Growers’ e-Bulletin – May 17, 2017

News and updates from the ABGC

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17 May 2017

Come meet the Board!

The Australian Banana Growers’ Council is inviting all northern NSW banana growers to join us for a meeting with the Board and senior staff next week.

This occasion provides growers with an informal opportunity to chat with the ABGC, your industry representative, on the issues that concern you the most.

Please join us on Wednesday, 24 May from 6pm at the Murwillumbah Golf Club, 233 Byangum Road, Murwillumbah NSW 2484. Dinner and drinks will be provided. Please RSVP by Monday, 22 May to or by phone 07 3278 4786.

Prior to the dinner, NSW growers are being encouraged to attend a meeting of the Tweed/Brunswick Banana Growers’ Association to discuss the future of the Association.

The meeting will be held at the same venue from 5pm. It follows concerns that the Association may not have enough members to continue, after a number of current committee members expressed their intention of resigning.

Panama Open Day success

Big congratulations to the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ (DAF) staff who organised a hugely successful Panama open day at the South Johnstone Research Station last Friday.

About 100 banana growers, researchers and other industry leaders took part in the interactive event, hearing the latest research and development focussed on Panama disease Tropical Race 4 (TR4).

One of the issues discussed was the importance of using disinfectant products in the most effective manner.  Growers were shown high range test strips (0-1500ppm) that test the concentration of DDAC based disinfectants.

These strips can be sourced from reputable laboratory suppliers however for more information please don’t hesitate to contact Shanara Veivers – or 07 4220 4149 – who will be able to assist with providing further information.

Duranbah field day

A reminder that the Sub-Tropical Variety field day will be held at the Duranbah field site at Andersons Road, Duranbah, next Thursday May 25, starting at 10am.

Growers are invited to come and view the three ‘best bet’ varieties from the recently completed Banana Plant Protection Project. These varieties will now be grown in semi-commercial plantings to develop growing, ripening and handling recommendations, as well as undergo consumer acceptance testing.

Staff from the Rural Counselling Service will also be on hand at the field day to advise growers about ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie recovery efforts and assist with disaster grant applications.

Morning tea and lunch will be provided. For catering purposes it is important to RSVP to Matt Weinert via email or call 0438 644 136. Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga and Nambucca growers should contact Wally Gately on 0419 660 175, as the Coffs BGA will be organising a bus or car-pooling.

Seasonal work trial incentives

The Federal Government is introducing a Seasonal Work Incentives Trial on 1 July 2017 to help meet the seasonal labour demands of horticultural growers.

The two-year trial aims to encourage job seekers to take up short-term work placements of six weeks by providing them with an opportunity to earn additional income, without affecting their income support payment. There is a weekly incentive payment for participating employers.

For further information contact Ann Martin-Acland (Department of Employment) on 02 6121 5925 or Cathy Catanzariti on 02 6240 6987.

Safe Work and Return to Work Awards

Queenslanders are being urged to enter the 2017 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards, offering the chance to win up to $2000 in prize money.

The awards recognise the achievements of those who go the extra mile when it comes to promoting work health and safety and return to work.

If you know an individual or organisation that is helping to create safer workplaces and helping to get injured workers back on the job, Worksafe Queensland would like to hear from you.

Queensland Workplace Safety Ambassador Shane Webcke, who lost his dad in a workplace incident, will be part of a gala awards ceremony on 18 October where finalists will be announced.

For more information about the awards, including various award categories and entry criteria, visit

Grower driven ideas

Our growers produce the product, and now they’re driving the update of the Australian Bananas website.

Your daily dietary needs wrapped up” nutritional chart was launched on the Australian Bananas website – – on Monday and highlights the great nutritional benefits of our favourite fruit.

It points out that bananas are packed with goodness including 15 per cent of your daily vitamin B6 requirements and 12 per cent of your folate needs.  The diagram makes it easy for consumers to understand just how healthy bananas are.

Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Elisa King says the exciting thing is that it was an idea that came from long-time New South Wales grower and former ABGC director Peter Molenaar.  For more information contact Elisa King at or phone 0403 378 888.

This e-bulletin is produced by the Australian Banana Growers’ Council as a part of the Communications Project for the Banana Industry funded by HIA Ltd using the banana industry R&D levy and matched funds from the Australian Government.