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TAS Country : February 9th 2012
4 Tasmanian Country Friday, February 10, 2012 Lamb ad scores 900,000 fans FIONA MYERS Sam Kekovich WHETHER lamb got its chop of the Australia Day barbecue market is yet to be known. But if hits on the pro- motion's YouTube clip are any indication, Aust- ralians love their lamb on their national day. The initial target for Sam Kekovich's Barbie Girl YouTube clip was 100,000 hits. But that figure had top- ped 920,000 by early this week. The clip, which features former AFL footballer Sam Kekovich, Justice Crew, Melissa Tkautz and a ca- meo by Channel 9's Ric- hard Wilkins, continues to notch up views. Industry analysts be- lieve the YouTube item cost at least $500,000 to make. Combined with a Meat and Livestock As- sociation advertising budget of $800,000, it brought this year's Aust- ralia Day lamb promotion to at least $1.3 million. An MLA spokeswoman said the final data on the campaign's success would be released later this month. News Tularaemia tick alert still in place KAROLIN MacGREGOR PERIL: Chrissie Pickin is urging bushwalkers to be on guard for ticks. Picture: ROGER LOVELL 'The overseas experience is that tularaemia can be difficult to confirm in animal populations' ---MARY LOU CONWAY TASMANIANS are being warned to protect themselves against possible animal tick-borne diseases after the discovery of two probable cases of tularaemia in the state. Deputy director of public health Chrissie Pickin said public health experts remained vigilant for new cases and were retrospectively as- sessing the case of a person who became ill after a tick bite on the West Coast in 2010. Health, biomedical and wildlife experts are continuing to gather information about how tularaemia may behave in the southern hemi- sphere. ''Through routine surveillance of communicable diseases, we have investigated a small number of suspect cases,'' Ms Pickin said. ''We have not identified any his- torical of further current cases that were definitely acquired in Tas- mania.'' There are two different types of tularaemia -- type A, which is found only in North America and causes severe illness, and the less severe type B, which is the strain suspected to have been found in Tasmania. Symptoms can include skin ulcers, painful and swollen lymph glands, a fever, infection of the throat, eyes, lung or bowels. ''While the illness was not typical of tularaemia, and the initial test results were not conclusive, we have sent further samples to an overseas laboratory in order to fully investi- gate,'' Ms Pickin said. ''We know from overseas experi- ences that tularaemia is rare in both animals and humans and only oc- curs sporadically and unpredicta- bly.'' Department of Primary Industries veterinary officer Mary Lou Conway said experts had tested more than 40 wildlife samples. ''The overseas experience is that tularaemia can be difficult to con- firm in animal populations as it only ever exists in a small proportion of animals,'' she said. ''Results to date have been nega- tive. We did not find any visible signs of illness suggestive of tularaemia among the animal populations in the remote rugged area between Zeehan and Queenstown during our wildlife survey.'' However Ms Lou Conway has warned Tasmanians to be cautious. ''We are still waiting on some test results and collecting more samples through other avenues as part of ongoing statewide surveillance for animal diseases,'' she said. ''But it is still important for all Tasmanians to take precautions when they are handling wild ani- mals, or going bushwalking or hunt- ing because animals and ticks can carry a range of disease causing germs.'' People are urged not to handle wild animals and if they must to wear long sleeves, gloves and to wash their hands afterwards. Anyone going bush walking is urged to wear insect repellent and long pants and sleeves. Any ticks should be removed quickly with fine tipped tweezers. To report as suspect infection of tularaemia call the public health hotline on 1800 671 738. IAN SMITH: This scheme will give farmers the opportunity to invest in a reliable water source that could help them develop their businesses into the future.'' Picture: CHRIS KIDD Farmers decide on future of irrigation scheme KAROLIN MacGREGOR THE future of the proposed Kindred North Motton Irrigation Scheme now rests with farmers in the district. The buy-in period for water in the scheme officially opened last week and minimum sales of 1500 megalitres will be needed to make the scheme viable. Project manager Ian Smith, from Tasmanian Irrigation, said farmers in the area had shown strong interest in investing in the scheme during an information session held late last year. ''We had about 45 people take offer documents home with them, so that's a really positive start,'' he said. ''Obviously with any of these pro- jects there are a lot of things farmers have to consider before they make a commitment to buy water, and that takes time.'' The scheme will deliver 2500ML of water to the area, which will help ensure water reliability for farmers who take up the offer. Water for the scheme will be sup- plied from the Paloona Dam and pumped up 265m from the Forth River. A holding dam will be built at Sprent and water for the scheme will then be distributed to farmers though a 48km network of underground pipes. Mr Smith said initial investigation into the potential water demand in the region had shown up to 12,550ML could be used each year. ''There is a discrepancy there, but the North West Coast does traditionally have reliable rainfall,'' he said. Water in the scheme will be sold for a capital cost of $1200 a megalitre and there will also be an annual charge per megalitre to cover the scheme's operating expenses. Mr Smith said water would be pumped to the Sprent holding dam during off-peak times to help keep down ongoing costs. The potential for irrigation to boost production in the region is significant. About 8483ha of irrigable land has been identified, of which about 90 per cent is class 1-3. ''It's a very productive area and this scheme will give farmers the oppor- tunity to invest in a reliable water source that could help them develop their businesses into the future,'' Mr Smith said. The expressions-of-interest period for water in the scheme will close on March 15. Farmers who want to buy water in the scheme will be required to pay either a 10 or 25 per cent deposit, with the balance required once the scheme is commissioned. ''We'll have to wait and see what sort of interest is out there,'' Mr Smith said. ''A lot of the guys in that area didn't have a good season last year, but you'd hope that farmers aren't going to make a decision like this based on their immediate cash flow but they will look to the future.'' He said if water sales met the scheme's minimum 60 per cent thre- shold, they would then move into the tender process for construction. 2059425-120210 FOR DEEPER SOIL PENETRATION INCREASE THE ORGANIC MATTER IN YOUR SOIL • Excellent seedbed preparation • E ective weed control • Proven ability to mulch and break down trash residue • 560mm discs are standard www.delmade.com.au FREECALL 1800 335 623
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