Month: October 2018

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Seeds are sown for organic enterprise

SHE’LL BE APPLES: Organic farmer David Bellamy, with wife Dooley and children Inda, 10, and Storm, 12, at the site of their new organic fruit orchard. Picture: NEIL RICHARDSONThe processing factory on site will be recommissioned, and managing director David Bellamy has plans to lure some of the thousands of cars that drive past on the Bass Highway each day into the orchard for an organic tourism experience.
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Second-grade fruit will be processed into a new line of organic baby food, and smaller organic enterprises will be able to process their product at Parramatta Creek on a contract basis.

Websters put the orchard on the market two years ago, and orchard manager Phillip Reed said the sale had provided employment security for the work force of 25 which is expected to double over time.

The orchard has 100,000 trees, and Mr Bellamy plans to keep apple production at 4000 tonnes a year.

While former owners Clements and Websters struggled to make a profit from apples, Bellamy’s Organic Farms Tasmania plans to cut costs by cutting out the middle man and supplying supermarkets direct.

The orchard will stay in conventional production until it becomes a certified organic business.

Forestry plantation activity surrounding the orchard is not seen as a threat to business and Mr Bellamy said he would rather the orchard be surrounded by trees than other non-organic farming activity.

The orchard was last owned by Webster’s and the former owner will work closely with Bellamy’s Organic Farms over the next two years.

Websters has now shed all its apple interests for $4.6 million, with the sale of Paramatta Creek and its Southern Orchard.

Both the State Government and the Tasmanian Greens yesterday welcomed the sale, saying it would give the State’s burgeoning organics industry a major boost.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

21/10/2018 0

Indiscriminate killing no way to make peace

The leaders of countries such as the USA and the UK appear to be operating on a different wavelength to the rest of the world however.They have, in recent days, argued against calling for a cease-fire in Lebanon on the basis it might not lead to a lasting peace.And keeping the war going indefinitely would . . .?Dark ironies aside, the most recent escalation in the world’s latest mini-war is to be deplored.The slaughter of the innocents this paper has abhorred previously continues and Israel, while continuing to claim significant victories, uses the ongoing existence of a major military threat from Hezbollah to justify apparently indiscriminate attacks on places where Lebanese civilians live.With Beirut once more back in the firing line the dove of peace is missing and presumed dead somewhere over the Gaza strip.Lost amidst what some have labelled the “fog of war” is last week’s offer by Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to help return Israel’s missing prisoners if only that country backs off.All Siniora wants is for “Israel to withdraw; to give us back the detainees and to give us the map for the landmines”.City’s consumers the real winnersWHILE congratulations are certainly in order for BEST Community Development – the winner of Ballarat’s top business award at the CGU Commerce Ballarat Business Awards on Thursday night – the fact of the matter is that the real winners are Ballarat’s consumers.Events such as this give local enterprises the opportunity to benchmark and showcase best practice while focussing on delivering maximum possible levels of customer and client satisfaction.All of the enterprises that took part – and they range from the very large and well-known to the quite small and innovative – are to be commended for putting their hats in the ring and saying that they care about quality and enterprise.Well done to all concerned.
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21/10/2018 0

Lennon’s denial on forests

DEFENCE: Paul LennonBill Manning, a 32-year employee, told the inquiry that the forest practices code had been weakened by the Regional Forest Agreement and forest management was corrupt because the code was not enforced.
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“The erosion of best practice has been compounded by the self- regulation of the industry, in effect as to render it virtually non- existent,” he said.

“The fact that forest practices officers are so hopelessly compromised leads to forest practices plans that are drawn up to maximise the area of land to be logged and that ensure the maximum volume of woodchips.”

Mr Lennon said Mr Manning’s allegations were sensationalist and provocative, and suggested he had been put up to it.

“The fact is that our Forest Practices regime is regularly reviewed by independent auditors, and is endorsed with flying colours,” he said.

“His evidence was a series of sensationalised claims presented under the protection of parliamentary privilege by a man with a grudge against his employer.”

Mr Manning alleged that the chief forest practices officer had been asked not to be presented with breaches of the code in more than 80 plans until the expiry date for prosecution had passed.

Mr Lennon said that forestry offences were prosecuted where appropriate, but said the board believed in a non- punitive approach that focused on education and science.

Greens leader Peg Putt called on the Government to conduct a commission of inquiry, and said that the Forest Practices Board continued to hide from scrutiny because Mr Lennon would not allow it to appear before the Senate committee.

“The evidence is alarming that the previous Attorney-General in the Bacon Government, Peter Patmore, failed to act on Mr Manning’s material which showed serious breaches of laws,” she said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

21/10/2018 0


PM’s Senate reform vow[BB] CANBERRA – Prime Minister John Howard yesterday denied his Senate reform plan was a grab for power and vowed to ditch it if he failed to win support within three months. Mr Howard’s discussion paper on measures to make it easier for the government of the day to force legislation through the Senate has received a chilly response.
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Mr Howard has proposed allowing the prime minister to call a joint sitting of Parliament without an election or a joint sitting after an ordinary election.

The Prime Minister’s promise came as the Australian Democrats released an alternative proposal, whereby Australians would vote on disputed legislation at the ballot box.

Move to fight spam e-mails CANBERRA – Australians may soon get relief from annoying, unsolicited e-mails after the House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill to combat spam e-mails.

The bill will give the Australian Communications Authority the power to issue formal warnings, seek injunctions and seek warrants to investigate and monitor suspected spammers.

Software used to harvest addresses and generate address lists for the purposes of sending spam will be banned.

Tobacco label inquiry CANBERRA – Australia’s competition watchdog is investigating whether to take action against tobacco companies for using misleading labels claiming cigarettes are mild or light.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chief Graeme Samuel said he was investigating whether the description on cigarette packages was deceptive.

“The suggestion from light and mild descriptions is that the cigarettes are lighter in impact, more mild in impact, less harmful to health,” he said.

“And our big question is, is that misleading and deceptive conduct under the Trade Practices Act?”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

21/10/2018 0

Company called into question

THE independence of the Victorian planning process for wind energy has been called into question after Wind Power pulled out of a wind energy development in the marginal Labor seat of Ripon.Tarwin Valley Coastal Guardians, which is fighting wind farms in South Gippsland, said it was surprised that the community of Bo Peep near Ballarat has won a reprieve from a 14-turbine development following the announcement by Wind Power that it was pulling out of the project.TVCG spokesman Tim Le Roy said this is the second time that this prospector has withdrawn from a potential wind energy development in a marginal state Labor seat.Mr Le Roy claimed a proposed wind farm at Clarkes Hill, north of Ballarat, was also terminated in 2005 after intervention by the Bracks Government.”It is simply amazing that out of more than 10 facilities constructed, approved or close to approval in Victoria, only one Waubra, is in a Labor seat,” Mr Le Roy said.”There needs to be a public inquiry into who will really benefit from Mr Bracks’ wind policy.”There were only 45 initial objections to the Bo Peep facility compared to more than 1500 at Bald Hills and more than 1500 at Foster North, both in South Gippsland and both in state National party seats.”Yet, once again, as happened at Clarkes Hill, Wind Power managing director Stephen Buckle has packed his bags.”Has the Bracks Government been in his ear again?” But Wind Power director Andrew Newbold said there was no political interference in the decision to scrap the Bo Peep proposal.Now the Bo Peep proposal was dead, Mr Newbold said Wind Power was not looking at any further sites in the Haddon/Cardigan area.”These claims are nonsense and I would ask where is the evidence?,” Mr Newbold said.”This decision was taken following very detailed studies and had nothing to do with supposed government interference.”
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

21/10/2018 0
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