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TAS Country : January 24th 2013
Friday, January 25, 2013 Tasmanian Country 7 Opinion In adversity we see the best TFGA matters with Jan Davis 'The most important thing to come out of this experience is the reminder of how we all work together in times of disaster to support not only family friends and neighbours -- but people we have never even met. ' EVERY cloud has a silver lining. It has been the best of times; and the worst of times. When people are in strife, deep strife, the human spirit shines through. When those people are your neigh- bours, your colleagues or your family, it's as close as it gets. Tasmanians have been heroic dur- ing the recent bushfires -- brave, generous, selfless, and tireless. Hopefully, the blazes are all behind us now and the recovery is under way -- but this will be a long process. As you may know, I was asked to be a member of the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce, headed by former chancel- lor of the University and common- wealth director of public prosecutions, Damian Bugg. That is, of course, recognition of farmers' losses; but it is also a significant indicator of how far the TFGA has come in the past few years in terms of its standing in the community -- and of the recognition of the important role our farmers play in Tasmania. It is still too early to put final figures on losses to farmers from these fires. We know that at least 10,000 livestock, mainly sheep, have been killed outright or have had to be put down. That is the worst job any farmer has to do. The cost of replacing hundreds of kilometres of fencing alone will be about $10 million. Orchards, plan- tations and vineyards have been de- stroyed. Pastures need to be re- established. The list goes on. Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has got in there and helped our affected farmers regroup after these devastating fires. Offers of assistance in kind and in cash have come from near and far; in many cases from those who are clearly not that well off themselves but have reached deep for others in need. Volunteers have been there at every turn -- delivering fodder, erecting fences, clearing away debris. Many businesses, including transport com- panies, committed resources and time, as well as making generous donations. The TFGA has taken a lead role in the aftermath of the fires as far as the farming sector is concerned. We have been coordinating both requests for help and offers of assist- ance to farmers through our special hotline number 1800 154 111. That became the focus for the work of our staff and members as they sought to match donations and offers of assistance with priority needs. We also established a special fund for farmers. Donations for farm specific activities can be made to a special TFGA account (BSB: 037-608, account number 52-7272.) In consultation with the Govern- ment, we've worked with organisations and individuals to make sure affected farmers have been looked after. The Department of Primary Indus- tries, Parks, Wildlife and Environment has been instrumental in this effort, with staff available to assist in many aspects of the recovery effort. TFGA and DPIPWE staff have wor- ked rapidly to gather information needed to trigger specific disaster relief funding provisions. Our thanks go to all those in both the Tasmanian and Federal governments who recognised this need and pulled out all stops to fast- track these processes. Category C grants of up to $25,000 are now available to affected farmers in the Sorrell, Tasman and Glamorgan- Spring Bay local government areas; and we're working to have them extended to the Central Highlands, Waratah-Wynyard and Circular Head areas. These grants can be used to help with cleaning up, debris removal, disposal of dead livestock and steps to ensure continuing production and viability. These funds are vital to getting our farmers back on their feet. On farms, time is of the essence and these grants will give farmers the confidence to start on urgent works without having to worry about how they will be funded. These fires were fierce and furious; and occurred early in the summer --- well ahead of what has been our traditional fire season. We've got some time to go yet before the fire risk is behind us, and everyone needs to be vigilant. We welcome the Premier's an- nouncement of an inquiry into the response to this emergency. There's a lot we have learnt from the response; and many things we all can do better in the future. The old saying about every cloud having a silver lining has been proven true in recent weeks. Without a doubt the most important thing to come out of this experience is the reminder of how we all work together in times of disaster to support not only family friends and neighbours -- but people we have never even met. And we should all be grateful for that community spirit. MEAT & LIVESTOCK AUSTRALIA The workshop will cover * The state and value of Tasmanian pastures * Managing sheep * Managing land * Managing feed resources * Managing the budget Be prepared for a practical, hands-on and interactive day. Locations: Wednesday 6th, "Norton Mandeville", Gretna 9am -4pm Thursday 7th, "Spreyside", Fingal 9am-4pm Friday 8th, "Carisbrooke", Tomahawk 8.30am-3pm Lunch provided, please register for catering Contact: Andrew Bailey on 0408 129 373 or email email@example.com By CoB Monday 4th February. 2028960-130125 Grazing with a Future San Jolly and Dr Rowan Smith Theworkshop will cover Making More From Sheep MAKES MORE POSSIBLE elders.com.au ECO100561 01/13 FIRST CHOICE IN LIVESTOCK MARKETING*
January 17th 2013
January 31st 2013