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TAS Country : January 26th 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012 Tasmanian Country 5 News Bush restoration given cash boost LOCAL communities are being encouraged to apply for funds under the Com- monwealth $946 million Biodiversity Fund grants program. The program was nego- tiated as part of the Clean Energy Future Package. The funds are aimed at replanting bushland, re- storing native habitats in- cluding wetlands and re- ducing the impacts of weeds and feral animals. ''It is a great opportunity for Tasmanian NRM groups and community groups working to restore coastal vegetation, remove weeds and convert cleared plantation land back to native vegetation,'' Acting Greens Leader, Christine Milne said. Projects the Biodiversity Fund will support include: Establishing new bio- diverse plantings of mixed species that establish and re-connect well- functioning ecosystems. Revegetating the land- scape to improve con- nections between remnant native vegetation across public and private lands, particularly in the rural, coast and peri-urban land- scapes of Tasmania. Restoring native habi- tats peri-urban and coastal catchments. Enhancing the con- dition of native vegetation adjacent to existing key assets such as World Heri- tage Areas, RAMSAR sites or protected areas in the National Reserve System. Establishing and restor- ing wetland habitats. Reducing invasive species impacts. Applications close Janu- ary 31. Visit: http://www. environment.gov.au/clean energyfuture/biodiver- sityfund/index.html. input in Greens' report 'Essentially this is planning for money we don't have, or may never get. It seems like a case of counting your chickens before they hatch' ---JAN DAVIS creation of 3000 jobs in regional Tas- mania. The jobs would be created out of the $120 million promised as part of the forest agreement to fund economic diversification. Greens leader Bob Brown said the fund had the potential to create jobs in regional areas which would largely replace the 3500 jobs lost from forestry since 2008. ''However, there are no specifics that we can see about job creation in this report,'' Ms Davis said. ''TFGA has deliberately not made public comment on the content of the IGA because we have been told the agreement would not affect privately owned forests.'' Ms Davis said if the agreement did not go through and was not approved by both the state and federal parlia- ments, there would be no money. ''So it is interesting that Senator Brown is touting the potential of this fund, but then he is the one indicating if the agreement doesn't meet his expectations he will walk away from it. ''Essentially, at this stage, this is planning for money we don't have, or may never get. It seems like a case of counting your chickens before they hatch.'' Ms Davis said it was important to reflect on what the future of the forestry industry would be. ''Despite the rush to shut down the forestry industry, it is what the new- look industry will look like that should concern us. ''Yet nowhere in this report is there any mention of what Tasmania's sustainable forest industry will look like. This seems to be a take-it-or-leave- it scenario.'' Tasmanian Greens acting leader Tim Morris backed the report. ''Given the ongoing instability in the global economy, Tasmania cannot afford to pass up this opportunity to future-proof our economy by putting the forest industry on a sustainable footing and boosting economic activity and diversity in regional areas,'' Mr Morris said. Worth a few bucks to get in SADDLE UP: One of the state's top cowboys, Wade Rehn, shows his rodeo skills on Ice Pick. Picture: JIMMY EMMS ROGER HANSON THE renowned Ross Rodeo will again get the blood rushing with its action- packed program. Ross Rodeo Association secretary Dan Johnson said a crowd of more than 1200 was expected for a great family day at the 51st Ross Rodeo on Saturday February 4. ''The Ross Rodeo is in the middle of the rodeo season and competitors will be in full swing,'' Mr Johnson said. One of the state's top cowboys, Wade Rehn from Sheffield, will again be a top contender in the bucking bull event. Mr Johnson said the rodeo, which is organised by a non-profit committee, had put together an exciting program that would appeal to action-seekers as well as families. Mr Johnson said the livestock was in excellent condition. ''They definitely have had a good winter feed, which is a credit to the stock contractors,'' he said. The rodeo also appeals to the whole family and includes one of Tasmania's premier woodcutting events, the Tas- manian Government 1000. ''We are delighted the prestigious Tasmanian 1000 woodchop is back,'' Mr Johnson said. ''We are hopeful it will become a permanent event every year.'' Brian Fish will bring back a taste of yesteryear when he puts his classic working bullock team though its paces. Mr Johnson said the whole family should enjoy the dog high jump. ''This is a new event for us this year and should create interest,'' he said. Another feature will be the whipcracking display. To add to the variety of events, the Ross Rodeo includes a miniature trick horse, chainsaw sculptures and sideshows. ''For those who want to test their bucking skills, the mechanical bull is sure to challenge them,'' Mr Johnson said. There is a licensed bar. No BYO alcohol. ''We ask people not to bring their dogs because of the other animals at the rodeo,'' Mr Johnson said. The woodcutting starts at 8am and the rodeo starts at noon. Price for family $25, children under 8 are free. Farmers to have their say on hiring EMMA HOPE TASMANIAN farmers are being urged to have their say on Australia's em- ployment laws. The National Farmers Federation is calling on all farmers and rural em- ployers to have input on the impact of employment laws on their businesses. NFF Workplace Relations Com- mittee chair Charles Armstrong said the independent reviews of both the Fair Work Act and the modern awards gave employers their first opportunity to formally comment on the legislation since it was passed in 2009, and came into effect in 2010. ''The Government has announced two reviews into the Act and the awards, and we need farmers' input on the issues and challenges they face in working within them,'' Mr Armstrong said. ''In developing the NFF submissions to these reviews, we have developed two surveys for farmers to directly provide their feedback --- helping us to determine what changes farmers want to see. ''What we have heard from our members and farmers across Australia to date is that there needs to be greater flexibility around farm employment. ''Of particular concern are those aspects of the Act and the awards that impact on farming competitiveness, productivity and workplace flexibility. ''Farmers have told us that the onerous paperwork and red tape that employers currently have to wade through often impedes employment and, as a result, farmers have often been forced to invest in plant and machinery rather than hiring people. ''At a time when Australia's farms are facing a labour shortage of some 100,000 workers, compared with pre-drought levels, we need to be doing all we can to encourage employ- ment growth in agriculture, not ham- pering it. ''As a result, the NFF will be calling on the review panel to reintroduce fairness and balance into the employ- ment system.'' The surveys can be found at: www.nff.org.au/review, with re- sponses from farmers and rural em- ployers sought up until February 10. Farmers saddled with an indus- trial award system out of step with modern Australia, says TFGA, P8. TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania Please remove any hidden obstacles in your poppy paddocks while they can still be seen and ensure access is clear. Delays are costly for everyone. 2058225-120127
January 13th 2012
February 2nd 2012