Namoi News

Roy Butler MP Member for Barwon

Namoi News

22

Apr

2020

Provenance toolkit to help rural businesses stand out from the crowd

Agrifutures Australia

When it comes to food and fibre, consumers want to know who produced it, where it was produced and how it was produced. New AgriFutures Australia funded work not only confirms that building provenance through storytelling is a critical strategy for bringing brands and products to life, but also offers the practical tools to help small business achieve it. 

The provenance toolkit, developed by agricultural market research and digital marketing experts Honey and Fox, offers a suite of practical resources available for download via the AgriFutures Australia website. The toolkit is aimed at Australian producers who want to build an impactful provenance narrative for their food and fibre business and share it with current and prospective clients. 

Sharing your product’s origin story, history or journey to market is a powerful way to connect with your consumers and differentiate brands in the market. It’s an approach that can play a critical role in sustaining, increasing or expanding market share. 

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22

Apr

2020

GrainCorp eyes rebound as farmers plant biggest crops in six years

Sydney Morning Herald

New GrainCorp chief executive Robert Spurway says the company is well placed to bounce back from the devastating drought that has slashed Australia's wheat production, with some farmers planting their biggest grain crops in at least six years.

Mr Spurway, a former chief operating officer of Fonterra's global operations, said the ASX-listed grain giant would be able to handle the much larger grain crop expected this year and could reopen mothballed storage facilities if needed.

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20

Apr

2020

New study reveals the true cost of trade barriers and subsidies to Australian agriculture

As Australia looks to renegotiate trade partnerships with key global markets, a new study reveals the impact of global farm subsidies and agricultural trade policies on the competitiveness of Australia’s rural industries. 

Trade barriers and domestic subsidies have always been part of global farm policies but, since the 2000s, their impact on Australia’s global competitiveness has not been quantified. A new AgriFutures Australia-funded study fills a knowledge gap in the current cost of trade subsidies, arming our rural industries and governments with evidence to inform trade negotiations and policy discussions going forward.  

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20

Apr

2020

The reason you support agriculture in tough times – a lesson in listening to your citizens

Op-Ed from Roy Butler MP, Member for Barwon

The NSW Liberal-National Government failed to adequately support farmers during the drought. This meant farmers increased debt levels, let staff go, sold equipment and de-stocked leaving the whole sector in a vulnerable deficit.

For some people the drought was simply too much, they sold up, or were repossessed and left the sector.

The Government can’t say they didn’t know about it, I spoke about it in every session of NSW Parliament, used every mechanism available to me to get drought, and drought assistance on the agenda.

The tragic bushfires showed that the NSW Government can indeed find money, and get it out quickly… when it wants to.

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21

Mar

2020

GRDC Northern News

March 2020

GRDC Northern Region team members are just back from Grains Research Updates throughout Queensland and New South Wales. It was great to catch up with so many growers, agronomists and researchers at the events and even better to hear many regions had received rain. Let’s hope there is more on the horizon and everyone gets a winter crop in this season.

If you didn’t make it to an Update, you’ll find a lot of the valuable presentations from these events on our website. And if you did attend one of the Updates, you may find yourself or a colleague in social photo galleries from Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Goondiwindi Grains Research Updates.  To view the latest Newsletter click the heading.

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21

Mar

2020

Don’t panic: Aussie farmers have your back

National Farmers

Fears of a coronavirus lockdown have left supermarket shelves looking empty, but there is plenty of food to go around.

Thanks to our world-class farmers, Australia is one of the most food-secure countries on Earth.

Between 80-96% of the food on our supermarket shelves is Aussie grown. In fact our Australian farmers produce enough food to feed 75 million people.

That’s triple Australia’s population!

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21

Mar

2020

NFF welcomes Basin report's focus on community & solutions

National Farmers

The National Farmers Federation has welcomed the release of the Murray Darling Basin Social and Economic Assessment Panel Draft Report.

Led by an independent panel comprised of Basin industry leaders, the report highlights the experiences of communities and how they have been affected by the myriad of reforms to water management in the Basin.

“The report’s findings are similar to the messages the NFF heard on our tour across the Basin last month: there is a need to bring communities back to the heart of the conversations and actions that ultimately impact their futures.”

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21

Mar

2020

Nation’s farm confidence rebounds to highest level in almost five years

National Farmer Federation

Australian farmers have stared down one of the toughest summers on record with rural sentiment bouncing back to its highest level in nearly five years, according to the latest Rabobank Rural Confidence Survey.

The survey results, released today, reveal late-summer rainfall and strong commodity prices have boosted optimism about farm business conditions for the year ahead, reviving plummeting sentiment following one of the driest springs on record last year.

However the results are tempered by the ongoing recovery in regions ravaged by bushfires across the country and those areas where there is still a significant rainfall deficit and ongoing drought.

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19

Mar

2020

Independent Planning Commission examining process surrounding Vickery mine and Narrabri gas field projects

Northern Daily Leader - Billy Jupp

The Coronavirus pandemic means the Independent Planning Commission will not be scheduling any public consultation meetings into two of the region's biggest proposed projects, for the foreseeable future.

The IPC has been asked to hold hearings for both Whitehaven Coal's Vickery coal mine extension project and Santos' Narrabri gas fields project.

However, due to the federal government's restrictions around public gatherings and social distancing, the IPC is unable to plan any public meetings at this stage.

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19

Mar

2020

Independent assessment of social and economic condition in the Basin

Have your Say on the Draft Report

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16

Mar

2020

Cotton's poor public image troubles industry as concerns over water grow

ABC News

Growers have copped a hammering on social media in recent times over how much water they take in the northern Murray-Darling Basin, and what part the industry may have played in the Darling River fish kills.

There is evidence, generated by the industry, that it has a poor public image.

Cotton Australia commissioned a wide-ranging survey by JP Morgan that found most urban Australians had negative perceptions about the industry.

Chief executive Adam Kay said they needed to do something about it.

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14

Mar

2020

THE SHOW WON’T GO ON – COVID-19 THE LATEST BLOW FOR REGIONAL COMMUNITIES

Media Release Roy Butler Saturday 14 March

The Government now more than ever needs to provide cash based assistance to struggling regional communities according to Member for Barwon Roy Butler. 

Mr Butler has renewed his calls for cash based assistance for regional communities following the Government’s announcement banning gatherings of over 500 people in response to COVID-19. 

“Our regional economies, especially  agriculture dependant economies had a small ray of hope with some rain, and a season of local shows, race carnivals, festivals and themed events promising to bring some much needed turnover to small business in regional communities,” said Mr Butler. 

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12

Mar

2020

Narrabri Gas Project about to enter last stage of assessment

Jamieson Murphy - Queensland Country Life

THE NSW government is nearly ready to pass over its assessment of the controversial Narrabri Gas Project to the independent body that will have the final say on the development.

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes formally requested to the Independent Planning Commission (IPC) to hold a public meeting in Narrabri, in anticipation of his department wrapping up its assessment.

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9

Mar

2020

The Government must act on improving water management transparency

Press release Roy Butler MP

Water Management in NSW is not transparent. We have seen in the last few weeks the issues that this lack of transparency creates for everyone, be it communities or people holding water access licences.

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6

Mar

2020

Cotton Australia media release - Australian cotton industry opens its doors for community engagement day

No topic was off limit as the Australian cotton industry opened its doors and welcomed a broad range of community stakeholders to its Cotton Open House engagement event in Sydney today.

Hosted by Cotton Australia, the event was designed to bring a diverse range of community stakeholders together and put the industry under the microscope in the spirit of complete transparency and engagement.

Guests listened to a variety of panel sessions and presentations about key topics affecting the Australian cotton industry, and guests were given the opportunity to ask questions of growers and industry personnel.

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Categories: Narrabri, Wee Waa, Agriculture

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28

Feb

2020

Applications open for Future Cotton Leaders Program

Media Release 28 February 2020

The next generation of leaders within Australia’s cotton industry is encouraged to apply for a premier leadership program.

Applications for the 2020 Australian Future Cotton Leaders Program (AFCLP) opened today, with 15 spaces available.

AFCLP is funded by Cotton Australia and the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC). It is for emerging leaders and is delivered every two years. The 2020 edition will be the seventh time the program has been run.

Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay said the AFCLP supports individuals to realise their commitment to creating and leading change in the cotton industry.

“The key goal of the AFCLP is to support those emerging leaders in developing their leadership knowledge, skills and experience,” Mr Kay said.

“Australian agriculture, including our industry, is experiencing a significant amount of change at the moment, and this program is a proactive way to support growers in developing into leaders, advocates and influencers of positive change within Australian cotton.”

 

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27

Feb

2020

Royal Commission - Nats say YES - Libs say NO

Media Release - Roy Butler MP

Member for Barwon Roy Butler welcomed the news today that the NSW Nationals are backing his party’s call for a Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party have been calling for a Royal Commission into water for many months now. Pursuing a Royal Commission was one of the commitments the party made in its 10-point water plan. 

“Our political pressure and the pressure from the community has today seen the NSW Nationals finally stand by the comments of their leader in Menindee and support the calls for a Royal Commission,” said Mr Butler. 

Following the issuing of a Media Release today from the Leader of The Nationals backing a Royal Commission, the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party sought to suspend Parliament to debate the need for a Royal Commission. The Liberal-National Government voted against this call.

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14

Feb

2020

Minister Pavey flip-flops on embargo to create perfect storm of misinformation

13 February, 2020

The decision to backflip on an embargo and waive restrictions on take in several tributaries and parts of the Peel, Namoi and Gwydir rivers doesn’t pass the pub test according to Member for Barwon Roy Butler.

“Minister Pavey pushes out information in the media about doing all she can to support communities through this drought then comes along with a decision like this that severely impacts on the mental health of everyone in Barwon.

“What Minister Pavey has achieved here is the creation of conflict between communities. Who does that benefit?

“What’s the point of creating this perfect storm of misinformation?

“I haven’t received a single call from anyone in Barwon that’s happy with this decision, what I have received are calls and messages from many people from farmers and irrigators, to people in towns and Aboriginal Elders asking what the Minister is playing at.

“There is a complete lack of transparency from Minister Pavey and the Department of Planning Industry and Environment about this decision.

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7

Feb

2020

Wool's young guns to meet in South Australia

Queensland Country Life

Some of the wool industry's brightest young talents will gather in Clare, South Australia, next week for an intensive leadership development program.

Participants are aged between 25 and 35 and come from South Australia (10), Western Australia (3), Queensland (2), Victoria (4) and NSW (6).

South Australia: Annie Ashby, Gulnare; Dale Button, Robertstown; Josh Cousins, Burra; Declan Harvey, Narrung; James Henderson, Lochiel; Alistaire Lindner, Yunta; Peter Mitchell, Angaston; Reuben Solly, via Carrieton; Kayla Starkey, Mt Pleasant; and Karl Zerna, Eudunda.

NSW: Ian Cameron, Jerilderie; Samara Harris, Broken Hill; Amie L'Estrange, Condobolin, Emma Turner, Goulburn; Benjamin Watson, Wee Waa; and Willian Wragge, Boambolo.

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7

Feb

2020

Let’s talk about gas: It’s expensive, dirty and struggling to compete with batteries

David Leitch Renew Economy

1) The world no longer has the head room to use gas a transitional fuel. If gas replaced all coal in electricity generation, an impossibility in of itself, the world would still have well over 2°C of average global warming.

The idea of gas as a “transition” fuel arose in the time when wind and solar energy were expensive and little used. But we have passed that point. The cost of solar has plunged 90 per cent in the past decade, wind more than 60 per cent. Exactly what role is gas supposed to serve in electricity generation in Australia?

2) Extracting gas from the Narrabri field in NSW at the mooted rate of 60 petajoules (PJ) a year is likely to require a price of at least $6 a gigajoule, and probably more like $7-$8 GJ to be economic. Imported LNG is likely to cost a bare minimum of $A7.50/GJ and no-one’s going to build an import terminal without a higher price than that. Nor do we see Narrabri as increasing price competition, mainly because its owned by Santos, and so the producer oligopoly remains in place.

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7

Feb

2020

$3 billion gas deal labelled a 'bribe' to approve Narrabri gasfield

Jamieson Murphy - Northern Daily Leader

FEARS have been raised the independent approval process of the controversial Narrabri Gas Project has been destroyed by a $3 billion deal, which some have labelled a "bribe".

The state government has committed to injecting an additional 70 petajoules (PJ) of gas per annum into the east coast market in return for $3 billion from the Commonwealth government.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian flagged two possibilities to supply the gas; import it or source it from the yet-to-be-approved Santos Narrabri Gas Project, which will create 70 PJ a year.

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4

Feb

2020

Eight 'leaks' discovered as second CSG hearing gets underway

STATE government officials will be grilled about a number of "leaks" at Santos' Narrabri Gas Projects at a parliamentary inquiry on Tuesday.

It's the second hearing into whether the NSW Chief Scientist's 16 coal seam gas recommendations have been implemented by the NSW government, after the first hearing in December was described as a "train wreck", with many questions going unanswered.
The first hearing did uncover that eight leaks at the Narrabri Gas Project were found by the NSW Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during 2018-19.

Two of the leaks were repaired within 24 hours, however the EPA is still investigating if the remaining six were "gas releases" that were part of the wells' operation or whether they "should be classified as leaks and further action taken".

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31

Jan

2020

NO SHORTAGE OF GAS – JUST A SHORTAGE OF COMMON SENSE

“There is no shortage of gas in Australia, there’s a shortage of common sense in Canberra when it comes to gas export policy and domestic gas reservation policy,” says Member for Barwon, Roy Butler. 

Mr Butler’s comments follow the new energy deal struck by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

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31

Jan

2020

Narrabri farmers feel 'sold out' by federal-NSW energy deal that boosts gas supply

Guardian Adam Morton, Lisa Cox and Anne Davies Fri 31 Jan 2020 19.39 AEDTLast modified on Fri 31 Jan 2020 20.56

Farmers near the proposed Narrabri gas development in northern New South Wales fear they will be “sold out” by a federal-state energy deal that promises to dramatically increase supplies of the fossil fuel in the state.

Announcing the $2bn deal alongside the prime minister, Scott Morrison, on Friday, the NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, nominated Santos’s long-promised Narrabri coal-seam gas project as a way to deliver 70 petajoules of new gas a year as promised under the agreement.

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30

Jan

2020

Rainfall in the Namoi January 2020

30 January, 2020

Namoi Flow Update

Significant rainfall has been recorded across the northern valleys over the past month, with falls in the order of 100 to 200mm being recorded across the upper catchments in the northern valleys.

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30

Jan

2020

Narrabri is critical': CEOs back east coast fracking as PM steps on gas

SMH By Colin Kruger January 30, 2020

The chief executives of Santos, Beach Energy and manufacturer Qenos have backed calls by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to open up gas markets on the east coast, noting it would help lower energy prices.

Qenos boss Stephen Bell warned that gas-based manufacturing doesn't have a long-term future on the east coast unless a solution is found that will offer a reliable supply of cheaper gas.

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12

Jan

2020

AgTech company offers farmers a helping hand

AgriWebb

While Australians have been shocked by the scale of destruction caused by the current bushfires, the true horror awaits many farmers on their return home or during the cleanup process.

Buildings and fences have been destroyed, crops lost, and livestock have perished. Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie told ABC radio’s RN Breakfast the bushfire crisis would “devastate” the national herd, and there are fears up to 100,000 livestock could be lost.

The figures are almost too great to grasp. AgriWebb Co-Founder John Fargher knows the personal impact all too well, having heard the stories firsthand from customers. “There are people who have lost everything,” he says. His own family hasn’t escaped unscathed, with his father-in-law’s property hit by the Kangaroo Island fires losing all fences and livestock.

 

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12

Jan

2020

Water is scarce! So here are some water saving tips that you can do right

Written by David Green

Author: David Green

Water is scarce! So here are some water-saving tips that you can do right now. 

While Australia is well and truly the lucky country it is also the driest continent on this planet outside Antarctica. It means that we are constantly at risk of drought and It is usually a case of how severe and how long rather than when. 

There is no denying that we have seen some of the harshest conditions in Australia over the last few years with warmer and drier weather. The data below is information from the Bureau of Meteorology and just shows how hot and dry it has been.

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9

Sep

2019

North West Local Land Services 2019/2020 Funding opportunities

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31

Aug

2019

Northern Inland Regional Development Corporation Grants List

Welcome to our Business and Infrastructure Funding Opportunities Newsletter

Welcome to our Business and Infrastructure Funding Opportunities Newsletter where you will find details of grant and funding programs that are available for the Northern Inland Region for businesses and infrastructure projects.

Due to the number of grants that are available, we send two funding opportunities newsletters a month; one for Business and Infrastructure and another for Community Projects and Award Programs. These newsletters are a free service that we provide, and can you can add the Community Funding Opportunities and Awards Programs newsletter to your subscriptions by filling your details into on the left hand side of our website: www.rdani.org.au

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23

Aug

2019

Mining watchdog suspends Narrabri Coal's exploration licence

Northern Daily Leader - Jamieson Murphy

THE state's mining watchdog has suspended the exploration licence of Narrabri Coal, for building unauthorised tracks in the Pilliga Forest.

The long-wall mine, which forms part of Whitehaven Coal's operations, was found to be in breach of its licence following a state-wide compliance blitz in June.

More than a dozen hollow trees, which provide important habitat to native animals, were knocked down. The unauthorised paths also failed to divert around environmentally sensitive areas.

Resources Regulator head honcho Anthony Keon said the mine's actions showed a "comprehensive failure" to follow "fundamental regulatory obligations".

"The construction of the unauthorised tracks resulted in significant environmental harm," Mr Keon said.

"Exploration activities are subject to strict conditions in order to ensure appropriate environmental protections.

Citizen science group, the Leard Forest Node, has been monitoring the mine's "progressive incursion" in to the Pilliga forest for a couple of years, spokeswoman Anna Christie said.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg, the Narrabri Coal mine has been flying under the radar for several years," Ms Christie said.

She was glad to see meaningful action taken against the mine, rather than just "a fine and a tap of the wrist".

Have your say. Click this link to send a letter to the editor

The suspension will remain in place until the mine conducts a full review of its compliance systems and can satisfy the watchdog that appropriate controls have been put in place.

Five other joint-venture partners also had their exploration licence suspended. The licence holders acknowledged the offending behaviour and offered to suspend all drilling and clearing activities.

The mine will be able to continue operating, however the suspension stops it from expanding or investigating new sites.

Whitehaven CEO Paul Flynn accepted that on this occasion the company failed to properly obverse its exploration obligations

"Based on our inquiries to date, the circumstances and communication failures that led to this outcome are unacceptable," Mr Flynn said.

"Whitehaven took immediate corrective action following the Regulator's site inspection, suspending all exploration activity and commissioning an independent audit and investigation to determine necessary corrective actions.

"The company is committed to ensuring all relevant issues are identified and addressed before exploration activities at Narrabri can resume and will continue to cooperate fully with the NSW Resources Regulator to achieve this outcome."

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23

Aug

2019

Coal seam gas moratorium bill put forward by NSW MLC Justin Field

Northern Daily Leader - Jamieson Murphy

AN independent politician has put forward a bill to establish a moratorium on all coal seam gas projects in the state.

The private member's bill, introduced to the NSW upper house by MLC Justin Field, would put a halt to Santos' Narrabri Gas Project, establish no-go zones for CSG including agricultural land and introduce a public interest test for proposed developments.

Mr Field said the bill was modelled off a moratorium put forward by Labor in 2015, and was hopefully it would be widely supported.

"The Greens, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, Animal Justice Party and Christian Democratic Party have all previously voted for, or supported, legislation or policies that endorse a moratorium on coal seam gas," Mr Field said.

"With those parties on board we can pass a coal seam gas moratorium bill through the NSW Legislative Council.

"The community have long opposed coal seam gas development in NSW and now it is time for the parliament to act."

Mr Field said the bill would renew the pressure on the government, and in particular the Nationals, who lost the seat of Barwon at the recent election to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, in part to CSG and water-related issues surrounding the Santos project.

"Santos have failed to address genuine concerns by the community and government agencies about their project and have breached the agreement they struck with the government in 2014," Mr Field said.

"There are significant water management and waste salt issues that have not been resolved from the company.

Have your say. Click this link to send a letter to the editor

Andrew McConville, CEO of gas industry body APPEA, said there was no reason NSW couldn't have a safe and sustainable CSG industry, like Queensland has had for more than 20 years.

"Repeated independent inquiries, including by NSW Chief Scientist, have found there are no risks associated with onshore gas development that can't be managed, mitigated or eliminated by an appropriate regulatory framework - which NSW has in place," he said.

"The answer to addressing NSW's gas needs is developing new supply - not further regulation or imposing bans on onshore gas development."

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21

Aug

2019

GOVERNMENT VOTES AGAINST PROVIDING REAL DROUGHT SUPPORT

Press Release - Roy Butler

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party put on the table in Parliament a drought package that would provide real support to farmers and farming communities, disappointingly the Government voted against supporting them.

The SFF drought package includes immediate cash grants, to allow creditors to be paid, cash rebates for local government rates, transitioning legacy loans to zero or low interest loans, the establishment of a re-sowing and re-stocking grant and providing financial support for employers to retain employees on farm and in local businesses.

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21

Aug

2019

Hear Them Raw: Walgett's Jill Roughley, 79, runs her property on her own with guts and determination

The smell of a piping hot lasagne slips through the cracks of the oven in Jill Roughley's Walgett home. 

Like most rural women, a home cooked meal isn't out of the realm for this Country Women's Association stalwart, but neither are a lot of things. 

We haven't got a lot of time. That afternoon Jill will board her Kermit green truck loaded with fodder and travel around just under 20,000 acres to feed the drabs of stock that are holding on through the drought. 

 

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20

Aug

2019

Clayton Barr visits Moree to grasp water situation as he takes on new role as shadow minister for water

Cessnock MP and shadow minister for water Clayton Barr was in Moree last week as part of a trip across the region to gain a better understanding of the water situation.

Starting at Dubbo, then moving on to Bourke, Brewarrina, Walgett, Moree on Friday and then Narrabri, Mr Barr wanted to get on the ground and talk to affected people and groups.

"I've only been the shadow minister for water for about six weeks now and I've been trying to read through a whole bunch of reports but for me, the best way to learn was to come and talk to people and see things and be shown how it's working and how it's failing and things like that," Mr Barr said.

He met with the Gwydir Valley Irrigators on Friday as well as local farmer and irrigator to hear their experiences with the low water.

"It's part drought, it's part water sharing, and it's a significant part around priorities of what's most important and what needs to come first, second and third and getting that balance right," he said.

Mr Barr said the reports he has read are mostly facts and figures but they don't detail the social impact on communities, with people being forced to leave town because of the lack of water and therefore lack of work.

"For example, at Walgett they were concerned about losing all of their tradesmen....because the rest of the community didn't have much work so there wasn't much money around," he said.

"So people weren't spending money or doing renovations or building new buildings and improvements, so the tradies didn't have any work but they needed to feed their families.

"They've had to move, and often it's younger families, which then drags kids out of schools so then your school numbers drop.

"That's something that hasn't been captured in any of the reports about water but it's a really important social consequence of the absence of water.

"Hearing stories like that has been fantastic in framing my understanding of how the absence of water has impacted the communities."

While Mr Barr has visited Moree and other towns across the region, it's his first visit in his new role as shadow minister for water, and he said it has been a fantastic experience.

He wants to make it clear that he nor anyone in parliament is anti-irrigation, but it's about coming up with a good strategy in regards to the distribution of water.

"While we can't do anything about rain falling out of the sky and drought conditions we can do something about the rules about what happens to the water once it lands," Mr Barr said.

"I think that's where the really important focus needs to be right now because we don't know when it's going to rain but when it does rain we have to make sure the water goes where it needs to go."

He said most of the reports he's read heavily criticise the government while also making recommendations from scientists, commissioners and experts in the area about what the government should do.

He is yet to see anything that proves those recommendations aren't the right way to go.

"They will cause a bit of pain and grief for some people in terms of their business model and farming models but the benefits to society, environments and in other ways will be significant," Mr Barr said.

"But I would hate to make judgmen

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19

Aug

2019

NSW pushes back on AWU criticism over backing for LNG imports

Financial Review

AWU national secretary Daniel Walton late last week rounded on the government for granting the status of "critical state significant infrastructure" to a proposed $589 million LNG import project in Newcastlewhich will now enjoy a streamlined approvals process.

The Berejiklian government has already given the green light for a separate, $250 million LNG import terminal at Port Kembla, backed by mining billionaire Andrew Forrest.

The plans for the two import terminals are racing ahead as Santos's $3 billion Narrabri coal seam gas project, which could supply up to half NSW's gas requirements, remains locked in the state government's approvals process.

But Mr Stokes said the Narrabri project has "big potential impacts" on the environment, and that in any case the state is "best served by a competitive market with multiple sources".

 

 

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19

Aug

2019

Emily Newton, Jinnara Tyson chosen on NSW Youth Summit steering committee

Kids are growing up far too quickly as they see the affect drought is having on their families, says Walgett's Emily Newton.

Ms Newton and Jinnara Tyson from Dubbo are among two of the 11 people chosen to be on a steering committee for UNICEF Australia's NSW Youth Summit on living with drought.

As part of the steering committee, the youths help select about 100 young people aged 14 to 24-years-old who will attend the drought summit. The steering committee has also helped design the summit.

The aim of it is to collaborate with participants and experts to develop solutions for the problems young people are facing in the drought. The ideas will be presented to bureaucrats and politicians on the final day of the summit in October.

Ms Newton said most of her life had been spent battling against the drought. She's lived in Walgett her whole life until moving to Wagga Wagga to further her studies.

"While most of my friends were able to go away to the beach for their summer holidays, I would spend my holidays pulling dead animals out of the mud from the middle of dried up dams - this included livestock, native animals and pet poddy lambs and calves," she said.

"This became not only physically draining, but extremely mentally draining as it felt as though there was nothing more that I could do as my parents fought away debt to support me through the remaining years of my schooling."

The 21-year-old said youths were not spending their time being kids because they were seeing the affect of mental illness and financial instability.

"My main hope is that young people are able to come away from the summit with the life skills to be able to tackle the hardships they find themselves facing in the drought," Ms Newton said.

Ms Tyson grew up in Goodooga but now lives in Dubbo.

She said the drought was taking away youths' leisure time in rural communities and replacing it with work.

"I hope the summit will assist with providing extra support to the rural and remote communities that are impacted by the drought," she said.

The 24-year-old also wants to be a role model for other Aboriginal youths.

The NSW Youth Summit on Living With Drought will run from October 9 to 11. The applicants chosen by the steering committee will have all their travel costs covered.

 

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11

Aug

2019

Harrisia cactus is moving south, reaches Narrabri

It has been likened to a "fire front" that spreads five to 10 kilometres every year. But now there have been reports harrisia cactus has been found as far south as Narrabri and farmers want to the NSW Government to step up to control the weed that has a barb-like spear.

NSW Farmers' have called on the State Government to fund a concerted effort to control harrisia cactus in NSW, including biological options, and work with the Queensland Government to stop cross border re infestation.

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8

Aug

2019

LIBERAL-NATIONAL GOVERNMENT DENIES OPPORTUNITY FOR ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MURRAY-DARLING BASIN PLAN

The Liberal-National Government has denied regional communities the opportunity for transparency, voting down a motion for a Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. 

The motion introduced by the Shadow Minister for Water, Clayton Barr to Parliament last night called on the Liberal-National Government to “endorse the position of the NSW National Party Leader and Deputy Premier for a Royal Commission into the Murray Darling Basin Plan for the purpose of openness, transparency and accountability”.

The motion was defeated by three votes (47-44), with Labor and the crossbench voting for it with and The Nationals joining the Liberals to defeat it.

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6

Aug

2019

Barwon MP Roy Butler presents Terms of Reference for independent inquiry into water management

Member for Barwon, Roy Butler is calling on the NSW Government to commit to an inquiry into aspects of New South Wales water management and their impacts on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

Mr Butler’s call for an independent inquiry comes after consultation with communities, irrigators, graziers, towns, water researchers and ecologists, all of whom raised serious concerns about government decision making in relation to water management.

“I’m calling for an inquiry to restore public confidence, and identify how certain decisions contributed to the current conditions in western NSW,” said Mr Butler. 

“I have discussed the inquiry with Minister Pavey and provided her with the draft Terms of Reference. In our conversation, I emphasised that this inquiry is needed to restore the public’s confidence in the NSW water planning and management processes.

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30

Jul

2019

Barwon MP Roy Butler says Santos trying to pressure govt

The Land Newspaper

SANTOS'S predictions that its Narrabri Gas Project will be approved by the end of the year have been labelled a brazen attempt to pressure the government.

When Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher told Ticky Fullerton on Sky News in May the company expected approval by "year end" there were a few eyebrows raised.

Barwon MP Roy Butler told The Land: "this is not coming from the government, the company is trying to force a government decision on the back of the Adani Carmichael coal mine approval (in Queensland)."

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19

Jul

2019

Roy Butler Member for Barwan in the News this week

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19

Jul

2019

Do I Have to Pay My Interns

By Julian Parsons - Sydney

Do you have to pay your interns?

The short answer is yes and no.

Under Australian law, you must financially compensate anyone who comes to your workplace to contribute through ‘productive work’.

However, there are perfectly legal ways to bring on unpaid interns in a meaningful capacity that supports the goals of both employee and employer.

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19

Jul

2019

Narrabri in the News this week

 A number of articles appeared in the news this week click the link to read them all.
Summary
Santos providing requested information about Narrabri project: Barwon MP
Barwon MP Roy Butler still concerned about CSG impact on Narrabri groundwater despite Santos ...
Govt to talk land acquisitions along Narromine to Narrabri with farmers for Inland Rail
Barwon MP Roy Butler still concerned about CSG impact on Narrabri groundwater despite Santos ...
Whitehaven growth defies softening coal markets
Community celebrates NAIDOC
More Dividends Likely From Whitehaven Coal
Safety first for Whitehaven
The ARTC will begin meeting with affected landowners in the Narromine section
Rail crossing danger concerns resident
 

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17

Jul

2019

When Will the Government Listen

Call this drought what it is - a Natural Disaster

This drought is breaking records, pushing families and communities to the brink − and it’s getting worse.

Across NSW, it’s drier than many have seen in their lifetimes. Farms that have never in their hundred-plus year history destocked, have sold all their livestock.

Farmers that had enough hay in storage for years of drought have used their last bale.

Farmers that have never complained, have gotten on with the job, have put food on tables across the world − are asking for assistance.

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24

Jun

2019

We need to support those who are supporting our Farmers

Roy Butler, Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party MP

Rural Financial Counsellors are the link between drought stricken farmers and government support.

There is an alarming rate of turnover and vacancies within these financial counselling positions that would appear to be due to the under resourcing and lack of support for these crucial roles.

Currently Rural Financial Counsellors are effectively hosted by the State Government and funded by the Commonwealth Government, this arrangement has varied over the life of this important service.

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15

Jun

2019

Environment Minister floats 'lending' Murray Darling environmental water to farmers

Australia's key piece of environment legislation, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, is due to be reviewed this year.

Ms Ley said it provided "real opportunity to remove some of the green tape around environmental approvals" while maintaining the integrity of the laws.

"If you're an investor and you've got a proposal … it's reasonable that we accept your investment isn't just going to be parked for years, sometimes, until the issues have been worked through," she said.

"I think we just need to give proponents more assurances along the way."

Ms Ley said she did not intend to shut down court challenges to development decisions, however, "it's not being done in a timely enough manner".

Australian Conservation Foundation nature campaign manager Basha Stasak said talk about cutting green tape was "code for making it easier for the loggers to cut down our forests, the diggers to rip up endangered animal habitat and corporate irrigators to suck more water out of our rivers".

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14

Jun

2019

North West Local Land Sevices - Newsletter and Workshops coming up

Local Land Services Newsletter is packed with information and Services available across the region. Workshops and help is available for those struggling with the dry times. Feel free to reach out to the new staff in Narrabri, have a read of the Newsletter for items that just might help. 

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11

Jun

2019

Drought assistance package announced

The state’s record-breaking drought continues to bite with farmers and rural communities bearing the brunt of the crisis.
 
While some regions have experienced rain during the past few months, 97 per cent of the state remains in drought, and the seasonal outlook remains bleak with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting drier than average conditions.
 
That is why the NSW Nationals in Government have today announced an Emergency Drought Relief package, bringing the total funding to more than $1.8 billion across the state, to further support farmers and regional communities.
 
I understand the effect this drought is having on our regional economy, communities and families.

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11

Jun

2019

'You’ll send yourself broke feeding cows': drought ravaged communities get budget boost

More than $350 million in emergency assistance will be set aside for NSW’s drought ravaged regions in next week’s state budget, with close to half of the cash aimed at stimulating the economies of languishing rural communities.

The new drought funding will be split in half, with $170 million allocated to aid the small towns and regional centres that service the state’s farmers.

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