Growers’ e-bulletin – July 11, 2019


July 11, 2019


Cassowary Coast banana waste
Innisfail Show 2019 
Last chance: NSW & SEQ NextGen trip
Rebates for proposed minimum standards advice
TR4 training for essential services
Banana levy reduced
Hort Innovation’s new strategy 
Fresh Produce Safety Centre guidelines 


Banana waste in Cassowary Coast council area


Cassowary Coast Regional Council has advised that it has increased disposal fees for banana bags, poly pipe and agricultural plastics, effective as of July 1.

The Council said they had previously charged for these products by weight, but they are light, problematic to compact, consolidate within landfill and use up considerable expensive airspace.

Disposal fees have increased to $220 per m3.

In addition, and also as of July 1, the Queensland Government requires that Landfill Operators charge a levy on all waste going to landfill. That levy is $75.00 per tonne. Council as a Landfill Operator are required to provide payment to the state government for every tonne of material that is landfilled.  This fee is in addition to the disposal costs.


Innisfail Show 2019

The Innisfail Show is currently under way, with quality of fruit impressing judges at this year’s banana exhibit. Keep an eye on the ABGC’s Facebook Page and the next Australian Bananas magazine for a full list of prize-winners, as well as social snaps from the weigh-in.

The Australian Banana Packing Championship kicks off tonight, with finals and the backpacker event wrapping things up tomorrow.


Last chance! NSW and SEQ chance to head north

Time is running out to register your interest for a NextGen trip from SEQ and New South Wales to North Queensland.

As part of BA16007, the subtropical development and extension project, there’s funding allocation for up to 10 subtropical NextGen growers to check out QDAF research trials and biosecurity protocols at South Johnstone, take in the Tully Show weigh-in and more.

The trip will be limited to 10 growers with airfares, accommodation and bus hire included. You will have to pay for your food and drinks.

If you’re interested contact Matt Weinert ASAP for more details on or 0438 644 136.


Rebates up to $1000 to cover professional advice on minimum standards

The Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) will be providing funding to banana growers to help them access professional and agronomic advice to help meet minimum standards included in the proposed environmental protection legislation. 

The new scheme will cover growers in the Great Barrier Reef catchments and will provide a rebate up to $1000 for professional advice.  Once established, growers will be able to select an advisor listed on the QRIDA website and seek their advice.  They will need to pay the advisor upfront and then apply to QRIDA for a rebate of up to $1000.

Meanwhile, ABGC has been working with DES to ensure the minimum standards for nitrogen and phosphorous application and sediment control make sense.  ABGC is continuing to advocate for the abolition of the Government’s additional regulation on farm design standards for new cropping developments.  A starting date for the new minimum standards will be dependent on the bill passing through parliament.



Essential services help prevent Panama TR4 spread

Making sure that essential services get unhindered access to banana farms during emergency situations is critical. So is ensuring first responders limit potential disease spread once situations are under control by washing down vehicles and equipment as soon as practicable.

This was the focus of recent workshops run by Biosecurity Queensland’s Panama TR4 Program for local ambulance, fire and emergency services. Workshop attendees learnt that banana growers have already done much to protect their livelihoods by installing signs and fences, washing down machinery and controlling movements on and off their properties.

The workshops gave services the opportunity to update and streamline turnout procedures for crews entering banana farms and reinforce the policy of come clean, leave clean.

Community engagement and education is integral to ongoing, effective containment of the disease as to protect the important role of the banana industry in the economy for this region.


Banana levy has reduced

A reminder to growers and agents that the Banana Levy has been reduced by 0.75 cents per kilogram to 2.19 cents per kilogram as at 1 July, as a result of ABGCs request to stop the deduction for the Freckle Emergency Plant Pest Response.

Further information can be found here.


Hort Innovation’s New Strategy

Launched earlier this month, the Hort Innovation Strategy 2019-2023 lays out Hort Innovation’s focus, goals and key activities for the next four years.

You can see the new strategy and what it means for you at


Fresh Produce Safety Centre guidelines released

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre – Australia and New Zealand – has released the 2019 Guidelines for food safety.

The updated version, available here, includes new info on water wash, produce tampering and food safety culture.



The ABGC e-bulletin has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the banana research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.