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TAS Country : February 23rd 2012
Friday, February 24, 2012 Tasmanian Country 5 Port pirates hit Tassie farms We will see some significant increases and along with the freight charges the viability of some enterprises will be tested.' ---LUCY GREGG,FRUIT GROWERS TASMANIA ROGER HANSON TASMANIAN farmers are up in arms over moves by the Port of Melbourne to impose a $75 million licence fee. The new costs have angered Tas- mania's primary producers as the bulk of the state's primary produce is exported via the Port of Melbourne. Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief Jan Davis said any hurdle that lessened the state's com- petitiveness was always a concern. ''The new fees puts the state's far- mers at a disadvantage. They now have an extra cost even before they get to sell their product,'' Ms Davis said. Ms Davis has called for the Federal Government to review the freight equalisation scheme. She said the intent of the scheme was to treat Tasmania as if it were linked to the mainland by a highway, so it would not be disadvantaged by shipping. ''This is not what we have now,'' Ms Davis said. Fruit Growers Tasmania business development manager Lucy Gregg said all of Tasmania's fruit was shipped to Melbourne. ''It is a concern. This extra cost burden will affect all fruit growers,'' Ms Gregg said. ''It is also important to keep in mind the combined effect with the carbon tax that becomes effective on July 1. ''We will see some significant in- creases and along with the freight charges the viability of some enter- prises will be tested.'' The Federal Government provides $130 million a year in funding for shipping as part of the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme. But the scheme does not apply to exports. Tasmania is dependent on the Port of Melbourne. It is the arterial route through which much of primary sector trade passes. Infrastructure Minister David O'Byrne wrote to the Victorian Government arguing the impost on Tasmanian business could be chal- lenged as a breach of competition law. The Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Skills, Paul O'Halloran, said Tasmania was now at a competi- tive disadvantage through no fault of its own. He said Australian Greens leader Bob Brown had had further discussions with senior officials of the Gillard Government in pursuit of freight equalisation, seeking practical measures to aid Tasmania. ''At present, freight subsidisation benefits some imports into Tasmania but not exports,'' Mr Brown said. ''This problem has been exacerbated by the closure of direct shipping from Tasmania to Asia.'' The fees could cost Tasmania's economy up to $20 million a year, the Tasmanian Freight Logistics Council says. Bass Strait is already referred to as the most expensive stretch of water in the world. Shipping a 6m container from Mel- bourne to Hobart costs about $1500 in sea freight charges, compared with about $600 from Melbourne to Auckland and $850 from Melbourne to Hong Kong. Tasmanian Freight Logistics Council chief executive Rob McGuire said the Victorian Government was imposing a tax on the Port of Melbourne, which would then be passed on to users. ''We'd argue it's a prima facie breach of the Australian Constitution as a restraint of trade between the states,'' Mr McGuire said. ''Ninety eight per cent of goods in and out of Tasmania go through Port of Melbourne.'' News Better Magic sales give breeders a boost MAGIC: A bay colt from Robyn Whishaw's Armidale Stud at Carrick. Picture: ROSS MARSDEN KAROLIN MacGREGOR Continued Page 19 AN IMPROVEMENT in clearance rates at this year's annual Magic Millions Tasmanian yearling sale has given local breeders a boost. The clearance rate at the sale was about 75 per cent, a 10 percentage point jump on last year. A filly bred at Alva Stud topped the sale, selling for $60,000. Sired by Musket and out of the mare Di's Angel, the filly was bought by Tasmanian company Semba. The sale was well supported by mainland trainers, most of whom went home with horses. Second top price of the sale was $55,000 paid for a filly bred at Brooklyn Park stud at Evandale. Sired by Bon Hoffa, the filly is out of the mare Antonia's Gold. It was purchased by Star Thoroughbreds from New South Wales. Robyn Whishaw from one of the state's biggest thoroughbred breeding operations, Armidale Stud at Carrick, said the average price across the sale was still too low at about $11,000 but Tuesday's sale had been better than expected. ''I think the lower numbers made quite a difference this year, and the clearance rate was up, which was great to see'' she said. ''The market just can't absorb the bigger numbers we've been trying to sell the last few years.'' Mrs Whishaw said they were pleased with how the Armidale horses had sold and an average of between $17,000 to $18,000 was more sustainable. ''We like to get an average of between $18,000 to $20,000, otherwise it's just not worth doing because we're losing money,'' she said. ''We had a good sale this time which I wasn't expecting, but I know there would still be some breeders out there doing it tough.'' XAV30648/0212_C PRODUCT RECALL Rotate Oral Drench for Sheep and Lambs 20 Litre (APVMA No. 51596) Batch Numbers: 9063, 10027, 10072, 11054. Product Sponsor: Novartis Animal Health Australasia Pty Limited Reason for Recall: Novartis Animal Health has determined that the above batches of Rotate Oral Drench for Sheep and Lambs 20L have been manufactured using active ingredients from an unapproved source. Hence, in consultation with the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), Novartis is voluntarily recalling these batches. Remedial Action: Product with the above batch numbers should immediately be returned to your point of sale for a refund from the retailer. Retailers should contact Novartis Animal Health to arrange collection of any product with the above batch numbers. Consumer Information: For further information contact Novartis Animal Health on 1800 633 768 or at email@example.com. Novartis Animal Health sincerely regrets any inconvenience caused by this product recall. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) ABN 11 005 357 522. ANZ s colour blue is a trade mark of ANZ. ARC0012/TSC anz.com/inasia Do more than bank in Asia. Do business. ANZ connects you, wherever you re doing business across regional Australia and Asia Pacific. Contact James McKeefry on 0423 024 503.
February 16th 2012
March 8th 2012