Call for rethink on yards

Brendan Abbey, spokesman for the consortium that wants to build a private regional saleyards at Mortlake.
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WARRNAMBOOL City Council (WCC) might need to rethink its forthcominginvestment in the Warrnambool saleyards, the proponent for a private regional saleyards at Mortlake says.

Brendan Abbey said he expected his private regional saleyards would attract between 30-40 per cent of the cattle throughput currently handled by the Warrnambool saleyards.

His comments follow WCC’s announcement last week that it was giving its long-term support to the Warrnambool saleyards at theirCaramut Road location.

The council’sdeclaration of long-term support for the Warrnambool saleyards follows two previous moves by the council to divest itself of the facility, the most recent in 2014.

The council’sefforts to divest itself of the saleyardswere abandoned following community opposition, including that from the Warrnambool Stock Agents Association.

Theassociation’s president Anthony Mahony said funding had been secured to install roofing over the Warrnambool saleyards’dirt yards.

He said an above ground watering system and a new compressor for the scales had also been recently installed at the saleyards.

Corangamite Shire Council this month also declared its support for its Camperdown saleyards, announcing it would invest this financial year in two capital projects at the saleyards worth about $10,000.

Corangamite shire had also previously explored the possibility of divesting itself of the Camperdown saleyards in favour of a private regional facility in the shire but no progress appears to have been made on that issue.

Mr Abbey said WCC’s declaration of support for the Warrnambool saleyards would not alter his consortium’s plans to build a $15 million regional saleyards at Mortlake.

“It’s still full steam ahead,” he said.

Mr Abbey said his consortium had gained support from stock agents in Hamilton, Camperdown, Colac, Geelong and Ballarat whosaid they would send livestock to its regional facility at Mortlake.

All of the saleyards in the south-west are operated by local government but Mr Abbey said his consortiumhad not asked any south-west councils to support the venture.

He said theconsortium aimed to have itsregional saleyards built by the end of next year and put through between 150,000-200,000 cattle a year.

Mr Abbey said it hadbought a 69 hectare (170 acres)siteat the corner of the Hamilton Highway and Connewarren Lane in Mortlake for the facility and was negotiating on another 36ha (90 acres) on which to build a quarantine facility for cattle for live exports.

The plan for the quarantine facility was for it to handlethe cattle sold at the regional saleyards for live export markets, he said.

Mr Abbey’s consortium, which comprises five Yass farming families and a solicitor, will next month open its $15 million regional South Eastern Livestock Exchange at Yass that will sell both sheep and cattle.

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Reforms cause concern for Bega

TAFE Illawarra is no more, with individual institutes dismantled and placed under the control of one streamlined provider.
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TAFE Illawarra is no more, withindividual institutes dismantled and placed under the control of onestreamlined provider.

Minister for Skills John Barilaro announced on Wednesday last weekthe state’s 10 TAFE institutes would become one overarching, multi-campus operation –part of “once-in-a-generationreforms”ofthe sector.

The change comes into effect immediately but it is unclear how TAFEIllawarra will be effected.

As part of the change a new digital education headquarters will be created in regional NSW to deliver more online and in-workplace training in a move the government says will expand TAFE’s reach and reverse the huge recent decline in enrolments.

TAFE Illawarra Bega campus Teachers Federation representative David Grainger is concerned the push towards online learning could have a negative affect on students and could also mean job losses at the local campus.

“The Bega campus is a fantastic resource and I would hate to see it downsized and for students to suffer,” he said.

Mr Grainger’s concerns lay in thatevery person learns differently and he believesstreamlining the approach could make TAFE more difficult for people who learn best with hands-on demonstrations and face-to-face discussions.

NSW Teachers Federation representative for Bega’s TAFE campus David Grainger at a “Stop TAFE cuts” forum in 2014.

“There are other parts to learning including access to a counsellor or a careers advisorand being able to go to a library and be assisted by a trained librarian,” he said.

“These other services can mean the difference between success and failure for many local students.”

The announcement last week did not go into detail on how it will be implemented and Mr Grainger said this is the main problem as he is “more worried about what wasn’t announced”.

Mr Barilaroassured the News Weekly on Tuesday, July 18, that there wereno plans in placetoclosethe TAFE Illawarra Bega campus.

“Where there is a TAFE today, there will be a TAFE in the future,” Mr Barilaro said.

“TAFE is not leaving town.”

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NSW Farmers: unanimous opposition to backpacker tax

NSW Farmers delegateshave votedunanimously to oppose the Federal Government’s 32.5 per cent backpacker tax hike and seek a new solution.
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A lively policy debate played outat the Association’s annual conference in Sydney this afternoon, with delegates’frustrations ringing clear overthe government’s stance.

Producers reeled whengovernment announcedin its 2015/16 budgetthat it would abolish the $18,200tax-free threshold on backpackers and set a flat tax rate of 32.5 per cent.

Farmers fearimpacts to seasonallabour supply and wastage ofunpicked fruit and vegetables, which the conference heard would “create a crisis” in the industry.

Today’sconference motion, put forward by the Association’s Bathurst branch and supported unanimously, called for renewed efforts to seek a“reasonable, measured”solution.

“I don’ think we can afford to lose this valuable workforce,” said Bathurst delegate David McKay

“I can tell you we will lose people to NZ – where they have a 10 per centtax rate.”

Delegates rejected anamendmentfora flat rate tax of 15 per cent with notax-free threshold – which isthe practice in the shearing industry.

An amendmentfor zero tax was also rejected.

Under current 417 working holiday visa conditions, backpackers are eligible for a tax-free threshold of $18,200 then pay a rate of 19pc up to $37,000 and 32.5pc up to $80,000.

In Maygovernment said it woulddefer the tax for six months until January 1 2017.

It’s estimated the average working holiday maker earns about $15,000 while in Australia.

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Community diary

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Friends of the hospital July cake stall, Wednesday, July 20, 8.45am until sold out. Wangaratta North East Health cafe. Phone: (03) 5722 5069.The Lions Club of Albury is holding a speaker meeting, Wednesday, July 20, 6pm for 6.30pm start at the Banksia A Room, Commercial Club. Speaker is Shelia Smith. Phone: 0438 658 213.Wednesday, July 20, dance lessons, 10.30am – noon. Entry $2,Old Time and New Vogue. Beginners welcome.Senior Citizens Hall, Havelock St, Wodonga.Ph. 6024 2865.Thursday,July 21,Dance 7.30 – 10.00 .Entry $5.Old time and New Vogue. Music by Adie.Senior Citizens Hall, Havelock St, Wodonga.Ph. 6024 2865Anxiety Support Group,3rdThursday of each month,Age Concern,432 Townsend St, Albury,6pm. Free, age:18+.The Association of Independent Retirees, Albury-Wodonga Regional Branch is holding its AGM on Thursday, July 21, 10am at The Albury Club, Kiewa Street.Speaker is the Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport The Hon Sussan Ley MP Member for Farrer. Door entry $4. Phone: 0438 658 213.Diabetes Week public event, Thursday, July 21, 7.30pm, Banksia A Room, The Commercial Club Albury, speakers, raffle with great prizes, all welcome. For more information phone: (02) 6043 1125.Murray Wheezers support group is celebrating Christmas in July on Thursday, July 21at the Birallee Tavern in Wodonga at 12:30pm.$25 for two course meal, partners/friends welcome, RSVP Thelma on 60433234.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Andrew Nabbout signs with Newcastle Jets: interview

OPPORTUNITY: Andrew Nabbout after signing a two-year deal with the Jets on Tuesday. Picture: Marina NeilANDREW Nabbout is back in the A-League with a point to prove after signing a two-year contract with the Newcastle Jets on Tuesday.
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The 23-year-old striker was cut by Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat in May last year and moved to Malaysian second-tier club Negeri Sembilan in December.

But Nabbout is back and eyeing off the Jets’ FFA Cup round-of-32 fixture against Victory at Magic Park on August 3 as a chance to show his former club and the rest of the league that he belongs in Australia’s premier competition.

“100 per cent. A lot of people wrote me off after I got released from Victory,” Nabbout told the Newcastle Herald after putting pen to paper on his contract on Tuesday.

“The first cup game now is against Victory, so I definitely have a point to prove as to why I should be here, and that’s exactly what I’m going out to prove.I’m here to show Newcastle fans why I’m here and why I should be here.”

Andrew Nabbout with coach Scott Miller at Jets training last week.

Nabbout played 36 games for Victory from 2012 to 2015, almost all of them under Ange Postecoglou before Muscat took over in 2013. He scoredfive goals atMelbournebefore joining former Jets defender Taylor Regan at Negeri Sembilan.

“It wasn’t really wrong,” Nabbout said of his limited opportunities under Muscat. “He had Berisha there, and he’s an unbelievable player and he has to be starting in any team, but I was bit disappointed not to get a go at all.

“Most of the time I was left out of the squad. I think I deserved to at least be in the squad, but everyone has their opinions.”

Nabbout wasNegeri Sembilan’s top scorer with nine goals in 14 games before being replaced mid-season by former Brisbane star Henrique last month.

“I did well in Malaysia. Unfortunately performances aren’t always what gets you over the line in those sorts of countries,” he said.

“It’s a lot to do with what happens off the ground.

“I left as top scorer and top assists, but I’ve got to bring that form into the A-League. This is where it counts now.

“I’m coming here not as a squad player but to push for a starting position, and obviously that’s what the gaffer wants.”

Nabbout said he had hoped to sign with another A-League club immediately after leaving the Victory but a combination of factors had worked against him.

“That’s what I wanted, obviously. I wanted it straight after being released from Victory, but it doesn’t really matter. I’m back now, and that’s what counts,” he said.

“I think most of the squads had players in my positions already.

“It was bad timing, and football iswhat it is. It’s a rough game in terms of everything off the ground, finding clubs and being released and stuff like that.

“The main thing is I’m back now with the Jets, and hopefully I can get stuck in pretty quickly.”

Supporters will get an early opportunity to see Scott Miller’s new acquisition in actionin Wednesday night’s friendly against the Northern NSW NPL Select side at Magic Park.

The Jets squad now numbers 21. Milleris expected to sign an overseas striker, a Chinese player and one or two more under-20 development players to complete his roster.

Meanwhile, left back Ivan Vujica has been cleared of serious injury after leaving training on a stretcher last week. The teenager has bad bruising on his ankle.

Jets squad: Ben Kennedy, Jack Duncan; Jason Hoffman, Daniel Mullen, Nigel Boogaard, Nick Cowburn, Ivan Vujica, Lachlan Jackson, Daniel Alessi; Steven Ugarkovic, Mateo Poljak, Ben Kantarovski, Wayne Brown, Devante Clut, Mitch Cooper; Andrew Hoole, Labinot Haliti, Morten Nordstrand, Andrew Nabbout, Andy Brennan, Radovan Pavicevic.

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SE drains in limbo

Livestock SA president Geoff Power fears for the future of the SE drain network.Livestock SA president Geoff Power says the lack of funding in the State Budget for repairand maintenance of the SE drains leaves the future effective operation of thenetwork in limbo.
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Mr Power said the additional funds required for the drains’ ongoing upkeep had not beenaddressed.

“The State Budget papers show an allocation of $2.293 million for the SE WaterConservation andDrainage Board – which has previously been committed by Minister forSustainability, Environment and Conservation Ian Hunter,” Mr Power said.

“However, the question is how much of that will be used for drains maintenance. LivestockSA’s understanding is that majority of the funds will be used for the board’s administrationcosts and that only one‐quarter, or about $600,000 a year, will actually go to drains repairand maintenance.

“The government has long known that more funding than the $2.2m committed was requiredto meet maintenance expectations and requirements. In 2015‐16, there was a $1.639minvestment in maintenance of the SE drainage system but there is no allocation for 2016‐17.

“In March 2015, the community panel – assembled by the government – rejected that the SEcommunity be directly charged to fund the ongoing maintenance and operation of thedrainage network.

“They argued the drains provided benefits to the whole state and, since itwas a state‐owned asset, the government should fund its ongoing maintenance andoperation.

“The drains will deteriorate and all that hard work and effort of previous years will be lost ifthere is no commitment.”

Mr Power said the budget showed there were funds allocated to the SE Flows RestorationProject, but this was a completely separate project to the maintenance issue.

“The project will construct new drains that connect the Blackford Drain with the Coorong tohelp with salinity management in the Coorong South Lagoon, enhance flows to wetlands inthe Upper SE and reduce drainage outflow at Kingston beach,” he said.

“There are some concerns with this project as well in terms of how effective it will be inachieving its goal, the quality and quantity of water that can be diverted to the Coorong, andthat maintenance of these new drains will be handed over to SE landholders to fund.

“Some landholders are concerned there could be major flooding of the drains over pasturesand that some smaller farmers will lose productive land that they cannot replace, impactingtheir longer term profitability.

“South East livestock producers really need to see some leadership and commitment fromthe SA Government to work with them to achieve the common goal of an effective andefficient drains network supporting an extremely productive area of our state – a significantcontributor to the state’s economy.”

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Boulia glory heads south

South Australia’s finest camel, Hook M Up proved too strong once again for the competition at Boulia when it came to the crunch.
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CHAMPION AGAIN: Jockey Chantelle Janesse steers Don Anesbury’s camel Hook M Up to victory in the 1500m Boulia Cup final. Photo: Jan Norton

Boulia’s own camel Uncle Bob had caused an upset by defeating Hook M Upin the heats of the 400m race on Saturday although with the top three qualifying for the final Don Anesbury may havebeen easing up his mount for the big one.

If that was the strategy it worked asHook M Up was the victor in the major event the 1500m Desert Sands Boulia Cup.

To a backdrop of misty rain and chilly air the seven-year-old camel ran the event in just under two and a half minutes, streaking clear of the field.

Hook M Up won by three lengths fromUncle Bob, which found the extra distance just too tough to handle.

Third was Jackie, fourth wasChief and fifth wasLazy Girl.

It was Hook M Up’s second successive Boulia Cup winafter the 2015 race was the first time Anesbury ran him over that distance.

With four local trainers involved, the local camel race was keenly contested.

In the end it was Spike who delivered the goods just holding off Mario.

Sneaky was a long way back in third andCheese and Whiskas finished fourth.

Arguably another local camel Marley was the story of the weekend.

After the previously unheralded beast wonits 400m heat on Saturday in a 20-year record time of 33.40 seconds, it went around the course even faster in the 400m finalon Sunday in a time of just under 33 seconds, smashing its own one-day-old record.

Even Hook M Up couldn’t live with it and was forced to run second.

Biscuit finished third withPete back in fourth.

Fifth wasUncle Bob.

The camel festival moves on to Winton this weekend for the final leg.

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Offal prices flex their muscle

A gourmet offal salad.DEMAND for high-value beef offal like tongue and skirt is holding strong in lucrative markets such as Japan, driven by the Korean barbecue trend.
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As prices for Australian product are pushed up by high cattle procurement costs, exporters appear to have been able to retain volumes to the higher-end offal markets.

Tongue prices are up 122.5 per cent year-on-year and thickskirt nearly 50pc, according to Meat and Livestock Australia’s latest co-product market report.

Tallow prices also gained ground.

At an average $878 per tonne ex-works for one per cent free fatty acid, tallow prices are up 29.1pc year-on-year.

However, across the range of non red meat parts, price variability is high, with year-on-year decreases of around 20pc for lungs, some tripe categories and beef lips. Sheep runners are also back by 73pc.

Beef exporters and market analysts said while the tight cattle supply in Australia was having some impact, it was international market conditions that determined prices for co-products.

Australian offal competes with the United States and Brazil in most markets and their prices and foreign exchange rates often determine how much residual demand comes to Australia, one processor said.

Report author Dennis King, Southern Downs Management Services in Queensland, said a large percentage of Australian tallow went to the renewable diesel refinery Neste in Singapore, where it competes with other products such as palm oil.

“Palm oil volumes are down due to drought in the big palm plantation nations, which has seen Neste shift more to tallow,” he said.

“These prices are strong but not records – just two years ago tallow was trading at $1000/t.”

Meat and bone meal prices have jumped from earlier this year but are steady year-on-year.

Demand from Indonesia has increased as a result of changes to import regulations but 60 per cent of MBM is sold domestically.

Lamb MBM is used in pet food and cattle MBM in poultry and pig feed.

“Demand is strong in line with growing poultry consumption, however the fact other protein sources such as soybean meal are favourably priced at the moment is having a balancing effect,” Mr King said.

Cattle hides are also stable, with NSW small yearling hides averaging $25.67 per hide, Queensland $25 and Victoria $28.

“The fall-off in the Australian dollar has kept domestic prices steady,” Mr King said.

“It has been the saviour for our farmers and processors as demand from our major market, China, has been under pressure.

“Hides in China are mostly used in furniture and the automotive industry and that type of discretionary spending is the first to go in an economic downturn.

“We are hoping the annual Shanghai Leatherfare at the end of August will spark increased demand.”

Overseas buyers savvyAUSTRALIAN offal competes with the United States and Brazil in most markets and their prices and foreign exchange rates determine how much residual demand comes to Australia, beef exporters say.

Co-products account for around 11 per cent of a slaughtered animal and have an estimated value of $1.7 billion per annum.

Australian offal used to make beef lip tacos in Mexico.

Meat and Livestock Australia says around 80 per cent of Australia’s offal is exported around the world, with Japan the single largest overseas market.

It’s latest co-products market report shows that beef offal prices have increased, while sheep offal is steady.

Export sales manager with NH Foods, which exports to more than 34 countries, Andrew McDonald said demand for tongue in Japan was on a steady upward curve.

“It is a traditional entree item and menus label it Australian product,” he said.

“Australia has a strong reputation for clean, green and safe product.

“Because supply has fallen away, we are now very close to the price point where these customers may shift to other suppliers.”

Mr McDonald said overseas customers were attentive to news of supply in Australia and had looked to ensure they secured inventory, which had seen some offal categories double in price since the start of the year.

Another major exporter said offal price movement was similar to beef price movement with export drivers determining prices based on competitor activity, market access rules and foreign exchange rates.

He listed new demand from Indonesia and the loss of the Russian market as the larger impacts in the co-products market in recent years.

New import rules for Mexico should see Australia benefit from more direct trade in the future, he said.

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Marine artwork: trash to treasure

From page 1:
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The sculpture is part of a series of works facilitated by the Ghost Net art project, a group that works with artists and communities to create art out of “ghost nets”and other rubbish collected from water and coastlines.

A lot of the debris that is beingused in this second ghost net sculpture comes from the left overs of Jidirah, and the idea for the blue swimmer crab was born out of the colours of the remaining debris.

The Natural Resources ManagementAlinytjara Wilurara (NRMAW) hasonce again been working with the people from Yalata along the coastlines near the Bight to collect debris to be used in the sculpture.

Ghost Net art project art directorSue Ryan said theproject hadbeen in the works ever since the sculpting of Jidirah the whale. The Ghost Net team were supposed to return to work on the project last year, but a change inco-ordinator for the arts and culture centre made organising difficult, so it was postponed until now.

“We’ve been working with marine debris since 2009 going to different communities and working with artists to do collaborative projects and often quite large sculptures,” Ms Ryan said.

“Doing this sort of things gets artists together and they learn new skills. When the objects are exhibited that helps raise awareness of marine debris as well.

“There’s been a lot of interest from galleries and the public and I think people just love looking at it and playing with it. It looks like rubbish –and it is rubbish –but when we start working with it people start to see it differently.”She said that she enjoys working with local artists to turn something negative into something beautiful and positive.

“It’s funny at the start people say that it’s just a whole lot of junk and wonder what we’re going to do with it and then when they see the finished project the say ‘wow, look at the colours’.

“When you do that it’s really reaching the public because people don’t want to hear about doom and gloom so if you present it in a positive way it’s really engaging.”

Ms Ryan is working with artists from the centre including Collette Gray and Jamie Newchurch, along with commissioned artist KarenHethey and project manager Kristen Bobyk.

The blue swimmer crab is expected to be displayed at the Our Mob exhibition in Adelaide, and will potentially be shown in other galleries in the future.

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Facts might be vexing, but they are crucial

“Facts are stupid things,” US president Ronald Reagan once said.
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He soon corrected his slip of the tongue and produced the correct quote, referring to facts as stubborn things, as per the original line from another US president, John Adams.

The original Adams quote remains pertinent to this day.

“Facts are stubborn things,” Adams said in 1770 while acting asa defence lawyer in a murder trial.

“And whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence …”

Cradle Coast Authority project officer Chelsea Bell shows some of the authority’s community and economic profile data material for the region.

Come to think of it, the Reagan (mis)quote remains pertinent too, given how much decision making is made regardless of, or even in spite of, the actual facts.

Most of us would have worked out that we make better decisions after a little research into the facts and some consideration of their implications.

Doing some homework on housing and vehicle purchases are some of the bigger financial areaswhen this applies, and it is also the case in how we interact socially.

Buying a house at a good price is one thing.

Buying a house at a good price when the roof is about to cave in is something else again, for example.

We know all this from our own lives, but often, it seems, political decision making is based on preconceived views and/or ideology, rather than facts.

Happily, the Cradle Coast Authority is doing its part forevidence-based policy and decision making.

It has invested in evolving economic and social data sets which can help build an accurate picture of the reality of the region.

Its work has potential to be vital to council and authority decision making, and potentially willalso prove to be a useful tool for business investment and for state and federal governments and their agencies.

It is all very well for someone to put up a proposal and seek business, council, state or federal cash.

Relevant, accurate data can serve to either underline the need orbusiness case for particular spending, or absolutely torpedo it.

The sorts of data the CCA possesses can teach us about our strengths and weaknesses, our abundance in some areas and our lacks in others.

It can help identify real needs and opportunities, and also expose dead ends.

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