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TAS Country : May 10th 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012 Tasmanian Country 3 News Weather put on farmers' radar KAROLIN MacGREGOR STORM WARNING: Forecaster Malcolm Riley at the Mt Koonya radar tower. FARMERS in Tasmania's southern regions will have access to valuable weather information for the first time, thanks to a new weather radar. The new $4 million Mt Koonya radar has been operating for two weeks. Sitting on a specially designed 36.6m tower near Port Arthur, the radar provides detailed weather information for farmers in areas previously not covered by a dedicated weather radar. Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Malcolm Riley said the new radar will assist forecasters in tracking severe weather events such as storms and putting out more timely warnings if needed. Located on the Tasman Peninsula, the radar has the ability to track rain as it moves through the state's South- East, Lower Midlands, Derwent and Huon valleys -- all areas that Mr Riley said did not previously have good coverage. The radar is one of only a few high resolution doppler radars in the country. Mr Riley said the radar will be a valuable tool for farmers who want to find out how far away rain might be for activities such as spraying or fertiliser spreading. ''We can now get fantastic images right through the southern farming areas, from the Derwent Valley to the Coal River Valley and the Huon,'' he said. ''This information is something that farmers just haven't had access to in the past, so it should make things easier for them. ''Now they'll be able to look at the radar maps and see the cold fronts coming and act accordingly.'' To Page 4 Primary sector out in the cold ROGER HANSON Budget fails to deliver LUCY GREGG PRIMARY producers and exporters, the backbone of Tasmania's economy, were left out in the cold by this week's Federal Budget. The key for Tasmania's rural indus- try is what the Budget didn't say. Two critical areas for the state's exporters -- freight equalisation and quarantine fees -- were not covered. Fruit Growers Tasmania business development manager Lucy Gregg said the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) was an important issue for the state's exporters, which the Budget did not cover. ''We are still still seeking expansion on the TFES scheme to include north- bound freight for Tasmanian fruit exported ex-mainland air and sea ports,'' Ms Gregg said. She said a new Port of Melbourne charge, combined with the carbon tax, could add 6.5 per cent to Bass Strait freight costs. ''Also the new DAFF horticultural export inspection fee structure was not mentioned,'' Ms Gregg said. ''We are still waiting on the fee structure which is supposed to come into operation on July 1. We still have no announcement on that and it has the potential to significantly effect Tasman- ian fruit exports for the 2012-13 season.'' Tasmanian Opposition spokesman on infrastructure, Rene Hidding, said Tasmanian exporters needed a fair, equitable system to help overcome the state's physical isolation. Tasmania's peak farm business or- ganisation warned that the subtext of the Federal Budget for Tasmania soun- ded alarm bells for the state economy two years down the track. Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis said the forward estimates showed that by 2015-16 West Aust- ralians stood to retrieve only 30 per cent of the GST that they paid, whereas Tas- manians would expect to receive more than 140 per cent of what they paid. The cur- rent figures are 55 per cent and 160 per cent respectively. ''That's simply not a tenable pos- ition,'' Ms Davis said. ''The writing is on the wall. ''Increasingly, we are going to have to learn to stand on our own two feet and we don't have a lot of time to examine the options for doing so. ''This should be really sobering for all Tasmanians. ''We have been telling the Govern- ment repeatedly that agriculture is the mainstay of the Tasmanian economy and has to continue to be so. ''It is what we do best here. It is what Tasmania should be all about. ''What we have to do is to grow the business. To Page 4 TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania Tasmanian Alkaloids are expanding our growing area this season. Talk to your local TasAlk Field Officer, or Phone 6393 5202 2058341-120413 Midlands farm being investigated ROGER HANSON BEN STURGES A SHEEP property in the Midlands is under investi- gation by the RSPCA for possible animal welfare abuse. The RSPCA is being as- sisted by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environ- ment in the investigation. No charges have been laid. RSPCA Tasmania chief executive Ben Sturges said the investigation had been ongoing several months and there were several thousand sheep on the property. ''We had reports of po- tential breaches of the Ani- mal Welfare Act on a prop- erty, resulting in our investigation,'' Mr Sturges said. ''This is an ongoing investigation. ''The Tasmanian farm- ing community is very proactive in relation to animal welfare, but unfor- tunately some cases slip under the radar. ''The RSPCA relies on community support and information to ensure high standards of animal wel- fare are maintained.'' 2009175-120511 Water trading in Tasmania - are you ready? 23rd May 2012 Hotel Grand Chancellor, Launceston Forum: 1.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. followed by AIA National AGM Networking dinner: 6.30 p.m. • What is Williams up to? • Valuing water • Successful irrigation for the long term -- water supply, trade and resource care • The future of water trading in Tasmania • Practical implications for farm planning • Supporting rural communities to successfully manage change (Professor Holger Meinke, dinner guest speaker) For more information and to register, visit our website: http://www.aginstitute.com.au/events/tas/water-trading Contact Donna Lucas 0438 396 347
May 3rd 2012
May 24th 2012