Archive for June, 2019

   Jun 21

Tax breaks for farmers

Investment in dams across the country is a focus of the agriculture white paper.FARMERS doing it tough will get more tax breaks while almost half a billion dollars will be spent on dams across the country.
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The Abbott government’s long-awaited agriculture white paper will be released on Saturday by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce in the Victorian regional centre of Warrnambool.

The document commits $1.2 billion in fresh money for a slew of new programs and projects.

A national water infrastructure fund will have $450 million to improve dams around the nation, and $50 million has been set aside for planning and studies for potential projects.

But some $200 million of that fund is already committed in the northern Australia white paper.

Cash-strapped farmers will have their interest costs cut with banks to allow them to use money reserved for tough times as a business loan offset.

The new measures for the farm management deposit scheme will also allow them to minimise their tax and put more money aside to draw down on when they’re struggling financially.

While farmers will be encouraged to prepare and deal with periods of drought themselves, the government will give them a leg up by boosting counselling services and extending its cheap loans scheme.

Up to $250 million in drought concessional loans will be available every year for 11 years.

The document also confirms the appointment of a new umpire within the competition watchdog to help farmers settle supply disputes with supermarket giants.

There’s also money to fund studies into farm co-operatives and collective bargaining.

Food safety will also get a $200 million biosecurity boost for the detection of contaminated food and hazardous pests.

Five new agriculture officials will be based overseas to improve trade relations.

Mr Abbott believes the document delivers practical ideas to keep agriculture profitable and producers resilient.

‘‘It’s an investment in our farmers,’’ he said.

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   Jun 21

Events cash in

The Curry Merry Muster Festival is one Cloncurry event which will be aided by Community Support Drought Affected Areas Initiative funding.CLONCURRY Council has received $115,000 to help build community resilience and foster spirit from the Department for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services under the Community Support Drought Affected Areas Initiative.
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The funding is made available through the Department’s Community Support and Sector development program.

Chief executive officer David Neeves said the council had made the decision to distribute the funds to existing community organisations and events.

“James Cook University studies found that social events are pivotal to building community, spirit, resilience and alleviating the feeling of isolation,” said Mr Neeves.

“A large portion of our population are on remote stations; the nature of the grazing industry is not a 9am to 5pm job, and many men and women in the district commit their lives to grazing.”

“Social events, clubs and organisations, like the Cloncurry and District Show and the Burke and Wills Campdraft, are a few of the opportunities that enable people scattered far and wide to come together,” said Mr Neeves.

The groups and events that received funding include;

●Cloncurry and District Show Society.

●Burke and Wills Campdraft.

●Cloncurry and District Race Club May Meeting.

●Rockhana Gem and Mineral Festival.

●Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft.

●Quamby Rodeo.

●Curry Merry Muster Festival.

●Dajarra Rodeo.

●Curry Cats Triathlon Club.

●Cloncurry Clay Target Club.

●Cloncurry Rugby League.

●Cloncurry Rugby Union.

●Cloncurry Football Club.

●Australia Team Roping Association – Cloncurry.

●Cloncurry Queensland Country Women’s Association.

●Cloncurry Amateur Swimming Club.

●Cloncurry Arts Society.

●Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association.

●Cloncurry Pony Club.

The council has allocated funding to run programs in the community, including;

●In the Bin Film Festival.

●School holiday programs.

●Cloncurry Christmas Festival.

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   Jun 21

Correctional officer endorsed to run as candidate

Norm Jacobsen
Nanjing Night Net

NORM Jacobsen has been endorsed as the Labor candidate to tackle Bob Katter’s grip on the seat of Kennedy at the next federal election.

The Atherton Tablelands Correctional Officer is among the latest group of candidates to join Bill Shorten’s federal ALP team, ready to take the fight to Tony Abbott in the key battleground of north Queensland.

A 46-year-old father of two adult children, Mr Jacobsen lives in Mutchilba, having called the Kennedy region home his entire life.

Born in Innisfail, Mr Jacobsen has lived in a variety of Kennedy townships, including Herberton, Atherton, Gordonvale, Tolga and Mareeba, before settling in Mutchilba.

Mr Jacobsen also tried his hand at several occupations, including being a tradesman, farmer and small business owner, before settling into a career as a Custodial Correctional Supervisor at Lotus Glen on the Atherton Tablelands, where he has worked for the past 18 years.

“I’m honoured by the opportunity to stand for Labor for a chance to represent Kennedy and ensure the concerns of our electorate are heard loud and clear down in Canberra,” said Mr Jacobsen.

“We have local businesses closing and rising unemployment due to the mining downturn.

“Yet all we hear from sitting member Bob Katter and the Abbott LNP government is a lot of big talk and very little action.”

ALP Queensland State Secretary Evan Moorhead said Mr Jacobsen would be a hard working representative for the vast electorate of Kennedy.

“Norm will be a great addition to Labor’s team in the north,” he said. “His extensive knowledge of the region’s communities gives him the first hand experience needed to be a strong voice for the people of Kennedy.”

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   Jun 21

Motorists beware: Kangaroos out in force

NOT ROAD SAVVY: Smash repairers are being kept busy with more kangaroos on Hunter roads.Hunter motorists are dicing with death when they take to the roads at dawn and dusk with an over abundance of kangaroos out in search of food.
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Smash repair businesses are experiencing a spike in roo-related car repairs with one Cessnock business reporting between three to six kangaroo-versus-car jobs each week.

Wildlife experts say food is plentiful for kangaroos following good rain across the Hunter, bringing roos out to feed, particularly when they are most active at dawn and dusk.

The increase in the number of car accidents involving the marsupials has prompted Central Hunter police to issue a warning to motorists to slow down.

Maitland duty officer Inspector Glenn Blaine said motorists should lower their speed and drive to the ­conditions, particularly early in the morning and at sunset.

“If you know you’re driving at those times and you know you’re in an area where kangaroos are prevalent, then slow down,” Inspector Blaine said.

Cessnock Smash Repairs owner Greg Gearing knows only too well the damage roos can cause.

He hit one, then hit a tree on Palmer’s Lane at Pokolbin recently and his car was a write-off.

“We do get an increase of roo repair jobs during winter,” he said.

“They can range from small $2000 jobs to $12,000 or write-offs,” Mr Gearing said.

He said kangaroo damage to cars accounted for about 15 per cent of repairs at his business.

Hunter Valley Zoo zookeeper Amanda Chisholm said kangaroos were more active during winter than in the warmer months, when they retreat to find shade to stay cool and sleep.

“While they are not nocturnal, you rarely see them during the middle of the day because they are resting,” Ms Chisholm said.

She said the Hunter was alive at present with wallabies and eastern grey kangaroos.

“They’re not very smart, they are unpredictable and they will just jump out in front of you,” she said.

“If there is a drought you rarely see them, but now we have had rain and food is plentiful they are out in droves.”

Ms Chisholm warned motorists not to approach injured kangaroos because they can become aggressive, with the more mature animals weighing up to 80 kilograms.

She said the best thing to do was to ­contact the local branch of the Native Animal Trust Fund.

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   Jun 21

Port Kembla finally gets a doctor

Dr Aase Pacey will open a practice on Wentworth Street, Port Kembla. Picture: SYLVIA LIBERPort Kembla: the doctor will see you now.
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After six years of being forced to travel to neighbouring suburbs for the services of a doctor, the 4800 residents of the Illawarra’s port suburb have a GP of their own.

Swedish GP Dr Aase Pacey will open a practice on Wentworth Street later this month, after more than two years spent gaining her Australian accreditation and meeting government criteria.

Dr Pacey, 42, has undergone additional training in women’s and children’s health and intends to make this the main focus of her practice.

For largely economic reasons, she will offer bulk billing only to patients aged under 18 or over 65.

“I provide a service completely different to what you get at bulk billing medical centres – long-term solutions,” she said.

“I’m engaged, and I want to provide continuity and because I provide that I will have to [charge] a fee because otherwise I will not be sustainable.

“People who wan the quick “in and out” [consultation] can still go to the medical centre in Warrawong, but if they’re looking for something else – and I think a lot of people are – then I care about them as individuals. I really do – that’s what I get out of it.”

There has not been a GP in Port Kembla since Dr Brian Stein retired in 2009.

Dr Pacey and her Australian miner husband Richard, of Queensland, moved from Sweden to Australia in 2010 and were driving from Sydney to Melbourne when the Illawarra escarpment caught their eye.

With their two young children they moved to the region in July, 2012. Ten days later, Dr Pacey saw a story in the Mercury in which Port Kembla community leaders spoke of the “chronic need for a doctor” in their suburb.

“I have a resident who is 73 and has emphysema,”Domma Porcella, of the Fitzwilliam Street boarding house, said then.

“I have another old chap who has had major heart surgery, has two artificial hips, one artificial knee. Some of these people can’t walk a few paces, let alone to Warrawong.”

Dr Pacey’s practice will open at 109 Wentworth Street on July 20.

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