Katherine Times Wed 12 Mar 2014
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Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Katherine; Katherine (N.T.) -- Newspapers
North Australian News for Katherine Times
V.32 issue 9
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
North Australian News for Katherine Times
4/22 Katherine Terrace, Katherine. Phone 8972 1111. Fax 8971 0120 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Classified deadline 1.30pm Monday. Early general news 12noon Friday. >> rural Mosaic irrigation boost for beef A NEW CSIRO study suggests potential to boost beef cattle production in northern Australia by as much as $200 million a year with mosaic irrigation. The report - Mosaic Irrigation for the Northern Australian Beef Industry- assessed water and agriculture potential for the northern Australian beef industry. It found there is sufficient ground water to sustain almost twice the area of land currently irrigated in northern Australia. The two-year mosaic irrigation project examined the opportunities for establishing and operating mosaic irrigation specifically to enhance beef production in northern Australia. It analysed prospects at enterprise, industry and regional levels, assessing the various environmental, economic and social factors that might affect the viability of mosaic irrigation developments. Mosaic irrigation involves smallscale irrigation developments that produce feed for cattle and are scattered within a matrix of unirrigated, generally native or naturalised, pastures. The CSIRO found that the majority of cattle stations have suitable soil and sufficient water to irrigate part of their land to grow fodder crops, Minister for Regional Development Warren Truss said. By developing small-scale irrigation units on selected parts of pastoral stations, a range of forage crops could be grown to provide cattle feed, the report found. Irrigation has the potential to transform beef cattle enterprises by providing a ready supply of feed grown on site. Mr Truss said the CSIRO assessed the dry pastoral areas of northern Australia and found enough ground water to irrigate up to 120,000 hectares. This amount depended on irrigation efficiency and the type of forage crop grown, he said. At optimum efficiency, beef production across the north could be boosted by up to 6 per cent. Mr Truss said one of the key advantages of irrigating small scattered areas on cattle stations is the ability to locate irrigation where it best meets the needs of the individual enterprise. The study provides valuable information for the beef industry, which is a major part of the economy, culture and landscape of northern Australia. Australia's biggest cattle exporter, Wellard, recently urged the federal government not to get distracted by fancy projects as it embarks on a White Paper for the economic development of the north. Wellard managing director Mauro Balzarini said there was potential to develop the north but the government's focus should be on unlocking the regions water potential and key road and rail infrastructure. It is probably wiser to devote the limited resources available to agriculture, as opposed to the mining industry, to continue to improve rather than wasting it on fancy projects, Mr Balzarini said. There is a limitation on what can be achieved with the climate, distance, in frastructure and soil type in the top end and we should work within those limits to extract the best possible outcomes for agriculture in the north. The White Paper on Developing Northern Australia is expected within 12 months, with a Green Paper to be released in the next few months. The White Paper Taskforce will draw on submissions to the Commonwealth Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia and will also consider contributions. A Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia has been formed, chaired by Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch. The Committee will begin the community consultation process next month and report to Parliament in July. Its vital that we start looking at opportunities that have already materialised and judge them on their merits, rather than on philosophical opposition or by acquiescing to a minority group, Mr Entsch said. I think were in for some very proserous times, he said. www.katherinetimes.com.au KATHERINE TIMES, WEDNESDAY MARCH 12 2014 11 Farm Finance: Concessional Loans Scheme (Northern Territory) LOAN APPLICATIONS OPEN Eligible farm businesses in the Northern Territory can now apply for a concessional loan as part of the Australian Government Farm Finance Program. The concessional loans scheme in the Northern Territory will be managed and delivered by QRAA. For more information on eligibility criteria, loan terms and how to apply visit www.nt.gov.au/d/primary_industry or phone 8936 4089. This program is funded by the Australian Government, and delivered by QRAA on behalf of the Northern Territory. Minister takes up buffalo talk with industry reps in Vietnam THE Northern Territorys Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries, Willem Westra van Holthe, is leading a buffalo industry delegation to Vietnam this week to further strengthen relations and capitalise on the recent export of Territory buffalo. Mr Westra van Holthe says the industry delegation includes members of the Northern Territory Buffalo Industry Council, local buffalo producers and the Northern Territory Livestock Exporters Association. This visit will allow Territory buffalo producers to meet directly with Vietnamese importers and to view feedlot and stock holding facilities, Mr Westra van Holthe said. It will also provide us with the opportunity to promote the Northern Territory as the supplier of choice for live buffalo and hold face-to-face discussions about future requirements and demands for this emerging export market. The recently completed first shipment of buffalo is just the beginning of what we hope will become a sustainable industry for the Northern Territory. The Member for Katherine said a strong buffalo industry could provide Indigenous employment opportunities in remote parts of the Territory. I will also discuss with our Vietnamese partners how the Territory can further collaborate and cooperate in the areas of horticulture and mining development, Mr Westra van Holthe said. The Country Liberals Government is focused on growing trade relations with Asia. Through these relations we will grow business and create prosperity for all Territorians. The Territorys emerging economy, growing trade and industry capability will be of great interest to industry leaders in Vietnam. Im looking forward to showcasing what the Northern Territory has to offer.
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