FINE FOOD OPPORTUNITY FOR NSW FOOD PRODUCERS
Fine food producers in Barwon have the opportunity to promote their products to thousands of national and international buyers at the Fine Food Australia event in Sydney in September. This event is considered Australia’s largest trade exhibition for the food and beverage industry, so it presents a great opportunity for local food businesses to promote their products and services to a very large, targeted audience. Fine Food Australia presents new and innovative products from around Australia and from more than 45 other countries, as well as live demonstrations, masterclasses and industry-recognised competitions. At Fine Food Australia, participating NSW companies can meet potential buyers, get up to date with the latest trends and check out their competition. The NSW Government will support selected NSW food businesses to attend the event and help them find new markets, grow and create jobs. I encourage food producers in Barwon who want to grow their business to submit their expressions of interest to be on the NSW stand at Fine Food Australia by 24 March. For more information go to: www.industry.nsw.gov
FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR REGIONAL NSW EVENTS
Organisers of new and emerging rural and regional events held between July and December this year are being urged to apply for the NSW Government’s 2017 Incubator Event Fund, with round two applications now open. The Fund assists with elements such as event staging costs, marketing, publicity and research and will help extend our calendar of events and attract more visitors from outside our region, which is a huge boost for our local overnight visitor economy. One-off grants of up to $20,000 are available to event organisers who are staging an event for the first or second time. This helps new events through their initial establishment phase and will further position our region as a must-see NSW destination. Applications for round two of the 2017 Incubator Event Fund are open until Sunday, 2 April 2017. To lodge an application and to view the 2017 Incubator Event Fund’s key criteria visit www.destinationnsw.com.au/rfep.
NEW STRAIN OF RABBIT VIRUS
A new strain of the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus, Calicivirus, has been released across NSW to reduce the impact of feral rabbits on agriculture and the environment. Landholders, Local Land Services and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) are working together to release the RHDV1 K5 virus across more than two hundred control sites in NSW. This work is part of a national project to reduce feral rabbit numbers – a damaging pest species estimated to reduce Australia’s agricultural productivity by over $200 million each year. This is the first time in 20 years that a new rabbit biocontrol agent is being released into Australia. Unlike previous biocontrol releases, the K5 strain will not result in a 90 per cent reduction of pest rabbit populations but will help slow down the increase in rabbit numbers. Farmers should continue to manage feral rabbits on their land, as this biocontrol is most beneficial if applied as part of an integrated and complementary pest management approach. The national release of RHDV1 K5 has been delivered through the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, with major financial and in kind resources provided by the Australian and NSW governments, CSIRO, Meat and Livestock Australia, Australian Wool Innovation and Foundation for Rabbit Free Australia. To keep up to date with progress of the RHDV1 K5 release visit www.healthierlandscapes.org.au
OUT AND ABOUT
While Parliament has a break this week, I am taking the opportunity to get out and about the Electorate as much as I can. I am starting the week in Narrabri and Boggabri before heading west to Burren Junction, Walgett, Brewarrina and then the IPWEA Forum in Bourke on Wednesday. On Thursday I’ll be catching up on issues in Gilgandra before flying out to Broken Hill on Friday.
Thumbs up to those groups who have applied for funding under the 2017 Community War Memorials Fund. This Fund is designed to protect and repair local war memorials, which preserves the ANZAC legacy. I urge all Councils, veterans groups and community organisations around Barwon that haven’t yet had the opportunity to apply for the fund to get their application in before ANZAC Day this year. For more information, including application forms, go to http://veterans.nsw.gov.au/heritage/community-war-memorials-fund/