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TAS Country : August 5th 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010 Tasmanian Country 15 News Fire reforms to punish bush THE cost of electricity is set to skyrocket as farmers face major supply interruptions for six weeks each summer, under key recommendations of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Com- mission. The commission called for Victoria's single wire earth re- turn (SWER) and 22,000-volt power lines to be bundled or buried to minimise the risk of them starting bushfires. However, a recent Victoria Government workshop esti- mated this would cost up to $20 billion. More worrying for farmers is the commission's call for the 1000 automatic circuit reclosers on Victoria's SWER lines to be manually disabled for six weeks at the peak of every fire season. Victorian Farmers Feder- ation president Andrew Broad said these SWER lines were crucial in delivering power to water pumps and cooling sys- tems on farms. The Weekly Times New bio-watch body seeks funding hike KAROLIN MacGREGOR HELP: Lucy Gregg THE newly formed Primary Industry Biosecurity Action Alliance says more State Government funding is needed to properly resource biosecurity and quaran- tine services in Tasmania. The alliance, which represents 15 primary-industry sectors and groups, says biosecurity is an issue affecting industries across the state, including tourism, and extra funding would be needed to make sure the state was adequately protected from growing threats. The alliance presented a report that included 22 rec- ommendations on improving the state's biosecurity to Pri- mary Industries and Water Minister Bryan Green last week. A key recommendation was the formation of a Primary Industry Biosecurity Consulta- tive Committee to assist the government on making policy and management de- cisions. Alliance spokesperson Lucy Gregg, from Fruit Growers Tasmania, said the recommendations were aimed at improv- ing the state's biosecurity, with better industry consultation a key issue. ''Obviously different industries have different priority areas, but I think we all recognise how important biosecurity is to all the industries,'' she said. ''The need for more industry consul- tation is one of our key recommendations --- the idea behind the committee would be to assist government [to] make decisions on biosecurity and quarantine to ensure that those services are as effective as possible, because often industry priorities differ from the government's.'' Ms Gregg said it would be impossible to inspect every freight container and pass- enger, but these were two main areas where threats to the state's biosecurity status could be introduced. The alliance represents in- dustries worth $1.5 billion to the state's economy. Another key recommen- dation put forward by the alliance was the need for recog- nition of Tasmania's unique biosecurity situation, in the form of a tripartite agreement at both a state and federal government level to give Tas- mania regional differentiation status. The alliance is calling on the Tasman- ian Premier to write to the Prime Minister to ask that Tasmania be formally recog- nised as a region of differentiation for biosecurity and quarantine, when the Federal Biosecurity Bill is debated. Some of the recommendations also focus on the need for reviews of existing systems. ''The risks . . . are changing all the time and we want to make sure that the systems of protection we have in place are keeping up,'' Ms Gregg said. Global pitch for Tassie farms REAL Estate agents have moved to sell Australian dairy farms to overseas buyers. Smithton real estate agent Betty Kay said dairying nations including India, Israel and Dubai found Tasmanian farms ''unbelievably desirable''. Ms Kay said she had 50 per cent more dairy farms listed for sale now than in August last year. She said she had started marketing dairy farms overseas in a bid to attract international interest. Ms Kay said marketing properties internationally could result in more dairy farm sales and could attract investment in the processing sector. She said this could create economic growth. ''The ideal situation is to sell locally in Australia, but if that is not happening we have to look elsewhere,'' Ms Kay said. ''Governments simply don't realise how valuable Tasman- ian rural land is.'' www.bayercropscience.com.au Bayer CropScience Pty Ltd, 391-393 Tooronga Road, Hawthorn East, Vic 3123. ABN 87 000 226 022 Technical Enquiries 1800 804 479 Ph 03 9248 6888 Fax 03 9248 6800 Prosaro is a registered trademark of Bayer. Prosaro is proving itself to be a great addition to the wheat and barley grower s toolbox. As a highly effective broad spectrum fungicide, you no longer need a shed full of products. 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August 12th 2010