth markets, including Canada and Mexico, but also over time will deliver benefits throughout key Asian developing markets”. Tariffs on wine into Canada will be dropped on December 31 and tariffs on wine entering Mexico, Malaysia and Vietnam will be phased out gradually. China is not a part of the CPTPP but it is Australia’s number one trading partner so Australia will enter into the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, another trade deal which is being negotiated with China as a key driver.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Better weather information, better agricultural results Australian farmers will soon have easy access to crucial climate and weather information thanks to a joint project between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO. AGRICULTURE and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud said the new weather and climate guides would give valuable information to all 56 Natural Resource Management regions. “The bureau has a wealth of information farmers need and this will put it in their hands,” Mr Littleproud said. “Reliable climate information helps farmers make the best decisions they can to manage risks. “It will help them better understand temperature and rainfall ranges, frost risk, the onset and length of wet seasons, water storage levels and the likelihood and severity of drought, natural disasters and cold snaps. “Today Condamine farmers have a chance to tell the bureau what information is most valuable for them and how to best deliver it. “This will mean farmers won’t have to rely on guesswork to make decisions that affect their livelihoods. “This is particularly important during a drought like the one we’re currently going through. “The bureau will start off trialling the service online and taking feedback from farmers to

make sure it hits the mark. “The service is expected to be up and running early next year. “These guides are part of the government’s ongoing and long-term drought response. “Our drought support covers a range of areas, including immediate financial assistance and building resilience and preparedness in rural and regional communities.” For more information about the climate guides, email agriculture@bom.gov.au.

• Easy-to-use climate outlook guides being developed for 56 Natural Resource Management regions • Project funded with $2.7 million from the Coalition Government’s Drought Assistance Package • Condamine, Mallee, West Gippsland and Riverina are the first guides under development.

WHAT THE FEDERAL EDERAL BUDGET MEANS FOR YOU: • Tax relief of up to $530 for middle to low income earnerss. • $121.6 million to boost Australia’s biosecurity, protecting g our producers’ clean, green status. MP • $84 million for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. • $53.9 million to improve regional students’ access to Yoouth Allowance. • $51.3 million for more agricultural counsellors to help prroducers enter new export markets. • $40 million in capital grants funding for aged care facilitiies in regional, rural and remote communities. • Extending the $20,000 instant asset write-off for small business.

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8 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

NO MORE: Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar, Cotton Growers Association representative Aaron Keily, shadow agricultural minister Tony Perrett and Ian Burnett from AgForce at the Emerald Agricultural College. PHOTO: KRISTEN BOOTH

The last of Queensland’s agricultural colleges will close their doors next year Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges, including flagship operations at Emerald and Longreach, will cease operating at the end of next year Andrea Davy MINISTER for Agricultural Industry Mark Furner made the announcement, citing an independent review that found “traditional agricultural industry training” had been declining for years and “more flexible” options were needed. “We have maintained the QATC Emerald and Longreach colleges with significant funding for years, but they are well past the point where they

are sustainable,” Mr Furner said. “Numbers of students have reached unsustainably low levels across Emerald and Longreach campuses of QATC leaving only nine students at Longreach and seven students at Emerald campuses to graduate in 2019.” Minister Furner said the decision to close QATC was not taken lightly, but enrolments had been consistently falling for years despite significant government support.

In the announcement, Mr Furner said the Queensland Government would be investing $30 million to modernise and reinvigorate vocational training in the state’s central west. “The Coaldrake Review has identified opportunities to grow the vocational education, training and skills sector in central-western Queensland, and help boost economic growth and regional resilience,” he said. Minister Furner said to

implement the Coaldrake Review the Queensland Government would initially invest $7 million to: ● Ensure current students could complete their qualification or studies at QATC or through a supported

transition to other training providers ● Maximise employment opportunities, in consultation with staff and union representatives, which may include retraining, deployment, or redeployment

● Establish a project management office with local support provided to students and staff ● Work with the local communities to determine the best future use of existing college facilities.

The Coaldrake Review has identified opportunities to grow the vocational education, training and skills sector in central-western Queensland, and help boost economic growth and regional resilience.

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GRAZIER & FARMER 9

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Cunnamulla wool grower recognised as emerging leader in ag industry Enthusiasm and pride in agriculture make Jesse a stand-out in his field JACINTA CUMMINS CUNNAMULLA’S Jesse Moody beat four other finalists, including Dirranbandi goat producer Nic Perkins, to win the Queensland Ag Minister’s Emerging Leader Award at the AgFutures Innovation and Investment Forum in Brisbane on November 21. He was nominated by Department of Agriculture and Fisheries extension officers Jed Sommerfield and Andrea McKenzie for his work on the Leading Sheep Advisory Panel, his enthusiasm for and pride in agriculture, and his leadership in the wider community. “Jesse immediately came to mind as a nominee for the Minister’s Emerging Leader Award,” Mr Sommerfield said. “He is the youngest member on the project advisory panel and is very proactive in this role. “He also stepped out of his

comfort zone to present at the Young Beef Producers Forum and is always keen to jump at an opportunity, both for his family business and for the greater industry. “He is well known and respected by his peers in both the primary industries sector and the wider community.” Jesse, who runs Merinos with his parents Michael and Sally at Abbadoah, was shocked by his win. “I was pretty surprised but happy as the other people (I was up against) were all very good at what they do and some of them were really inspiring in what they had come up with to solve different problems,” he said. Jesse said this willingness to solve problems confronting their industry and innovate were common among the awards finalists and winners. “I think that a lot of people have the mindset that sheep are too much hard work and they are a lot of work, but at the same time, the returns

are worth it especially with the wool prices and the fat lamb prices,” he said. Jesse joined the Leading Sheep Advisory Panel in mid 2017 to contribute to the industry. “My goal is to see the industry become more innovative and adopt technology and for Queensland to become a powerhouse of wool production again,” he said. “Leading Sheep will be trying to push technology to increase production and ease of management. “We are very keen to try and find a solution to shearing rather than just addressing the shearer shortage. “We are trying to find a way to shear the sheep without the labour because shearing is one of the most expensive inputs we have in the industry. “Every other industry has changed their harvesting method but we are still doing what we have been doing for the last 100 years and we need to catch up.”

IMPRESSIVE: Cunnamulla wool grower Jesse Moody was surprised to win the Queensland Ag Minster’s Emerging Leader Award on November 21. PHOTO: JACINTA CUMMINS

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10 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Borlaug 100 delivers results from Condamine to Goondiwindi to Dysart JACINTA CUMMINS WHEAT varieties in Australia have traditionally been selected for a very narrow milling criteria. Rebel Seeds founders Andrew Butler from Condamine, Stephen Gibson from Dulacca, Derryck Mickelborough from Dalby and Damien Scanlan from Goondiwindi met on a Grains Research Foundation study tour to America in 2015 and

asked the question why material wasn’t available that was more regionally adapted and customer specific. They were inspired to import and release a new variety of wheat called Borlaug 100 which has broad adaptability, drought tolerance, and a robust disease package. The growers formed Rebel Seeds which will commercially release the wheat in 2019. To make Borlaug 100 highly accessible, Rebel Seeds has

opened the seed up to farmer to farmer seed sales from the outset. That way the farmers can set their own price. “Our primary goal was to get a variety which could perform for the farmers and we could put milling characteristics as a secondary criteria for selection thereby having a product more suitable for the feed industry,” Andrew said. “At an initial meeting, we decided we wanted to get a better product for the farmer

and to look from a different perspective from other current commercial breeders.” The group travelled to the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT for Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo) in Mexico where they chose multiple lines of approximately 100 seeds of different wheat varieties to bring back to Australia where

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GRAZIER & FARMER 11

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Condamine farmer and Rebel Seeds co-founder Andrew Butler with some of the company's first Borlaug 100 wheat crop.

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2300 hectares of the wheat. “Growers were reporting good results in a very tough season due to a lack of rain and a lack of subsoil moisture,” Andrew said. “I haven’t caught up with everyone but so far the dryland yields ranged from anywhere to 1.5 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes per hectare so we were very impressed with that. “It also performed well under irrigation. “All of the feedback has been positive, most of them have kept the seed to sell or grow again next year and in

just about every case, where this variety was put next to another one in the same situation, it did as well, if not better than the other one.” Rebel Seeds is also looking at releasing a chickpea variety a few years down the track, and also has other wheat varieties in the pipeline but Andrew said the group will take its time to get it right. “We started this as four farmers who have plenty of other things to do. We are doing this because we love it, and if we make some money out of it then that’s a bonus.”

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they were put through extensive trials and selected to move forward with. The variety was named Borlaug 100 by CIMMYT in honour of the centenary of the birth of prominent CIMMYT wheat breeder Norman Borlaug and Rebel Seeds retained this name. This year the group sold 101 tonnes out of 106 tonnes of the available seed to 16 growers from the NSW-Queensland border up to Dysart. Altogether the growers harvested approximately


12 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Cattle Producers Australia set to give producers real value for their levies Industry agreement is needed first to ensure proper representation for producers

AUSTRALIAN cattle producers pay over $60 million in levies every year, but according to Taroom grazier and veterinarian Dr Paul Wright, most of them have little say in how these funds are spent or how industry policy is developed and worse, have grown so disenfranchised with the current state of representation that they simply do not engage anymore. This growing disconnect

between producers and the bodies meant to represent them has led to two Senate Inquiries and an ACCC Cattle and Beef Market Study to investigate issues surrounding structures, systems, competition and transparency. All three investigations found that significant reform is necessary to ensure producers are fairly represented and their levies well spent to their advantage. As a result of the first Senate Inquiry, an

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Implementation Committee was established by then Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce to develop a new democratic model to replace

the Cattle Council Australia (CCA) as the producers' peak representative body as part of the reform process for the industry.

Dr Wright was one of the members of this committee. Cattle Producers Australia was established by the Implementation Committee

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There will be one representative from each of the 15 ABARES areas across Australia voted onto Cattle Producers Australia who will have the ability to make policy and if necessary, engage people with the appropriate expertise to help with this process.

— Dr Wright

and was promised $500,000 in federal funding, but this funding has been withheld due to the Cattle Council Australia walking away from the reform process at the start of 2018. Dr Wright believes it is imperative for the industry to reach agreement so that Cattle Producers Australia can advocate for producers sooner rather than later. He said representation will be more democratic because the levy payers will directly elect their regional representative.

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GRAZIER & FARMER 13

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

MAIN IMAGE: Cattle Producers Australia Chairman Dr Paul Wright. RIGHT: Cattle. “This is in contrast to the current Cattle Council Australia structure. “The CCA submission to the 2014 Senate Inquiry attached a 2012 report from Innovact Consulting commissioned by Cattle Council Australia, which found that as a consequence of falling State Farming Organisations (SFO) membership and the convoluted SFO structure, Cattle Council of Australia no longer truly or appropriately represented Australia’s grass fed cattle producers.

“The Cattle Producers Australia model addresses these shortcomings.” Dr Wright believes the current problem with larger industry bodies is that the people who are voted in do not actually come up with the policy themselves; this is done by committees and then presented to the executive. “So currently the person you’re voting for doesn’t really have an input into policy making and preparation,” he said. “There will be one

representative from each of the 15 ABARES areas across Australia voted onto Cattle Producers Australia who will have the ability to make policy and if necessary, engage people with the appropriate expertise to help with this process. “So you know who you’re voting for is going to get that input and you will know that you will have a representative from your area on the executive.” Peter Griffiths of “Stuart Downs”, Cockatoo has come

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED/VANESSA JARRET/JACINTA CUMMINS on board as a Cattle Producers Australia member because he wants to see producers have a say in where and how their levies are spent to achieve better outcomes for the whole industry. “CPA is trying to get people involved in the industry, get them interested and get them to have some idea in who is spending their money and on what,” he said. “We need to know that the money we pay is being used in the best way and helping shape our industry.”

Representation will be more democratic because the levy payers will directly elect their regional representative.

— Dr Wright

Cattle Producers Australia is looking for more producers to sign up for a free membership in the hopes that if they have 5,000 or even 10,000 members that they

will be able to lobby the government to ensure that they are installed as the peak industry body. For more information go to www.cattleproducers.com.au

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14 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Getting farmers back on their feet Adventist Development and Relief Agency is looking to help farmers in the Maranoa and Western Downs regions. ADRA is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that looks at helping people both nationally and internationally. Funds raised from a country-wide appeal and a Chinchilla based op-shop have been slated for drought relief and other assistance in rural communities. Pastor David Kelsey said they had noticed that farmers were embarrassed to ask for help. “We have a policy that if they’re in need, then we give it,” Paster Kelsey said. “There’s no criteria, no needs test or anything like that, and they don’t have to be farmers. “The past month we’ve

It could be people (who’s need) is related to (drought) in other ways like shopkeepers and workers on the farms and in shops as well

Yvonne Anderson and Maree Chaippalone at ADRA Chinchilla.

been going out, interviewing some of the farmers, finding out how’ve they’ve been going. “Just the fact that we could go out and talk to them, we’ve been able to give them

a monetary donation there and then on the spot, then we follow up and find out if they’re going okay and we can support that with more funds.” Pastor Kelsey said ADRA

also provided help in other ways such as food hampers and clothing from the op-shop. “Anything we can do in the short term to get them back on their feet,” he said. “We help with bills and that

PHOTO: BROOKE DUNCAN sort of thing, the same as a lot of the other charities, but we don’t want to make our donation a needs test. “We want them to come and feel comfortable talking to us so we can help them.”

For more information or to get assistance, contact ADRA through their website or contact the ADRA op-shop in Chinchilla on 4604 6784 and speak to the manager Dom Chiappalone.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

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16 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

HELPING HAND: Pauline Hanson vowed to use her electorate allowance to help drought-stricken farmers.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Hanson prepared to use electorate allowance to help farmers Senator Pauline Hanson’s video offering drought assistance has captured attention Jacinta Cummins FOLLOWING her emotional video where she offered assistance to drought-stricken farmers, Senator Pauline Hanson said she was prepared to use her electorate allowance to help them. “If I do happen to use my electorate allowance to help one of them, I will do it and the people will support me for giving it to people who really need it,” Ms Hanson said. “If a couple of hundred dollars means a farmer can fuel his truck to get his cattle to market instead of shooting them, then I’ll do it.” The Senator spent two days in the Roma region in early November and said that people kept asking her where was the drought relief money. “They said ‘We know the money’s there, but it’s not

It’s not about the money for me, it’s about helping people who aren’t getting the help they need

getting through to the people who need it’,” Ms Hanson said. “I heard about a 13-year-old boy killing himself when his parents told him they couldn’t afford to buy him a pair of boots and another of a young fellow who was told his cattle weren’t in good enough condition to truck so he unloaded them, shot them and then shot himself. “Some of the people in Western Queensland have been in drought for years, but they aren’t getting help from the government. “They are telling me that they don’t have the time or the ability to fill out the forms. “They cannot access the funds if they aren’t up to date

on their taxation, so they are stuck in a catch 22. “It is absolutely disgusting. This money belongs to the Australian taxpayer and they want it to help those who most need it. “These people (farmers) are forced to fill out these forms at a time of distress when they are on their knees at the same time as we are giving money to corrupt nations such as Papua New Guinea which are spending it on Maseratis for the APEC summit. “We don’t make countries like Indonesia fill out forms, we just give it (money) to them when they need it. “It doesn’t gel with me and it doesn’t gel with the

Australian people.” Senator Hanson said her staff were available to help farmers complete forms and other paperwork and to help connect them with any other support services in their area. She said 20 people had approached her office for help since her video was uploaded to social media. “I’ve helped people personally with thousands of dollars, the cost of a pair of boots is not going to break me,” she said. “It goes beyond money. It’s about doing something for people and I have the resources to be able to do that. “That’s my job.”

Senator Hanson said while drought relief was necessary, it wasn’t a long-term solution. “It comes back to water,” she said. “If we were to put in the infrastructure to deal with water, we could drought-proof Queensland. “Droughts are caused because we haven’t got the infrastructure to capture the water and get it to where it needs to go.” Senator Hanson wants the government to build the Bradfield Scheme, an irrigation system designed by Queensland born civil engineer Dr John Bradfield. It would capture water that currently flows into the ocean from the Tully, the Herbert and the Burdekin Rivers and divert it across the Great Dividing Range into the Flinders River and then the Thomson River.

It would eventually fill Lake Eyre. The scheme was dumped in 1947 due to doubts over water flow figures and topography, but former premier Peter Beattie proposed a smaller version of it and Bob Katter is also a proponent. Senator Hanson believes the Bradfield Scheme could benefit nearly all of Australia. “Droughts are all about water,” she said. “Water belongs to everyone in this nation, it shouldn’t be privatised and we should build schemes to stop the water flowing back into the ocean. “The trouble is that we don’t have long-term vision from our politicians. “We need people in politics who want to look ahead and actually do something now to prevent droughts like this from happening again.”


GRAZIER & FARMER 17

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

$100 million to support type 1 diabetes patients in Maranoa

GOOD HEALTH: $100 million will supply type 1 diabetes patients with fully subsidised glucose monitoring devices.

in Maranoa. “This government made a commitment during the 2016 Federal Election to expand access to glucose monitoring products for children and people aged under 21 years,” he said. “We also lowered patient co-payments for blood glucose test strips, lowered co-payments for insulin pump consumables for concession card holders and expanded the insulin pump program for children from low income families.” More information on how eligible people can access these devices will be made is available at www.health.gov.au and www.ndss.com.au early next year.

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THE Coalition Federal Government has pledged a further $100 million to support patients with type 1 diabetes with fully subsidised glucose monitoring devices, Maranoa MP David Littleproud said. “In Maranoa, almost 8 per cent of our population are living with type 1 diabetes. This investment will let people get on with their lives and save up to $7000 a year,” Mr Littleproud said. “This move will expand free access to glucose monitoring devices through the National Diabetes Services Scheme for pregnant women, children and more adults with type 1 diabetes. “Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that

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18 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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GRAZIER & FARMER 19

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Keeping the dogs at bay Wild dogs are devastating farmers already struggling to keep their livestock going. Exclusion fencing has helped many in protecting against wild dogs, and last month the Queensland Government announced funding for the third round of fencing SOUTHWEST Queensland wild dog coordinator Skylar Kruger said a lot of people out west had destocked because of the drought and wild dogs. “The further west you go, the more people are destocked,” Ms Kruger said. “A lot of landholders have decided to switch from sheep to cattle because sheep are a smaller livestock and an easier target for wild dogs. But out here at the moment people are having calves killed by the wild dogs, so people are facing the same problems with wild dogs biting and killing their cattle. “It causes a lot of stress emotionally on the landholders. They’ve worked so hard to keep their stock alive during the drought and then the wild dogs come through and kill their livestock.

“It causes a lot of unneeded stress on their financial pocket and their mental health.” Ms Kruger said the exclusion fences had helped graziers protect their stock. “In larger cluster groups it’s a matter of clearing out the wild dogs within their fences,” she said. “People within the fences are seeing the benefits. I have heard people who have the fences up have gone back into sheep and have increased lambing percentages.” Wyandra grazier Peter Lucas has a 32,000ha property inside a 250,000ha cluster with 11 landholders. “We have cattle and merino sheep, although we haven’t got many at all because of the drought. We have 1700 sheep left here,” Mr Lucas said. “We’re in a very bad droughted area. My cattle have been on agistment for

about two years, so we have no cattle on our property and we’ve cut our sheep numbers right back and we’re just feeding everything that’s here. “The group that’s inside our cluster, the bulk of them are wool growers. We were all having problems with wild dogs.” Mr Lucas said before the cluster fencing they were trying to control the dogs through baiting and trapping, but the dogs would just keep coming back. “I am on quite a few committees and I’ve been involved with dog control since 2001. Myself and a few other graziers set up the Wild Dog Control Program for the Paroo Shire. It was one of the first coordinated control models for wild dogs,” he said. “In 2001, because of the number of dogs that were in

the shire, we had a few landholders going out of sheep. So we set up the coordinated program within the shire, which has left our numbers relatively low. We now have one of the lowest numbers of dogs in western Queensland.” Mr Lucas said even with exclusion fencing, baiting and trapping needed to continue. “There are quite a few cluster fences in Paroo Shire now, but fences don’t kill dogs so they’re just changing their location,” he said. “They’re hitting fences and pushing out into other areas where there might not have been dogs before. That’s one of the things we’re worried about, because not everyone will be able to afford to fence or want to be inside a fence. That’s why we still have to have programs outside the fences to manage the dogs as well.” Mr Lucas said many

landholders hadn’t had a chance to reap the benefits of the fences because of the drought. “Because of the drought in this area, no one has seen any difference in the amount of stock we can run,” he said. “But it’s nothing to do with dogs, we’ve just had no rain. We are sure we will see that benefit. We’re all certainly sleeping a lot easier at night time. We have enough other hassles with the drought and feeding, so it’s still taken one of the stresses out of our life.” Mr Lucas said the government funding had been helpful in getting more cluster fences up. “The State Government’s regulations on their funding allows a $2700 per kilometre subsidy for materials, but the landholder has to pay for the rest, including land clearing and construction of the fence,” he said. “The subsidy is probably

not quite 50 per cent of the material costs, it’s probably down to 40-45 per cent, but it all helps. “The material has gotten more expensive since we put ours up in 2016, but it’s good and will last a long time. The government announced round three recently. We’re hoping that’s an opportunity for more landholders to get involved.” Wild dog coordinator Brett Carlsson said the state government was providing $6 million for fencing. “Applications are open for regional organisations, councils and land management groups. It’s not open to individuals. They’re looking for organisations to roll out the funding, I believe SWNRM did in southwest Queensland last time.” More information about the funding is available at www.daf.qld.gov.au.

Peter Lucas said the cluster fence on his property is built on harsh rocky country.

PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

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20 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Col Gamble and Mick Harris.

A 150-year history of family ties and friendly smiles CUNNAMULLA’S 150th birthday celebrations brought people from all over the region and further abroad. It was a show of just how far reaching a little country town could be. The weekend-long event was packed with non-stop

activities for everyone to enjoy. Friday night was spent on the lawn outside Shire Hall for a concert and chance to catch up as people arrived in town. Saturday night’s ball was a throwback to years gone by for its attendees.

FUN FOR ALL: Daniel, Sophie, Charlotte, Chealse, Ky and Beth Drive.

Mark Hartley and Cory Morris.

Malcolm Coleman.

Leigh Higgins, Jenny Blair and Sandra McKay.

Brittany Taylor, Emily Conlin and Alice Martin.

Brooke McGlone, Ruby Anderson and Felicity and Kirsten Higgins.

Bronwyn Reading.

Members of the Cunnamulla and District Digger Race Club.

PHOTOS: SHANNON HARDY


GRAZIER & FARMER 21

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 westernstarnews.com.au

Tammy Duckworth.

Steph Anderson, Teleigha Tuck and Sophia Meland.

Emma Clark and Elizabeth Reid.

Nik and Gary McDougall.

Jessica Oakden, Ainsley Clanchy, Sarah Hedge and Natasha Ball.

Yu Liu and Hanif Hamid.

Thomas Kruger and Remy Springfield.

Tanya McMahon, Lorette Johnson and Mary Webber.

Stephen Haines, Dana Simpson and Stephanie Haines. PHOTOS: JORJA MCDONNELL

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22 GRAZIER & FARMER

westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Warrego MP wants competition Even the Independent Auditor General has confirmed the State Labor Government is using electricity as a secret tax on regional Queenslanders, Ann Leahy says IN 2017/18, a report showed that returns to the state government amounted to $2.3 billion and yet the Labor Government only gave $1.1 billion back to Queensland consumers through various programs. Since 2014, the state government has collected $9 billion in dividends from state-owned power companies. Wholesale electricity prices have dropped by 40 per cent however the state Labor Government has passed on less than 2 per cent to consumers. The state government’s Queensland Competition Authority reports clearly show the benefits of competition in the electricity market for customers in southeast Queensland. The southeast of the state has been spoiled with up to 16 different electricity providers to choose from. In Thargomindah, Quilpie, Cunnamulla, St George, Charleville, Mitchell, Roma, Tara and Dalby we have just one electricity provider – Ergon Energy. This divide is not being addressed by the state Labor Government and regional Queenslanders have not had the opportunity to access the savings that the consumers in the southeast enjoy. Regional Queenslanders already

have to contend with higher costs of living and they don’t need the state Labor Government denying them the opportunity to access cheaper electricity. To add insult to injury, consumers in southeast Queensland are getting up to 20 cents per kilowatt/hour for their solar feed-in, more than twice the amount offered by Ergon Energy in regional Queensland. Regional Queenslanders are missing out on savings and better feed-in rates due to state government inaction. This will change should the LNP be elected to government. The LNP will introduce competition into the regional electricity market so regional Queenslanders have access to the benefits of competition. The LNP believes more competition in the market place is a way to drive down prices and should not be restricted to the southeast corner who are receiving up to $400 savings per year through competition. Only the LNP under Deb Frecklington’s leadership will stop the divide between the regions and southeast Queensland and drive down electricity prices.

NOT GOOD ENOUGH: MP Ann Leahy says the State Government is letting regions down on power prices. PHOTO: FILE

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GRAZIER & FARMER 23

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westernstarnews.com.au Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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Grazier & Farmer  

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