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Wheat growers urged to look out for leaf rust

A new wheat leaf rust pathotype has been detected, prompting a warning from researchers to the region’s growers that they need to be vigilant in checking their crops for the disease and have any suspect samples tested.
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The new pathotype was detected in northern NSW from samples collected in early August 2013.

It was found near Gragin and Graman, NSW, in the cultivar Naparoo. Three rust samples were sent to the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute for pathotype analysis.

Australian Cereal Rust Control Program Director Professor Robert Park says the new pathotype is a mutant of an existing pathotype with added virulence for the gene Lr24.

Professor Park said the frequency of mutant pathotypes appearing depends on how much rust inoculum is present in paddocks.

“This is the second mutation to virulence for Lr24 in Australia, and the first pathotype in Australia to combine this virulence with virulence for other rust resistance genes, Lr13 and Lr37,” he said.

“The new pathotype does not look any different to existing ones and will not spread any differently.

“The parent pathotype that gave rise to this new mutant is regarded as an exotic introduction and was first detected in Australia at Inverleigh, Victoria, in late 2006. It has since become widespread in Victoria, southern and northern NSW, South Australia and Tasmania, which gives an indication of the potential rate and range of this new pathotype’s spread.”

Professor Park said wheat varieties with the resistance gene combination Lr37 and Lr24 are being tested to assess the full impact of the new pathotype on them.

These varieties include Carinya, EGA Jaegar, GBA Combat, Naparoo, QAL2000, QALBis and Sunvex.

“Farmers who are growing any of these seven cultivars should monitor crops closely, and forward samples of leaf rust detected to the University’s Plant Breeding Institute for pathotype analysis,” he said.

“Detecting new pathotypes depends upon how rigorous the sampling is – that is why we need people to look for rust and send samples to us for pathotyping.

“We do not know the full extent of how these varieties will be affected until they have been field tested but testing so far has indicated that all seven are susceptible at the seedling stage to the new pathotype.”

Professor Park said advanced breeding lines would be tested next year to see how they performed to help breeders avoid releasing anything that was highly vulnerable.

“It is likely we will not know the full impact of this new pathotype until more greenhouse seedling tests and field adult plant tests are undertaken,” he said.

Rusted plant samples can be mailed in paper envelopes, not plastic wrapping or plastic-lined packages, to Australia Cereal Rust Survey Plant Breeding Institute, Private Bag 4011, Narellan, NSW, 2567.

The Australian Cereal Rust Control Program is supported by growers through the Grains Research & Development Corporation.

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Trouble on the high seas

TWO boats capsized off the end of the V-Wall at Nambucca Heads yesterday.
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Marine Rescue Nambuccawere called to the scene of an overturned boat around 12.20pm on Sunday before the incident occurred.

Surf life savers located a man and took him to shore when Marine Rescue arrived. The three-man crew, assuming more people were in the water,travelled along South Beach before a wave rolled the boat.

The Marine Rescue jet ski and Surf Life Savers aided the crew and took them to shore.

* Full report in Thursday’s Guardian.

The second rescue team and fishing boat. PHOTO: Stephen Wark

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Passenger numbers ready for take off

PASSENGER numbers through the new Port Lincoln airport are set to spike in the coming months with Christmas, Tunarama and a number of major concerts and sporting events coming up.
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The airport, which has recently been upgraded, has enjoyed a successful period with the new look terminal experiencing a 4 per cent increase in passenger growth compared with other rural centres in South Australia.

Airport manager Barrie Rogers said the airport in the past 24 months had had 900 more passengers go through.

“The new terminal has played a part,” Mr Rogers said.

“But overall there has just been a steady increase over the past numbers of years.”

The airport has seen a six per cent decrease in numbers for the month of August compared its August numbers last year, but Mr Rogers said this was nothing to worry about and there was a number of contributing factors for that statistic.

“There may have been cheap ticket prices, events on, there are millions of reasons,” Mr Rogers said.

“But Beyonce is coming to Adelaide in the next few months, so we are expecting to see a big jump with people flying over for that.

“It (rise and fall of passenger numbers) can be as simple as something like that.”

Mr Rogers said statistics and passenger numbers were not always accurate with the passenger numbers counting only people who booked return fairs.

“The statistics are never true and accurate,” he said.

“It only takes into account the return fairs, it doesn’t count if someone flies to Adelaide and then goes on to somewhere else.”

Christmas, Tunarama and major concerts and sporting events are expected to boost numbers through Port Lincoln airport.

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Bega town hall: ‘Ratepayers the losers’

Plans for the redevelopment of the Bega town hall are coming under fire from the Bega Valley Shire Ratepayers and Residents Association.BEGA Valley Shire Ratepayers and Residents Association (BVSRRA) president Peter Rogers has slammed the proposed Civic Centre plans.
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Mr Rogers said the Valley’s ratepayers are “very much the losers” and the plans will please “no-one except council”.

The BVSRRA has been outspoken about a new Civic Centre in Bega.

The group was formed in the footsteps of the Civic Centre Action Committee, which had been fighting for years to retain and refurbish the existing Bega town hall (BDN, 2/11/12).

After inspecting Hines Construction’s proposed plans, Mr Rogers said he was disappointed to see the building feature council offices and chambers.

“Council could have been honest and open from the outset about the offices and chambers,” he said.

“That’s an awful lot of money spent essentially just to get new council chambers.”

* To view floor plans andelevations clickhere, and find a link to a 3D walkthrough video here.

* To have your say on the proposal, comment below,email [email protected]南京夜网.au or call 6492 1177.

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Ten years of windfarm operation

Pacific Hydro staff employed at the Challicum Hills Wind Farm, Leigh Roberts, Sally Buckingham, Dean Tonkin and Rohan Calvert, have to work in all weather, including the wet and blustery conditions of last week. Pictures: PETER PICKERINGArarat – The Challicum Hills Wind Farm, one of the first wind farms in the state and at that time the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, is this month celebrating its 10th anniversary.
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Ten years ago a little known series of hills close to the small community of Buangor become home to 35 wind turbines, known as the Challicum Hills Wind Farm.

Wind turbines have been gracing Challicum Hills for 10 years.

The project was able to be built because of the Federal Renewable Energy Target and in 2003 it was the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere and one of the first wind farms in the state.

Each of the turbines generates enough electricity for 700-800 Victorian homes each year, feeding the power into the local power grid that connects down to Ballarat and up to Stawell.

Managing and maintaining the project is a full time job. A team of five including wind farm supervisor Adrian Ciccocioppo and technicians Leigh Roberts, Dean Tonkin, Rohan Calvert and Jon Porter scale the massive turbines almost every other day to carry out maintenance, servicing and safety checks.

“It’s a 70 metre climb up to get to the generator so you quickly learn to be organized so you don’t forget anything you need for the job,” Mr Roberts, who has worked at the wind farm since 2005 and climbs the towers up to twice a day, said.

The turbines are serviced every six months and it takes two technicians three days to service each machine. They are checked for safe and efficient operation which includes a range of pressure, electrical and safety checks.

The technicians are onsite during the week maintaining the project rain, hail or shine.

“Although we don’t go onsite during thunderstorms,” Mr Roberts said.

Safety is top of mind on site and right across the company.

“When we’re not servicing or maintaining the turbines, we are running safety drills, inspecting the blades for any damage, taking refresher heights training or upgrading the turbines with the latest technological developments,” Mr Ciccocioppo, the wind farm supervisor, said.

The Australian company who owns the wind farm, Pacific Hydro, has four other wind farms operating in Victoria. It also has hydro and solar projects in Australia.

Pacific Hydro has a long-held commitment to ensuring the local community benefits from its projects and it looks for ways to share value with the community hosting them. At Challicum Hills Wind Farm it operates a community grants program.

Known as the Ararat Sustainable Communities Fund, the program returns profits from the project back into local community projects. In recent times the distribution of the $50,000 annual fund has been decided by a panel that includes community members.

“The panel was set up as a trial to improve transparency and accountability of the program,” Chloe Carpenter who has managed the program for Pacific Hydro since 2008, said.

“The community responded really positively to this change so the panels have been implemented permanently.”

Ms Carpenter said the value in the fund has been amplified by community groups who have created opportunities by increasing their networks and thinking creatively.

“The community groups we have been able to fund are run by passionate volunteers who have been able to generate even more value from the grants. It’s inspiring,” she said.

“For example, a community garden established by the Ararat Landcare Group, who concentrate on protecting vegetation around Ararat, has provided a number of educational and social opportunities for locals.”

Anne Carroll, a volunteer at the garden, says that while it has provided many Ararat residents the opportunity to learn more about gardening and sustainability, the focus is on creating an active and social community.

“We hold regular ‘swap days’, where residents are encouraged to bring along produce such as vegetables and eggs to swap with other locals,” Ms Carroll said.

“Recently we held a very successful Spring Equinox celebration. These events aim to get people thinking about how to be more sustainable, while bringing the community together in a social setting.”

The Ararat Sustainable Communities Fund has distributed $438,000 to 175 projects within the Ararat Rural City since 2005.

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Attempt to address soil acidity

Higher yields: Summer lime spreading in the Wheatbelt.TARGETED lime applications will deliver higher long term yield benefit than phosphorus fertiliser on many Western Australian cropping paddocks according to recent monitoring by the Department of Agriculture and Food.
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Department development officer Greg Shea said the results showed that most cropping paddocks had sufficient phosphorus levels, while more than three quarters of paddocks surveyed had low pH levels limiting grain yield potential.

“With many paddocks unlikely to respond to phosphorus, growers have an opportunity to divert some of the money they might spend on phosphorus fertiliser into lime applications on targeted areas of the farm,” Mr Shea said.

Growers can save about $15/ha by not applying standard phosphorus rates on paddocks with already healthy levels.

“The savings from that part of the cropping program will make inroads into the cost of 2.5 tonne/ha of good quality lime which is a commonly recommended rate in the Wheatbelt,” Mr Shea said.

About 67 per cent of the 184 paddocks surveyed (between Yuna and Jerramungup) had a pH less than 5.5 in the top 0-10cm of soil.

“A pH of less than 4.8 in the topsoil can prune roots of crops such that they can’t explore the soil for water and nutrients, and are more dependent on fertiliser,” Mr Shea said.

“This is the situation where phosphorus rates should not be cut.

“Once the topsoil drops below pH 5.5 crop yields are compromised and only liming can bring these soils back towards their yield potential.”

Mr Shea encouraged growers to monitor soil pH and identify priority areas for targeted lime applications as a third of the surveyed paddocks also had a subsoil pH below the critical level of 4.8.

“It is better to apply more lime to priority areas than a lower rate across whole paddocks,” Mr Shea said.

While the survey indicated most paddocks are unlikely to respond to phosphorus fertiliser, Mr Shea said factors such as soil water repellence and acidity can increase fertiliser phosphorus requirements of crops due to root growth being constrained.

The monitoring has confirmed the results recently published in the Report Card for Sustainable Natural Resource Use in Agriculture.

The soil acidity data was collected by a collaborative project between the department and Precision SoilTech with funding by the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country.

The monitoring formed part of the Focus Paddock project co-funded with the Grains Research Development and Corporation.

For more information on the phosphorus status of their soils, growers can use their own soil test results with the online tool found at agric.wa.gov.au/pmodel.

It is recommended that growers seek the advice of independent agronomists to finetune their fertiliser and liming plans.

GALLERY: 3on3 competition a great success

JUNIOR SPORT
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Hundreds of children packed into Maitland Federation Centre for the 2013 Vibe 3on3 competition on Thursday.

Participants came from all over the region to take part in the national Indigenous basketball and hip hop challenge.

The activities included 3on3 basketball games at the home of the Maitland Mustangs, rapping lessons, art ­workshops, health exhibition and a dance competition.

This event was one of several held around the country promoting sportsmanship, skill acquisition, self-esteem building and reconciliation.

BASKETBALL: Irrawang Public School’s Shaytarna Buckshiram prepares to shoot.

BASKETBALL: Cody Byers, of Woodberry Public School, ­dribbles while waiting to pass.

BASKETBALL: Woodberry Public School student Cody Walker controls the ball.

BASKETBALL: Woodberry Public School’s Aiden White stands guard.

BASKETBALL: Woodberry Public School’s Bailey Winner put all his efforts into this shot.

BASKETBALL: Students prepare to contest a rebound.

BASKETBALL: Kaleb Sands, from Woodberry Public School, receives a pass.

BASKETBALL: Woodberry Public School student Ben Jongerden reaches for a rebound.

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New role, new opportunities

TWENTY-one years ago he left Tatiara Meat Company for other career opportunities, now Trevor Schiller is back as the JBS plant manager.
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Based in Bordertown, Mr Schiller started his new role on September 23 at the same time the company added its second shift which created another 180 positions.

Mr Schiller has spent his whole career in the meat production industry and said “it’s great to be back in the Tatiara”.

Before his new role, Mr Schiller was in Colac, Victoria, at a meat processing plant as general manager for plant operations.

Mr Schiller has come a long way since he started at TMC Bordertown at 18 as a labourer.

“I worked my way through after initially being employed as a labourer, my first actual job was to make cardboard boxes, to then getting pretty excited about learning as much as I could of the meat industry as a whole, ” Mr Schiller said.

Now joining with the new shift, which is in its fourth week, Mr Schiller said it was “working well”.

“There seems to be a bit of progress on the accommodation front and I think the article (in the Border Chronicle) that we did has produced a bit of activity that has come out of that – so that’s been really positive,” Mr Schiller said.

The company continues to work hard on both the short, medium and long-term accommodation needs in the Tatiara.

With about half of the new employees being Australian citizens Mr Schiller said the benefits of the new shift would flow through to the local economy.

“It’s significant and exciting, as we’ve communicated the dedication by JBS will absolutely translate into the community,” Mr Schiller said.

“That’s fantastic for Bordertown to put them on the world stage as the flagship site for JBS and that will translate to many benefits across the district.

“It’s opportunities for small business as well.

“I was given an opportunity not long after starting and enjoyed that, that was in the original days where the Tatiara was instrumental in developing the chilled lamb market in America and Europe and were in fact one of the first to ship chilled lamb by air into those market.”

NEW: JBS plant manager Trevor Schiller in the boning and production room in Bordertown.

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Fund model’s big winner

LAKE Illawarra High School was among the big winners from the state government’s Resource Allocation Model announced last week.
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However, cutting of funds to other schools in the region has drawn criticism.

Liberal Kiama MP Gareth Ward announced $1.78 million in extra funding for public schools throughout the electorate in 2014 to be delivered through the RAM.

Base funding for all public schools next year remains the same, but they will receive extra resources for Aboriginal students and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, from a $300 million pool.

“The RAM distributes funding to public schools on a needs basis and funding provided to schools will directly reflect the characteristics of individual schools and their students,” Mr Ward said.

“$300 million is being distributed across all public schools in NSW on the two new loadings for socio-economic and Aboriginal backgrounds; $100 million of this is additional funding which was made possible by the Gonski Agreement.

“The socio-economic equity loading will fund more than 390,000 students from low socio-economic backgrounds across NSW, which is more than three times the 120,000 students who are supported now.

“All 49,000 students with an Aboriginal background will receive funding under the new Aboriginal background loading, which is more than twice the number of students currently receiving additional support.”

Schools to benefit from increased funding include Albion Park High School ($244,651); Albion Park Public School ($103,389); Albion Park Rail Public School ($361,395); Mount Terry Public School ($57,040); Shell Cove Public School ($22,360) and Tullimbar Public School ($21,409).

Among the recipients in the Shellharbour electorate is Lake Illawarra High, which will receive an additional $619,873.

Lake Illawarra High principal Tony Hicks said while the school had an idea where the increased funding would be used, they had yet to make a decision.

“We want to consult with the school community, to make sure what we do is of the greatest benefit to our kids,” he said.

Mr Hicks said areas of need to assist their 730 students included academic performance and welfare support.

“We are a low socio-economic school, and it’s a really fair way of providing assistance,” he said.

“Our students have been identified as needing a bit of extra support and they’re providing it for us, which is great.”

Labor Shellharbour MP Anna Watson was “outraged” that three schools in the Shellharbour electorate would lose up to $111,000.

Ms Watson said that even when the 2014 Aboriginal Loading component of funding was included, the three local schools still face a funding cut of up to $77,084.

The schools to have funding cuts in Shellharbour are Lake Illawarra South Public School ($26,237), Mt Warrigal Public School ($45,200) and Oak Flats Public School ($39,388).

“This is simply disgraceful and unacceptable,” Ms Watson said.

“The three schools at issue in my electorate cover some of the most disadvantaged areas in my electorate.

” Every school was meant to be funded on a clear needs-basis under the Gonski reforms, and that meant no cuts to any school.”

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Parent tackles bullying

Shell Cove’s Julie-Anne Williams has self-published a book on the effects of bullying. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSONA SHELL Cove parent has drawn from her experiences and those of her children to self-publish a book aimed at reducing incidents of bullying.
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Julie-Anne Williams also hopes the book can become an approved manual to help schools address the issue, particularly given the recent rise of cyber-bullying.

Having dabbled in writing in the past, when she survived two aneurysms last year, the 48-year-old decided to actively concentrate on her writing.

She is married with five children, and works in babysitting and aged care.

“I was bullied as a child, and suffered through my son, who experienced quite horrific bullying,” she said.

“Being a boy, it was more physical than what I went through.”

Her book, Bully Me Not, includes chapters covering topics such as her family’s experiences, different types of bullying, long-term effects and why children are targeted.

“It’s serious, but with some fun bits as well, to keep the children interested,” she said.

It also addresses the relatively new concept of cyber-bullying and the associated issues of anonymity and perceived lack of accountability by perpetrators.

“It’s different from my era and my son’s era,” Mrs Williams said.

“This type of bullying wasn’t around, but it’s an issue now.

“Bullying just doesn’t stay in the playground any more.

“The book offers tips for kids and parents.

“Teaching children just because they’re 11 or 12, doesn’t mean mum and dad shouldn’t be monitoring it.

“They should be; not to spy, but make sure they’re safe.”

Mrs Williams also hopes that some proceeds from the book – which is aimed at years 4 to 5 and high school students, and their parents – could be donated to Illawarra schools to help fund anti-bullying programs and education.

The book is her second self-published work following last year’s dark fantasy piece Twisted Torment.

Mrs Williams also has a few other writing projects in the pipeline.

She actively supported aspiring authors taking the self-publishing/print-on-demand route.

“If you’re a no one, no one really wants to touch you,” she said.

“It’s a lot harder as you have to do all the work.

“It’s harder to get book shops to look at it.”

Since recovering from last year’s illness, she opted to take writing more seriously.

“You see that light at the end of the tunnel, and it really makes you think, ‘maybe I should do something’,” she said.

“You realise life can be short, so try and do something with it.”

Bully Me Not is available on amazon南京夜网.

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