Home' The Murray Pioneer : January 13th 2017 Contents 10 COUNTRYSIDE www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, January 13, 2017
Riverland hailstorm recovery assistance grants
of up to $10,000 are available to help affected
primary producers with the clean-up and recov-
These grants could be used for clean-up costs
such as hire of equipment and extra external
labour costs, removal and disposal of debris or
damaged goods (including appropriate disposal
of fallen and damaged fruit).
The money could also be of assistance for
repairs to structures and equipment (e.g. plastic
houses, sheds, irrigation systems, pumps, etc.) or
for agronomic crop advice to assist in the return
to full production.
It is important that applicants go through the
grant check-list, addressing everything listed and
enclosing all of the documents required.
Eligible primary producers must be located
within the defined disaster areas, including
Berri Barmera Council, District Council of Loxton
Waikerie, Renmark Paringa Council, and have suf-
fered direct damage from the hail storm event on
November 11, 2016.
This assistance is jointly funded by
the Commonwealth and South Australia
Governments under the Natural Disaster Relief
and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
PIRSA staff at the Storm Recovery Centre, at
the Loxton Research Centre are available to help
with the application process.
Primary producers can apply for one grant
only. More details are available at www.pir.sa.gov.
au/riverlandhailstormgrants or by calling 08 8595
– WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
ABOUT THE CHANGES
Recent changes to the backpacker tax has
meant there is a lot of confusing information cir-
culating. MADEC harvest labour services manager
Scott Cameron has summarised the important
points and provided links for further information.
Mr Cameron states:
Working holiday makers hold a visa subclass
417 or 462 that allows them to work while in
Australia. The working holiday maker tax rate is
15 per cent for income earned up to $37,000.
Foreign resident tax rates apply to income above
Employers of working holiday makers will be
required to undertake a once-off registration with
the Australian Taxation Office to be able to with-
hold tax at this new rate. Employers who do not
register will be required to withhold tax at the
32.5 per cent rate.
Registration has been extended to January 31.
If you are employing working holiday makers, you
will not be penalised as long as you register by
this date. You can still use the new withholding
tax rate of 15 per cent from January 1.
If you don’t register, you must use the for-
eign resident withholding rates which start at
32.5pc for the first $37,000. Penalties apply if
you employ a working holiday maker with visa
subclass 417 or 462 and you don’t register as an
employer of working holiday makers.
The working holiday maker tax rate applies
regardless of their residency status threshold and
must provide a tax file number (TFN), otherwise
you need to withhold at the top rate of tax.
The 15pc rates only apply to salary and wages
paid from January 1, 2017.
To register follow the link below or, google
Employer registration working holiday makers
For users of the MADEC Card
The card has a code directly under the bar-
code. If you see WHV1 or WHV2 then the new tax
rates apply. If you see any other code like STU,
FULL or 1EMP then the original tax rates apply.
(13pc for horticulture workers)
Treasurer’s press release http://sjm.ministers.
Tax rules to change https://www.ato.gov.au/
Changes to the backpacker tax https://www.
CASAR REFLECTS ON
ITS 2016 ACTIVITIES
The CASAR committee was involved in a num-
ber of activities in 2016.
These included participating in the Citrus
Australia Market Outlook forum and consulting
on the citrus industry’s Strategic Investment Plan
for the next five years.
Workshops/Visits: These included the Citrus
Australia/CASAR Regional Forum, conducting
grower workshops on pest identification, nutri-
tion and netting, sprayer demonstration, citrus
gall wasp, a pre-season workshop for packers,
a grower visit to 2PH Farms in Queensland and
participation in the Area Wide Management
Biosecurity: CASAR was involved in citrus
biosecurity – extension of HIA funding, new
three year funding proposal, Biosecurity levy
NB, National Biosecurity Forum, Surveillance
workshop, SA Biosecurity Forum, CRC Biosecurity
Workshop, Biosecurity Survey, Fruit Fly, new
Sterile Insect Technology facility at Port Augusta,
Regional Fruit Fly Committee (RFFC) meetings
and actions, National Fruit Fly Committee
(NFFC0) and Area Wide Management (AWM)
representation, PFA visit to Canberra and
attendance at the International Citrus Conference
Reviews/lobbying: CASAR has fought for the
industry in areas including federal migration/457
Skilled Worker Review, MBDA Plan and NRM
levy, market access cost recovery, tree imports,
economic and finance public hearing, meetings
with visiting countries including Japan, China
and Indonesia, water allocations, backpacker
tax, minor use permits for CGW through the
APVMA and the Premier’s International Business
The CASAR Committee would like to wish all
growers, packers and industry stakeholders a pro-
ductive and prosperous 2017.
REGISTER FOR GA EXPERT
If you are interested in attending a workshop
or a one on one consultation with international
gibberellic acid (GA) expert Ian Garden, please
He will conduct workshops in Renmark,
Waikerie and Loxton on Monday, February 27.
The one-on-one sessions will be held on Tuesday,
February 28. Please email saregion@citrusaus-
tralia.com.au to register your interest.
Monday, Feb 27 – GA Workshops, Renmark,
Loxton and Waikerie
Tuesday, Feb 28 – GA consultations
March 1-2 – Citrus Australia Technical
Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
Riverland and Mallee
grain growers are still
harvesting, locals are
being urged to think
about Russian wheat
aphid following its first
Australian and local
detection last year.
A leading Russian
wheat aphid (RWA)
researcher will visit
South Australia next
month to offer insight
and knowledge about
the state’s newest broad
acre cropping pest.
of Entomology in the
Department of Bio-
and Pest Management
Frank Peairs will
host a briefing at a
Grains Research and
poration (GRDC) grains
research update at the
Centre on Tuesday,
February 7, and
Wednesday, February 8.
The first detection of
Russian wheat aphid in
Australia was on a prop-
erty in the state’s Mid
North in May, 2016, and
quickly spread to other
areas, including the
Riverland and Mallee.
Regional Panel chair-
man Keith Pengilley
said the aphid has been
a hot topic within the
state since its detection
and the briefing was
likely to be of “enor-
mous interest” to those
“When RWA was
first discovered in
Australia, we really did
not know how it would
behave under local con-
ditions and what impact
it would have on the
cropping landscape,” he
“We were confronted
with so many unknowns
at the time, but since
then the GRDC, its
research partners and
other agencies have
been working hard to
develop an improved
understanding of the
pest’s behaviour and
suitable integrated man-
and it will be important
to relay this new knowl-
edge to growers and
their advisers ahead of
the 2017 cropping sea-
Dr Peairs has exten-
sive Russian wheat
aphid research experi-
ence and is a widely-
published author of arti-
cles on the topic.
For more informa-
tion, or to register for
the event, visit the web-
updatedates) or phone
(03) 5441 6176.
New moves to combat
Russian wheat aphid
Chances are, it is probably
both if you are in the vicinity
of a large almond orchard
this time of year.
This year for the first
time, three former locals
have been contracted to
scare birds like crows and
cockatoos out of Jubilee
Almonds, near Waikerie, and
Century Orchards, Loxton,
to prevent crop damage.
Former Loxton locals
Jarrod Benson, Jarrod
Vowles and Josh Zdanowicz
are contracted by Central Air
Services and have returned
to the region for a few
months of work.
“They have never had all
local pilots do it before,” Mr
All three pilots com-
pleted their studies at
the University of South
Australia, learning to fly
out of Parafield Airport, and
Mr Benson said the local
almond orchard work pro-
vided valuable experience.
“Obviously when you
get your licence, you want
to build your hours, so you
need the experience,” he
“This sort of job gives
good flying skills.
“It just happens to be so
convenient that we are in
our local town, flying, being
able to live at home and fly-
ing over the almond trees
with people we know.”
Mr Benson, 24, said local
almond orchards have been
using the bird control tech-
nique for a number of years.
“We go as low as neces-
sary to scare the birds (and
move) the birds out (of the
trees),” he said.
“We try and turn them
into a certain direction.
“Usually we will start at
dawn, get up and scare the
birds and fly until about
“We have a break in the
hottest part of the day and
come back at about 5pm and
keep scaring to keep them
“It is very effective.”
Mr Benson said the aim
was to train the birds to relo-
cate, with the work carried
out between January and
With about 700 flying
hours under his belt, Mr
Benson expects his hours of
experience to increase to 800
or 900 by the end of the sea-
Since graduating, Mr
Benson has already worked
around the country and was
previously based in Albury,
“When I got my commer-
cial (licence), I flew a bit of
shark control in Adelaide, so
I flew the coastlines looking
for sharks,” he said.
“I am unsure of my next
move, but it is nice to be
Former local Jarrod Benson (left) with Jubilee Almonds orchard manager Michael Ward. INSET: Mr Benson has been employed
prior to almond harvest to scare birds out of the orchard in a bid to prevent crop damage. PHOTOS: Christian Longobardi
Former local pilots are...
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