Growers’ e-bulletin – March 9, 2018


9 March, 2018


HARPS meetings update
Freckle Free NT
National Biosecurity Awards
Watkins named award finalist
NQ sediment workshop
Feast of the Senses
Ag leadership program
Bananas back on TV 

Registration required for HARPS meetings

Growers who wish to attend one of a number of scheduled HARPS Awareness Sessions planned over the next month will need to register for the meetings.

The HARPS project team has scheduled a number of information sessions to address growers’ issues, following representations from ABGC and other peak bodies, which raised some members’ concerns.

The sessions include;

Wed 21st March:

·         Brisbane Markets, 9-10am and 10am-11am

Thurs 22nd March:

·         Bundaberg, Rowers in the River 2, Toonburra St, 4-6pm

Wed 11th April:

·         Mareeba, Mareeba Leagues Club, Doyle & Riordan Streets. 12.00 – 2.00 pm

·         South Johnstone, DAF Research Station, 24 Experimental Station Rd, Boogan, 4.30pm – 6.30pm.

Workshops will also be held in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Bowen.

To register for a session go to or follow the links at

For further information call HARPS on 1300 852 219.

NT almost officially freckle free

Officers from the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program are currently delivering the final round of banana plant inspections to ensure the Northern Territory can be declared free of the disease.

Banana Freckle was detected in the Territory in 2013 and the current national response program has been in progress since October 2014.

The eradication program is currently in its fourth and final phase – assessment of proof of freedom. During this phase inspections will be undertaken on more than 300 properties that were previously infected with banana freckle, or that were in close proximity to infected areas.

If no further detection of the fungus is made, a proof of freedom submission will be made to the Consultancy Committee on Emergency Plant Pests.

National recognition for banana biosecurity practices 

Big congratulations this week for two Australian banana farming companies who received national honours for outstanding biosecurity practices.

Mackay Farming Group (Tully) and Rum Jungle Organics (Northern Territory) were presented with a 2018 Australian Biosecurity Award in the Farm Biosecurity Producer of the Year category, at a ceremony in Canberra on Tuesday.

The national award recognises primary producers that have made an outstanding contribution to the integrity of Australia’s biosecurity, by demonstrating exceptional on-farm biosecurity practices.

On hand to accept their awards were; (pictured above from left) Gavin and Cameron Mackay (Mackay Farming Group) and Alan Petersen and Julie-Ann Murphy (Rum Jungle Organics). Also pictured at back, Plant Health Association CEO Greg Milne and ABGC CEO Jim Pekin.

Rural Women’s Award finalist

Congratulations also to Krista Watkins from Natural Evolution Foods at Walkamin, named a Queensland finalist for the 2018 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award.

The AgriFutures Award acknowledges the essential role that women play in developing rural industries, businesses and communities.

Krista is one of four finalists chosen from a highly competitive field. The Queensland winner will be announced in Brisbane on March 22.

All state and territory winners will compete for the Australian Rural Women’s Award on 12 September 2018.

All the best Krista.

North Queensland Sediment Workshop

Far Northern growers that would like help to develop a sediment management plan for their farm are invited to a sediment workshop at the South Johnstone Research Station on Friday, March 16.

The workshop is free to growers, however there are only five places available, so you will need to get in quick.

You will be shown soil basics and sediment control structures, as well as ways of developing your own sediment conservation plan for your farm.

Attending will also entitle you to a free one-on-one site visit with a soil conservation expert and assistance to apply for a funding grant to help you put your plan into action.

For further information and to register call Sarah at ABGC on (07) 4015 2797 or email

The Reef Alliance Program is a partnership between agricultural industry, regional NRM bodies and facilitated by the Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF), with a common goal of securing the future health of the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef Alliance Program is funded by the Australian Government and delivered through the Reef Trust.

Feast of the Senses needs you

Growers on the Cassowary Coast are still being sought to lend a hand at this year’s Feast of the Senses.

Each year Australian Bananas proudly sponsors the event, however volunteers are needed to help set up, make smoothies and hand out merchandise on the day.

The event will be held on Sunday, March 25 in the main street of Innisfail. A volunteers’ roster will be set up, so if you can spare just one hour of your time you will not only help promote your industry, you will also help make this event a huge success.

For more information or to volunteer please contact Dean Sinton on 0427 632 452.

Image: Feast of the Senses

Women’s Agriculture Leadership Program

Applications are now open for the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program – a mentoring program aimed at increasing the number of skilled women in leadership roles in agriculture.

The Federal Government and leading agribusinesses have teamed up with the National Farmers’ Federation to reduce the gender gap in senior ranks of the agricultural sector.

Women over the age of 25, who aspire to be a leader in agriculture are invited to apply for the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program. Applications close on April 12, 2018.

More info go to:

Bananas back on the telly

Australian Bananas will launch its latest burst of television advertising this weekend.

Bananas will be promoted in all major metro markets and regional areas from Sunday with TV commercials in high rating programs on Networks 9 and TEN.

Out-of-home advertising (shopping centres, buses, gyms and cinemas) and Digital marketing will start on March 18.

The TV shows to tune into are;

Metro TV – Sydney;

•      Nine News Sunday – 11.03.18 Channel 9

•      Married At First Sight – Monday 12.03.18 & Tuesday 13.03.18 Channel 9

•      I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here – Tuesday 13.03.18 Channel 10

•      The Living Room – Friday 16.03.18 Channel 10


·         The Sunday Project – Sunday 11.03.18 Channel 10

·          I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here – Tuesday 13.03.18 Channel 10

·          Married At First Sight – Wednesday 14.03.18 Channel 9


·         Married At First Sight – Sunday 11.03.18 Channel 9

·         I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here – Tuesday 13.03.18 Channel 10

·         Family Feud – Friday 16.03.18 Channel 10

·         Married At First Sight – Sunday 11.03.18 Channel 9

·         I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here – Tuesday 13.03.18 Channel 10

·         The Project – Wednesday 14.03.18 Channel 10

 Regional TV 

•      Married At First Sight – Sunday 11.03.18 9 Now

•      Neighbours – Wednesday 14.03.18 Eleven

•      Seven News – Friday 16.03.18 Prime


·         My Kitchen Rules – Monday 12.03.18 Prime

·         20 To One – Wednesday 14.03.18 9

·         TEN Eyewitness News – Friday 16.03.18 Channel Ten

·         Married At First Sight – Sunday 11.03.18 Channel 9

·         My Kitchen Rules – Monday 12.03.18 Prime

·         The Big Bang Theory – Thursday 15.03.18 GO!

·         Seven News – Sunday 11.03.18 Prime

·         60 Minutes – Sunday 11.03.18 Channel 9

·         Ten Eyewitness News – Friday 16.03.18 Channel 10

West Australia
·         Today Tonight – Sunday 11.03.18 Prime

·         The Project – Tuesday 13.03.18 Channel 10

•      Neighbours – Thursday 15.03.18 WIN

Hort Innovation

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.

Contact Details
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Also, it is important for membership purposes that growers advise ABGC if they change trading name or their agent (wholesaler) or add one, and also to let their agent know.