Water inquiries: Cotton Australia working on behalf of industry
Following negative media stories on the irrigation industry, Cotton Australia has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure the voice of growers and others in the industry is heard by key opinion leaders.
Crucial research & policy priorities discussed at General Meeting
At Cotton Australia’s General Meeting, held in Sydney last week, member representatives gave important feedback to the organisation and CRDC on grower preferences for research priorities.
Cotton Australia hosts Young Farming Champions
Cotton Australia was proud to host the latest Young Farming Champions (YFC) on a visit to Sydney this month. The Cotton Australia team gave the YFCs an update on important issues facing the industry, how we operate and collaborate with other industry organisations, and also spoke about our crucial programs such as Cotton To Market and advocacy on behalf of the industry.
Click 2.0: submit your entries
The Click 2.0 photo and video competition is underway, with entries coming in from around the industry, showcasing cotton production in every valley. The competition represents a great opportunity to capture the progress of your 2017-18 crop with your best snaps. Everyone is encouraged to submit an entry – regardless of ability, this is an opportunity to show your passion and enthusiasm for the cotton industry. Click 2.0 has three categories:
- Aussie cotton people (photos)
- Aussie cotton landscapes (photos)
- The moving image (videos)
Central Queensland Irrigation Big Day Out
Earlier this month growers from the Central Highlands and Dawson Valleys banded together to host the ‘Central Queensland Irrigation Big Day Out’. The event gave participants an insight into the opportunities available from irrigation schemes and the way growers and producers strive for water use efficiencies. Highlights included a tour of bankless irrigation systems at Cowal Agriculture and Neek and Robyn Morawitz’s ‘Argoon’ and ‘Windy Hill’ farms, and a visit to Ian Waters’ macadamia nursery. Attendees heard from growers and consultants on the development and management of irrigation systems, the myBMP program and Better Cotton Initiative, and nitrogen optimisation from CRDC-funded researchers. The event was hosted by the Central Highlands Cotton Growers’ & Irrigators’ Association and the Dawson Valley Cotton Growers Association.
Changes to NSW, Qld biosecurity legislation
New changes to biosecurity legislation in NSW and Queensland will have important implications for cotton growers, consultants, researchers and contractors. With the commencement of the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015 (1 July 2017) and the Queensland Biosecurity Act 2014 (1 July 2016), all individuals whose activities create biosecurity risks now have a legal responsibility to manage these risks.
Under the new legislation all cotton growers, consultants and other industry representatives are required to ensure that all biosecurity risks under their control are managed, including reporting prohibited and restricted matter to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.
Examples of how the new biosecurity legislation applies to cotton growers, consultants and researchers in Qld and NSW can be found here;
Cotton Australia encourages growers and contractors to familiarise themselves with the new biosecurity legislation in their state, in order to help ensure good production practices which are important to protect the industry from pests, diseases and weeds.
Mobile black spot program: funding round now open
Applications are now open for the Priority Locations funding round of the Mobile Black Spot Program. The round is designed to improve mobile coverage for Australians in priority locations already announced by the Government. The Government is seeking suitable applications from the mobile industry to improve mobile coverage for another 106 locations through a competitive tender process. Addressing mobile black spots is a core issue in Cotton Australia’s telecommunications policy strategy.
NSW heavy vehicles regulations change
The Additional Access Conditions for oversize and overmass heavy vehicles on NSW roads, which can include farm machinery, has been updated. A new NSW Roads & Maritime document provides detail on exemption notices and Christmas holiday travel requirements.
New Cert III course on offer
Emerald Agricultural College has introduced a new course based on a Certificate III in Rural Operations, with a focus on cropping. The course has been based on feedback from the industry and agronomists, with work experience forming six weeks of the 36-week course.
Attitude to GMOs stabilises
The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) has released a report on a 2017 study of public attitudes towards genetically modified organisms (GMOs), gene technology and their regulation. The study found attitudes to GMOs have settled, mirroring the results of the 2015 study. While there was little movement in awareness and understanding of GM issues, 50% of respondents were open to the production of GM food as long as regulations were in place to make it safe.
Regional wellbeing survey
The University of Canberra is conducting its annual Regional Wellbeing Survey. Each year researchers ask people about the quality of life in their community, their wellbeing, and their views about a number of issues affecting rural and regional communities. The survey results are publicly available.