ABGC directors and senior staff met in Mission Beach last week for their quarterly board meeting. A range of important industry issues were discussed over two days, including;
Water quality regs
ABGC continues to push the Queensland Government for practical changes to proposed new water quality regulations, to ensure strong economic development continues across north Queensland.
If you are not happy with the regulations, it’s not too late to have your say.
The State Government has delayed the introduction to parliament of the Bill that will create the new regs. There is wide industry concern that greenfield site provisions will reduce profitability and severely impact economic development in the North. For more details on the proposal, click here.
If you care about the Reef and you care about your profitability, you now have some extra time to raise concerns and provide options to your local member of parliament or the Minister for Environment and Science Leeanne Enoch.
It is unclear when Parliamentarians will debate the Bill but it is likely to be in the next few weeks.
For further information about the proposed provisions, contact Michelle McKinlay, Industry Strategy Manager ABGC on 07 3278 4786.
Growers will soon be asked to give feedback to ABGC on a number of agrichemicals currently under review in Australia.
The regulatory pressures on agrichemicals are increasing globally, with many being restricted or withdrawn from use internationally.
ABGC R&D Manager Dr Rosie Godwin, said for the purpose of strategic planning for future pest management options, it is important to be aware of regulatory threats to chemicals relied upon by the banana industry.
Insecticides and herbicides currently under review in Australia include 2,4 –D, Chlorpyrifos, Fipronil, Diazinon, Paraquat and Diquat.
ABGC will be asking growers via an e-bulletin and survey link to provide any information concerning critical agricultural and biosecurity use patterns for these products. Critical uses are those for which no alternatives exist. Information provided by growers will be collated by Dr Godwin and will assist ABGC prepare an industry-wide submission to the APVMA.
Directors were given an update on the new National Banana Bunchy Top Project which commenced in July. The three-year project will be delivered by ABGC and funded by Hort Innovation though the Banana Fund. Northern NSW growers attending the next Tweed BGA meeting tomorrow (Aug 27) at the Murwillumbah Golf Club from 6pm will hear about the new project and have an opportunity to ask questions about it.
Project Manager David Peasley and Australian Banana Growers’ Council CEO Jim Pekin will attend the meeting to provide an insight into future management of the disease, share new research findings and answer any queries from growers.
In addition to maintaining high standards for property inspections and destruction of infected plants, the project will focus on educating growers across the country – particularly in the control zone – to ensure greater awareness around BBTV management. Consultants, other collaborating parties and the wider community will also be part of the campaign, through targeted messaging.
Deputy chair Leon Collins provided the board with an update on the number of pigs culled under the ABGC’s feral pig eradication program.
As at 23 August, the total number of pigs taken out of the Tully Valley in the past two years to help reduce the risk of spreading TR4 totalled 4490 – 2167 (ground) and 2323 (air).
The co-ordinated eradication program began in July 2017, and has involved aerial shooting, as well ground shooting, baiting, exclusion fencing and trapping. The program has been co-ordinated by Mr Collins and professional shooting contractor Trevor Williamson.
The board also acknowledged a generous donation to the program by Orora who have donated approximately 100 cardboard bins to the project, which have been used to ripen bananas used in pig traps.