Country News

Things you need to know

By Country News

AG VISA GETS THE GREEN LIGHT:

A new visa category for overseas farm workers is on the way, but it won’t be in place to help producers with summer fruit harvests. Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the National Farmers’ Federation Congress last week he wanted to have a ‘‘fair dinkum’’ conversation about the proposal.

CONCERNS HEARD:

The Productivity Commission has heard from irrigators and locals who shared their views on the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in Shepparton last Wednesday. Many voiced concerns about how the plan would be achieved and the effect on communities.

KIWI FRUIT BACTERIA DETECTED:

A Bunbartha kiwi fruit orchard has detected an aggressive strain of PSA, which has not been seen in Australia before. Victoria was hit with a milder strain back in 2011 but now faces the same issues New Zealand growers faced in 2010 and have since overcome, now growing varieties which are tolerant to the aggressive strain.

G-MW DEPRECIATION HIT:

Depreciation has pushed Goulburn-Murray Water’s annual financial result to a loss of about $100million. The annual report also records a cut in employment numbers and an increase in water delivery efficiency.

WATER CRITERIA:

Two state governments have released their preferred criteria for water recovery programs under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. This follows the release of recommended criteria from the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District Water Leadership Group. The Federal Government is still working out its criteria.