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TAS Country : November 11th 2010
8 Tasmanian Country Friday, November 12, 2010 News Free soil health session A FREE EnviroVeg in- formation session will provide Tasmanian veg- etable growers with the latest information on soil health and other environmental issues, and will outline practi- cal solutions. AUSVEG will hold the soil health information session at Longford on November 19. Plant pathology scien- tist Dr Ian Porter will join AUSVEG chief executive Richard Mulcahy, a Syngenta rep and AUSVEG en- vironment co-ordinator Darcy Boyd to outline the EnviroVeg program and the tools growers can use to improve en- vironmental outcomes on-farm. The free EnviroVeg information session is from 3.00-5.30pm on November 19 at the Longford RSL, 78 Well- ington St, Longford. UNDER THREAT: Australia produces more than one million tonnes of potatoes a year. Milne chips away at NZ import bid AUSVEG chief executive Richard Mulcahy has wel- comed support from Greens Senator Christine Milne, who briefed a Fed- eral Government com- mittee about Zebra Chip disease last month. New Zealand has applied to import fresh potatoes for processing into Australia, alarming potato growers around the country. Mr Mulcahy said Sena- tor Milne's briefing in- cluded AUSVEG's con- cerns about the serious risks presented by the re- quest for market access. ''If New Zealand potatoes come into Australia, we have good reason to fear our potatoes would be con- taminated with the devas- tating Zebra Chip disease, which is widespread in New Zealand, and could potentially devastate the industry if an outbreak occurs,'' he said. Senator Milne briefed the Senate Rural Affairs and Transport Committee last month. Federal Parliament meets next week and will decide whether to widen the inquiry. Mr Mulcahy said Zebra Chip disease complex had caused widespread de- struction in New Zealand and the US, costing the international potato indus- try millions of dollars. The psyllid infects po- tatoes with Liberibacter, the bacterium that causes Zebra Chip in potatoes. Reports have shown that the pest caused losses of $40 million to $60 million for NZ producers in 2008-09. Mr Mulcahy said disease rendered produce that managed to grow unsell- able. ''We've sent researchers to New Zealand to investi- gate the situation and to assist with the develop- ment of contingency plans here,'' he said. ''If Biosecurity Australia allow New Zealand access to export potentially dis- eased potatoes into Aust- ralia, they run the risk of devastating the local indus- try. ''This will drive the cost of potatoes up for con- sumers and result in tax- payers' money being spent to secure Australia's bio- security.'' AUSVEG is the national peak industry body rep- resenting the interests of potato growers. In 2008-09 Australian growers produced 1,178,534 tonnes of potatoes. w w w.australia.gov.au/paidparentalleave Parents 13 61 50 Employers 13 11 58 If you re a working parent expecting a child after January 1st, there s something else you can expect PPL1/M8 Taking time away from work for a new baby is a common part of working life. Paid Parental Leave will help parents spend time with a new baby, and help employers retain skilled staff. What is Paid Parental Leave? Eligible working parents of children born or adopted on or after 1 January 2011 may get 18 weeks Government- funded pay at the National Minimum Wage, currently $570 a week before tax, to help them care for a new baby. Am I eligible? Full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract and self-employed workers may be eligible. You must have worked at least 330 hours (just over one day a week) for 10 of the 13 months before your new baby arrives. You can have up to an 8 week unpaid break between two working days and still be eligible. You can earn up to $150,000 a year (individual salary) and still be eligible. Is it for both parents? Yes, usually the mother must apply for Paid Parental Leave. If you are eligible, you can transfer some or all of the pay to your partner (they need to be eligible too). The scheme gives families more options to balance work and family. When can I take it? You can claim up to three months in advance, and your pay can start at any time you choose from when your child is born or adopted. It will be paid in one continuous period from the start date and must all be taken within the first year after the birth or adoption. You are encouraged to apply early. What about employer-provided entitlements? Eligible parents can receive Parental Leave pay at the same time, before or after other employer-provided paid leave or entitlements. The existing minimum entitlement to 12 months unpaid parental leave for long-term employees is unchanged. What does it mean for employers? From 1 July 2011, employers must provide Government-funded Parental Leave pay through their usual pay cycle to eligible employees who have been with their business for at least 12 months. Other eligible parents will be paid through the Family Assistance Office. Where do I find out more? To learn more about Paid Parental Leave visit the website or call the appropriate number below. From 1 January 2011, Australia s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme will start. It s a new entitlement for working parents, funded by the Australian Government. Authorised by the Australian Government, Capital Hill, Canberra Advertisement
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