VLPA Update (Issue 61)

By on February 12, 2012

PETER MCCLUSKY provides an update on the Victorian Limestone Producers Association.

ACID SOILS FIELD DAYS

A further field day entitled, “Reducing soil acidification through lime and nutrient best practice” is to be held this time in Koroit on Tuesday 3rd April 2012.

VLPA is once again working with the organizing body WestVic Dairy through Project Manager Jeff Lawes of WestVic Dairy. The field component is to be held at Xavier and Kirsty Parkinson’s property in Terka Road, Koroit. Look for the signs in Spencer Road. Lunch and presentations will be held at the Kirkstall Hall.

The event will be free to attend but people should register with WestVic Dairy on 03 5592 2477 to ensure adequate catering arrangements can be made. VLPA members are invited to bring lime samples to display at the field day. It is best to advise Jeff Lawesin advance on 0418 717 552 should you intend to display a sample.

MURRAY-DARLING BASIN PLAN

The MDBA is currently conducting a series of consultation forums throughout the Basin to outline progress of the Plan. VLPA recently attended a consultation meeting in Swan Hill. Redrafting and changes to MDBA Board have taken place following considerable angst on the part of farming communities in late 2010 to the Guide plan. In essence, the priority at that stage was 4k gigalitres to be taken from farms for the environment. Hence loss of markets for our product with handing back of water rights and loss of cropping and pasture.

Since then several Parliamentary inquiries and changes of government in Victoria and NSW have led to a more balanced approach between environmental, economic and social considerations for a Basin plan. More scientific investigation of the system, less environmental flows and more productive delivery of water to farms are now planned. These measures are pretty much what VLPA and NAA supported in submissions to the parliamentary inquiries.

We will be emphasizing such measures in a submission to the MDBA which is accepting submissions on the Plan until mid April 2012. Hopefully a Plan once eventually accepted by Federal Parliament will lead to a strong future for agriculture in the Basin, which now produces around 40% of Australia’s food production.

REGULATORY ISSUES

New Mining and Extractive Act (MRSDA)

The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has advised that the revised Mineral Resources (Sustainable Development) Act has come into place from 1 February 2012. It’s accompanied by consolidation of regulations. All license holders are being circulated with details of the new arrangements. License holders are urged to ring their local DPI tenement officer should they have any queries.

Agricultural & Veterinary Chemicals Legislation

VLPA and NAA have been invited to several consultation and update meetings of this project. It is a joint Commonwealth/States project aimed at uniform assessment and review of ag. and vet. products. Although it is not intended to incorporate agricultural lime under this regime it is important that being a natural product it does not get drawn into the regime at some later date. We have been assured by staff that the project is not intended to include our product. However the fact that we were invited to consultations means we are on the radar and need to emphasize that we are outside the scope of the proposed regime and have good grounds to remain so. Hence the foregoing will be put forward in a submission to the process during the current consultation period.

Further information is available from Peter McCluskey by phoning 0408 496 588.

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