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TAS Country : August 11th 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011 Tasmanian Country 3 News Flood of fears over plantings SOAKING WET: Heavy rain caused flooding in properties along the Midland Highway. Pictures: ROSS MARSDEN MIKE DOYLE KAROLIN MacGREGOR UNHAPPY CAMPERS: The Macquarie broke its banks at Ross, threatening the town's caravan park. Some of the cabins were sandbagged. FARMERS across the state will be anxiously watching the skies over the next few weeks as the planting and cultivation season gets into full swing. A week of wet weather and flooding has slowed down ground preparation in many areas, but farmers are hoping the good rains will set them up for a bumper cropping season. GlaxoSmithKline re- search and field operations manager Mike Doyle said some of the company's early poppy crops were already in the ground. ''It's been quite wet in the last 10 days or so and that will have slowed things down a bit,'' he said. ''The most important thing now is for growers to get the ground preparation right, when the weather allows, because that's the most critical part of the whole season, making sure the crop gets off to the best possible start.'' Mr Doyle said once pad- docks were prepared, it would not take long to plant this year's 8000ha crop. ''We've got plenty of drilling capacity, so that's not an issue, we just need growers to get the prep- aration side of things right, as soon as there's a break in the weather,'' he said. Mr Doyle said with water storages on most properties now overflow- ing, they were looking for- ward to a good season. Tasmanian Alkaloids field operations manager Rick Rockliff said while this winter had been wet so far, it was still very early in the planting season. Mr Rockliff said August was traditionally a wet month and there was no cause for concern yet that the company's planting schedules would be de- layed. A low pressure system that lingered near Tas- mania this week brought torrential rain and flash flooding to parts of the state's North-East. For the fourth time this year farmers were forced to move stock to higher ground, and fences and some crops were inun- dated as rivers including the North Esk, South Esk and the Macquarie River flooded. Several roads were clo- sed after between 20mm and 50mm fell across large parts of the North-East on Monday and Tuesday. Mt Victoria received the area's highest fall of 141mm in the 24 hours to 9am on Tuesday. Pyengana also received heavy falls, with 103mm in 24 hours. Forestry farmers done over' Angry TFGA chief seeks compensation KAROLIN MacGREGOR THE Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association says private forest owners unfairly caught up the in Intergovern- mental Agreement must be compen- sated. TFGA Chief Executive Officer Jan Davis said she had been shocked and angered when details of the agreement came to light on Sunday, less than 48 hours after being reassured by Premier Lara Giddings that private forestry owners would not be impacted. ''It's beyond belief,'' she said. ''The whole way through this process we have been saying don't forget about us and were told not to worry, that private forestry would not be affected, and now we find out that was totally untrue and instead private forestry has been com- pletely done over.'' Ms Davis said private forest owners had already borne the brunt of costs involved with the two previous forestry agreements, the Community Forest Agreement and the Regional Forest Agreement, and they were not pre- pared to pay this time. ''This issue has created more frus- tration and concern among our mem- bers than any other issue in the time I have been here,'' she said. ''We've got private forestry owners now in a 25 to 30- year logging rotation wondering what they are going to do.'' Under clause 31 of the Intergovern- mental Agreement private forestry operators will be required to achieve certification standards with either the Forest Stewardship Council or the Australian Forestry Standard, or they could be denied access to markets. ''That is a direct intrusion into the free market. We cannot tolerate that,'' Ms Davis said. ''It would make us answerable to a new forestry regime elite, none of whom have invested their own hard- earned money in owning and manag- ing forestry resources.'' There are about 1600 farmers across the state who have about 885,000ha of private forestry. So far just one farmer in the state, Peter Downie from Bothwell, would have appropriate certification under the Forest Stewardship Council to continue to operate under the IGA. Ms Davis said the agreement was effectively going to kill off a $1 billion a year industry, which would be rep- laced by a measly $120 million in compensation over 15 years. ''The problem is the people who are negotiating these deals are not account- able, they are not elected and they're sitting behind closed doors coming up with deals that are going to have a huge impact on whole communities, not just the people who actually own or work in forestry, this will flow through to the whole Tasmanian economy,'' Ms Davis said. ''The Greens feign outrage at the lack of formal reserves in the agreements, but they have what they want, so far. '' They have already flagged that their agenda will inevitably move on to private forest and bans on plantations. So what certainty does the private forestry sector have?'' While the IGA had only just been signed, farmers were already being impacted by the closure of the Triabun- na woodchip mill which had taken away an important market oppor- tunity, she said. ''We have said all along that private foresters have already paid for the two previous agreements which has cost millions of dollars and we are not going to pay once again for a community decision, the costs will have to be recovered and they will have to be paid for by someone else this time,'' she said. Mr Davis said the TFGA would now seek more detailed information about what the full impact on private forestry would be. ''I don't particularly care who I meet with, but we need more information. ''This is not just a bad deal for farmers, this is a bad deal for Tas- mania.'' 2034287-110715 TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania Soil test now for correct fertilizer application Slinkskins Pty Ltd ATTENTION FARMERS We will be resuming our collection service of dead baby lambs and dead new born calves this season. Take part in this environmentally friendly collection service and get paid for your lamb and calf losses. Our collection system remains unchanged. For further information or to arrange pick-up please phone LEO ROWLANDS Phone 6362 2619 Mobile 0428 198 965 2009840-110603
August 4th 2011
August 18th 2011