ABC News Australia

Industry says cut flower imports a ‘superhighway’ for disease, so where’s the cash?

The Australian flower industry’s peak body is calling on the federal government to invest more money to protect growers from biosecurity threats.Key points:The government is set to throw hundreds of millions at biosecurity measures in the BudgetIndustry leaders say the cut flower industry is an exotic pest and disease “superhighway”Some exporters were found to have failed inspections at…

Nationals MP rejects call for Clarence Valley mining moratorium

The state member for Clarence says calls by the local council for a moratorium on mining in the valley are “rash and ill-considered”.Key points:A petition against mining in the Clarence Valley has gained 10,000 signaturesThe Clarence Valley Council is calling for a mining moratoriumThe state Nationals MP says every application should be considered on its meritThe…

PM announces $370m biosecurity boost at Beef Australia

Keeping Australia safe from devastating pests and disease will be the focus of a $370 million federal government splurge announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison today.Key points:The government is set to throw hundreds of millions at biosecurity measures in the BudgetDespite the closure of international borders, producers have continued to grapple with destructive pestsAgriculture Minister David…

These robots safely harvest fruit in just 7 seconds

Robot technology is almost readily accessible for harvesting fruit on farms in Victoria. In a bid to address the seasonal worker shortage, several researchers and scientists are working hard to get the technology up to scratch for farmers. Key points:Seasonal labour shortages have provided more incentive for researchers to develop fast harvest-picking robotsThe current material cost for one…

Trudi put a fence around her ‘moonscape’ dam and the results are extraordinary

Trudi Refshauge’s property at Wyangala, in Central West New South Wales, was once described as a “moonscape”, but today it is a refuge for birds, reptiles and insects. Key points:Trudi Refshauge’s dam at Wyangala is now a “native wonderland”ANU research shows healthy dams lead to an increase livestock weight gainMost farm dams exceed the safe water consumption threshold…

Victoria sets ‘ambitious’ targets to reach net zero emissions by 2050

The Victorian government has committed to cutting the state’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, in a long-awaited targets announcement. Key points:By 2025, all government operations, including schools and hospitals, will be powered by renewablesThe plan also includes money to reduce emissions in the agricultural sectorEnvironment Victoria says the targets need to be more ambitious if…

Why the ‘organic’ produce you’re buying might not be all it’s cracked up to be

Certified growers and industry are pushing for mandatory regulation and certification of organic produce in Australia to improve consumer confidence and secure the industry’s reputation.Key points:Australia’s organic industry contributes around $2.6 billion to the economy each yearThere is no mandatory regulation and legislation for organic-labelling on the domestic marketThe federal government formed an Industry Advisory Group to…

La Niña delivers best wet season in four years for Kimberley cattle stations and native wildlife

As the northern wet season ends, pastoralists, tourism operators and ecologists are celebrating the best wet season across the Kimberley region in four years.Key points:The La Niña contributed to the highest rain totals across northern WA since 2016–17 Significant rainfall welcomed, but repairs to infrastructure and road networks continueAlthough dry season officially started on May 1, there could still…