Home' The Murray Pioneer : May 19th 2017 Contents www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, May 19, 2017 NEWS 17
STRONG ATTENDANCE AT
MORE than 70 people attended last week’s
CASAR Regional Forum at Renmark. The day
featured a range of guest speakers on topics
A BUOYANT CITRUS INDUSTRY
CITRUS Australia CEO Judith Damiani
reflected on the past 12 months in the
industry and globally with major events
including Brexit, the Trump presidency
and the east overtaking the west in gross
domestic productivity for the first time ever.
The industry is focusing on Asia and India.
“We have the world’s biggest growth hap-
pening close to us,” she said.
Some of the highlights during this peri-
od include “extraordinary” valencia prices,
record export volumes and values and signifi-
cant investment by pack houses.
Ms Damiani said she expects a number of
positive activities in coming months including
the roll-out of a new country-of-origin cam-
paign, opportunities to tighten up arrange-
ments to juice suppliers and the finalising of
the Citrus Strategic Investment Plan.
She reiterated that biosecurity would con-
tinue to be vital for the industry to prevent
incursions of pests and diseases, particularly
HLB, which are decimating other citrus grow-
ing countries in the world.
WILL THERE BE ENOUGH
HARVEST LABOUR THIS
THE answer is yes, according to MADEC’s
Harvest Labour manager Scott Cameron.
“ The backpacker tax was an absolute fizzer
due to the hard work done by the industry,”
“Inquiries at MADEC’s Renmark office
have been very, very, very high... the chal-
lenge is keeping them.”
But, he said any negative coverage on tra-
ditional and social media could be poten-
tially devastating and deter workers from the
Federal Government statistics show the
majority of backpackers undertaking sea-
sonal work are from France (35 per cent),
Germany (18 per cent), and Taiwan and Italy
(both at 15 per cent).
People from Korea, the United Kingdom
and Japan make up the remainder. Mr
Cameron said there had also been a good
uptake from the Seasonal Worker Program.
Mr Cameron said there are a few things
which growers and contractors need to be
aware of this season, including being regis-
tered with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) if
they directly employ backpackers.
Most backpackers are undertaking sea-
sonal farm work to secure a second year
visa. The Government has changed some of
the requirements and backpackers will now
need to gross an average of $134.52 a day
for the minimum required 88 days of work.
This means they need to average about $700
gross a week, however they can work for dif-
ferent employers during this 13-week period.
“ To get a second year visa, they will need
to provide pay slips which meet Australian
standards,” Mr Cameron said.
In closing, Mr Cameron said one of the
most important documents an employer of
working holiday harvest labour must have is
a signed piecework agreement (a 1263 form
available at https://www.border.gov.au/
For further information please contact the
MADEC office at 8586 1900.
KEY TRADE FIGURES FOR
DAVID Daniels, Citrus Australia’s market
access manager, reported Australian citrus
exports totalled 225,000 tonnes at a value of
$A342 million in 2016.
Oranges made up 76 per cent of the total
fruit exported, while mandarins were 22
per cent. Total export to China were 41,000
tonnes, Japan 37,000 tonnes, Hong Kong
30,000 tonnes and UAE 14,000 tonnes.
South Australia represented 33 per cent
of the total exports, Victoria 39 per cent,
Queensland 16 per cent and NSW 11 per
SA sent 70 per cent of exports to Japan,
13 per cent to China and 14 per cent of Hong
2017 CROP ESTIMATES
NATIONAL production levels are expected
to increase by 8 per cent this season to
almost 756,000 tonnes according to Nathan
Hancock, Citrus Australia’s citrus quality and
market information manager.
Riverland production could increase by 11
per cent, producing 91,300 tonnes of navels,
133,215 tonnes of all oranges (including
valencia and bloods), 33,500 tonnes of man-
darins and an overall total of almost 178,000
tonnes of fruit.
WHERE ARE YOU READING
ARE you sitting at your computer, reading off
your phone or device or sitting at the kitchen
table with the newspaper in front of you?
We’re interested in hearing from you
about how you prefer to receive information
from CASAR and if the information we are
providing to you is informative and relevant.
Do you want more or less information
from us? More frequently? Less frequent-
ly? Have you noticed the e-newsletter has
changed format? We’re also using an SMS
service to help get important information out
to the industry.
To have your say, we’d appreciate it if you
could spend a minute completing a brief sur-
vey at https://www.citrusaustralia.com.au/
growers-industry/south-australia or email
email@example.com to be sent
a copy of the link.
SOME of the key issues to note include:
Test the fruit maturity of orchards
to ensure the fruit quality is at its peak.
Although the fruit colour may be well devel-
oped due to the cold night temperatures, the
season is later than last year.
With the larger fruit set this season,
review your GA/citite strategy for delayed
Commence maintenance of irrigation sys-
Review leaf analysis results to determine
fertilizer programs for spring.
Ensure orchard hygiene principles are fol-
lowed and that no dropped fruit is put in bins
to reduce the risk of island fly.
Ensure you review the Guide to Achieving
Citrus Export MRL’s, February 2017, Citrus
Australia Ltd. Citrus MRL Update –Feb 2017
CASAR received some complaints from
growers regarding the recent KCT audits
which we have raised with CAL.
Any growers that want to raise any con-
cerns about the KCT audit are encouraged to
let us know.
The new budget announcement has
made changes to the 457 visa requirements.
CASAR is trying to clarify whether there will
be any changes to the Seasonal Workers
Program and the subclass 403 visa. We will
keep you informed of any changes.
APPLICATIONS CLOSE SOON
NUFFIELD scholarships are available to
primary producers throughout Australia and
include a $30,000 bursary for scholars to
travel and study a topic of their choice.
It provides an opportunity to network and
meet with other like-minded individuals.
Applications close at COB on June 15.
DARETON Varieties Field Trip, June 14.
There are only a few seats left. Please
email firstname.lastname@example.org or
call Kerrie on 0427 799 465 to secure a spot
Citrus Australia - SA Regional Wrap
THE next training day for all justices in the region
will be held in the Berri Library on Sunday, May
28 from 9.30am to 3.30pm.
Topics covered will be ‘general guidelines’ and
‘signing room package’, with time for questions
Riverland Justices Group secretary Jacqui
Zagotsis said that all justices are encouraged to
attend, as they are expected to keep up with current
training and legislation to ensure qualified JPs are
signing all legal documents correctly.
“The training will be free to financial members
of the group, with non-members being charged
$20, which includes morning tea, lunch, and a
certificate of completion at the end of the training
day,” she said.
Reply to Mrs Zagotsis by Wednesday,
May 24, if able to attend (0438 839 691 or
Training time for local
Justices of the Peace
A NEW Riverland wetland
ecologist will undertake
ecological monitoring and
management in the region.
Dr Nathan Creeper recently
joined Berri’s Natural Resources
SA Murray-Darling Basin’s
(SAMDB) Floodplain and
Dr Creeper’s role will include
managing the significant
Riverland Ramsar site, along
with organising a pest animal and
weed control program involving
the local community and land-
“Growing up in Adelaide I
spent a lot of my time fishing,
camping and water skiing along
the Murray with my family,” Dr
“The time I spent on the river
is the source of my personal as
well as professional passion for
the environment and in particular
the Murray-Darling Basin.”
Prior to joining Natural
Resources SAMDB, Dr Creeper
worked with Commonwealth
Scientific and Industrial
Research Organisation (CSIRO)
Land and Water and Adelaide
University investigating the
distribution and environmental
risks of acid sulfate soils in the
In his new role, Dr Creeper
said he was looking forward to
linking his knowledge of soil and
water chemistry with ecology
and wetland management.
Meet NRM’s new member
Loxton alley’s makeover
A BUSY Loxton walkway is set for
a makeover, thanks to a number of
community groups, businesses and
the local council.
At last month’s meeting,
the District Council of Loxton
Waikerie agreed to support
the beautification of the walk-
way between East Terrace and
Woolworths, as proposed by the
Loxton District Chamber of
In a letter to council, Loxton
District Chamber of Commerce
business and events manager Sonya
Altschwager said the project would
be in collaboration with a number
of local businesses.
“Clark Property Group, as own-
ers of the laneway, are willing to
commit significant investment into
the transformation and beautifica-
tion of this high traffic area,” she
“This is as a direct result of the
improvements to other sections of
East Terrace as part of the ongoing
Our Hub, Our Pride Revitalisation
“Separate to this but with a
shared vision, Loxton District
Landcare are willing to commit
$5000 for artwork to upgrade the
walls within this passageway.”
Ms Altschwager said the cham-
ber has identified the walkthrough
as an “ideal site” for public art.
“Our concept is to have two
overhead grid frameworks that
allow for the hanging of items to
create an art installation,” she told
“The installations could be
changed quarterly and reflect com-
munity events, like fairy lights dur-
ing the Christmas Lights Festival.
“The framework would be
adjustable to descend for change-
over, then locked into its overhead
position allowing for volunteers
to be involved and avoiding high-
works and safety issues.
“By introducing exciting street
art and improving this laneway, we
will be creating an inviting area
that will encourage people to wan-
At the meeting, council agreed
for an allocation of $4000 to the
Loxton District Chamber of
Commerce for administrative
support and also $10,000 for the
project without the need for the
chamber to lodge funding bids.
The Loxton District Chamber of Commerce presented this example to its
local council of how the East Terrace and Woolworths walkway project
could look during the Christmas period once completed.
a callop caught
on a scientific
fish survey at
the 2016 high
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