Tag Archives: farmers

Wait for Galilee rail line an added stress for central Queensland farmers

Updated December 06, 2015 15:12:18

Central Queensland farmers are pushing for the State Government to enact significant alterations to legislation covering new mining projects in the Galilee Basin.

In 2012, mining firm GVK Hancock received state and federal approval to build a 500-kilometre rail line from its coal mines close to Alpha to Abbot Point in north Queensland.

The rail line is set to run via 39 properties, but legal challenges have delayed the project and there is no timeframe for the begin of building.

Grazier Doug Burnett said his house would be cut in half by the railway, but the uncertainty on timing was causing massive tension.

“You go round mustering the cows, riding on the horse and inevitably that’s what crops up in your mind when you’re riding along you are pondering what’s the future going to hold,” he mentioned.

“At the moment we are not permitted to do any improvement on these places… nor would we want to, since there’s no point going to construct a new fence line when maybe subsequent year there will be a railway line come through and wipe it out.

“It may be 5 years, it may be ten years time and that is part of the dilemma, we just never know.”

About 50 kilometres away on Double D Station, west of Moranbah, Shontae Moran is likewise worried about her family’s future when the GVK rail line is built.

The line will spilt her property into 4 segments.

They need to have to make some major changes so that rural farming families are protected from this sort of issue and the mining businesses know exactly where they stand as properly.

Doug Burnett, grazier

“Any individual who lives on the land, it really is a legacy, it really is anything you hope to pass on to your children, but it causes a lot of anxiety not really being aware of what you happen to be going to have to pass onto them.”

She mentioned numerous impacted landholders had reached breaking point.

“There is been mental health impacts exactly where men and women have had to seek support because of added layers of anxiety.”

But GVK Hancock spokesman Josh Euler mentioned the predicament was out of the company’s hands.

“A handful of anti-mining activists are making use of the courts to delay these projects, and it really is delaying us from obtaining to a point where we can finalise our financing arrangements and getting to the point of paying out these compensation offers and contractual arrangements with landholders,” he stated.

“So these anti-mining groups actually need to be held accountable.”

He stated the organization had reached compensation or contractual arrangements with about 75 per cent of impacted landholders, and had been waiting for legal instances to be finalised ahead of progressing with the next phase of the rail line.

‘The State Government has let us down’

Jo-Anne Bragg from the Environmental Defenders Workplace said court challenges had been an essential portion of the method.

“What is the point of having laws to defend the reef, to protect endangered species to shield ground water if they’re not enforced?” she stated.

“We require much more rigorous environmental assessment of mines before they are approved.

“We also need to have a lot more rigorous economic assessment, since mining organizations have been identified to usually exaggerate the financial advantage.”

Cattle in large dusty paddock, man on motorcycle mustering in the background Photo: Grazier Doug Burnett says the rail line has added uncertainty to the future of life on the land. (ABC News: Alyse Edwards)

The State Government said it was contemplating methods to make the method a lot more effective, and that although it supported people’s proper to their day in court, the approach must not be dragged out for years.

Mr Burnett said significant law changes have been necessary so mining and agriculture could co-exist.

“The State Government has let us down, has let rural landholders down,” he stated.

“I consider they’re letting sources companies down and they’re letting the state down in that these prospective projects aren’t receiving off the ground.

“I consider there is true problems in the legislation as it is that these difficulties are allowed to occur and drag on as they have.

“They want to make some main modifications so that rural farming families are protected from this sort of point and the mining companies know where they stand as effectively.”

Topics: mining-rural, mining-market, rail-transport, regional-improvement, beef-cattle, alpha-4724, rockhampton-4700, townsville-4810, gladstone-4680

Initial posted December 06, 2015 15:08:03

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Tasmanian farmers urged to plan ahead following driest spring on record

By Sallese Gibson

Posted December 02, 2015 16:23:59

Dead trees Tasmania drought, December 2007 Photo: Tasmania has experienced its driest spring on record and farmers are becoming urged to turn to technology to keep afloat. (ABC News: Cate Grant)

Automated irrigation systems and drought-resistant crops are amongst planning measures put forward to Tasmanian farmers experiencing unseasonably dry situations.

The state has experienced its driest spring on record which has forced some farmers to sell livestock and lessen crop plantings.

One particular of the factors that we often see… is that men and women aren’t employing the [irrigation program] capacity very effectively.

TIA dairy group leader Lesley Irvine

At a forum in the state’s north-west the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) looked at methods for coping with low summer season rainfall.

TIA dairy team leader Lesley Irvine mentioned they wanted to aid farmers far better handle climate variability.

“We’ll be offering sensible tips on irrigation management in a dry summer season and how to get the ideal from your irrigation pump and sprinklers,” she stated.

Dr Joseph Foley from the University of Southern Queensland, who was a guest speaker at the occasion, mentioned there ought to be a focus on irrigation overall performance.

“One particular of the things that we frequently see … is that men and women are not using the [irrigation system] capacity quite properly,” he stated.

“They might only utilise two-thirds of that program capacity.

“One of the challenges is to make sure that the pivots are utilized fully by means of this hotter summer time period.

“That implies that it truly should be utilised to capacity and actually ought to be running far more or significantly less each day, all week, throughout these warmer months.”

Automated irrigation ‘improves water efficiency’

Dr James Hill with an automated irrigation system Photo: Dr James Hill with an automated irrigation program which he says can aid farmers by way of dry circumstances with better water efficiency. (ABC News: Sallese Gibson)

Researchers at the TIA are establishing an irrigation technique to enhance the way farmers use their water.

Project leader Dr James Hills stated the technique automatically irrigates pastures, based on data it collects.

“What we will be carrying out is putting sensors out in the field that’ll be measuring the soil moisture, the climatic variables temperature, rainfall and other factors and we’ll be getting sensors on our actual pivot, searching at water volume being employed,” he mentioned.

As soon as you get behind and it is really tough to catch up and that truly effects efficiency and productivity.

TIA project leader Dr James Hills

“We can [then] commence to appear at approaches to take the decision that is at present getting produced by farmers into an automatic program so that the program itself is producing decisions on what is the greatest application of water.

“It identifies exactly where the water needs to go, how much water wants to go on, when it needs to go on and then applies that in an automatic way.”

Dr Hills believes taking the decision-making away from farmers could lead to efficiency gains.

“At present, farmers make choices by seeking at their pastures … they’re possessing to make the choice to go out and to turn the irrigator on to apply that water,” he stated.

“What we’re trying to do is to develop a program that essentially identifies what is necessary and then does that automatically.

“A single of the massive issues is that farmers do not really know how significantly is acceptable … and so there is instances exactly where specific areas in your paddock may possibly be more than-watered, other places beneath-watered.

“[The technique] is really enabling the matching of your water to the specifications for those paddocks.”

He said he was confident it would boost farm management, specifically in dry circumstances.

“Farmers … require to consider about appropriately starting their irrigation at the correct time, [so] they’re not allowing the ground to dry out and they are creating positive they keep up with it,” he said.

“[It really is crucial] they don’t drop important productivity just by saying ‘I feel I will just skimp a tiny bit here’, due to the fact when you get behind and it’s quite challenging to catch up and that really impacts efficiency and productivity.”

The irrigation sensor method is in its very first year of a three-year trial period in Tasmania.

Trials aim to beat the heat

Adam Langworthy in his 'crop circle' Photo: Adam Langworthy stands inside the circle of infrared heaters utilized test pasture species resistance to drought. (ABC News: Sallese Gibson)

An additional trial project is using infrared heaters to test pasture species and irrigation strategies.

Project leader Adam Langworthy hopes to determine how diverse grass species respond to irrigation below specific temperatures.

“The project’s looking at how we can overcome the adverse affects of heatwaves over these dry periods,” he stated.

“To impose heatwave stress, we’ve been creating these infrared heater rings.

“It really is virtually like crop circles that we’re making with these heaters.

“We’ll be going through with diverse frequencies of irrigation to see if you’d invest in one thing like a centre pivot compared to a travelling irrigator, how you’d expect your grass to execute below these different frequencies of irrigation.”

Topics: irrigation, rural, agribusiness, tas

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