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More Soil Moisture Information At Farmers’ Fingertips

The Victorian Government has announced improvements to the Soil Moisture Monitoring Program as it continues to support farm businesses impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions. The new set-up will mean easier and quicker access and the improved search function will allow farmers to distinguish between crop types being monitored, pasture and soil types and locations – all which influence soil moisture data. Until now, the data had been only available via a monthly e-newsletter subscription or by using a verified login. New tools featured on the platform will translate the data into real-time local information. These tools include a temperature gauge, current soil moisture profile and a one to three-month rainfall outlook for Victoria. The improvements will also enable more farmers to see the daily ‘Speedo soil moisture graphs’, which are a real time soil moisture percentage measure. These graphs are an important tool for farmers experiencing increasingly variable climatic conditions, specifically rainfall to make timely decisions. Farmers can subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria Soil Moisture Monitoring e-newsletter to get further information and analysis of data. The new Soil Moisture Monitoring program portal can be found at agriculture.vic.gov.au/soilmoisturemonitoring. For more information on Drought and Dry Seasonal Conditions support and services visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons or call 136 186. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “For almost a decade the Soil Moisture Monitoring program has been providing soil water content data to farmers using probes located around the state.”  “This improvement will help take a lot of the guess-work out of estimating a crop potential yield and pasture growth by helping farmers better measure what’s going on underneath the surface.”

More Soil Moisture Information At Farmers’ Fingertips

The Victorian Government has announced improvements to the Soil Moisture Monitoring Program as it continues to support farm businesses impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions. The new set-up will mean easier and quicker access and the improved search function will allow farmers to distinguish between crop types being monitored, pasture and soil types and locations – all which influence soil moisture data. Until now, the data had been only available via a monthly e-newsletter subscription or by using a verified login. New tools featured on the platform will translate the data into real-time local information. These tools include a temperature gauge, current soil moisture profile and a one to three-month rainfall outlook for Victoria. The improvements will also enable more farmers to see the daily ‘Speedo soil moisture graphs’, which are a real time soil moisture percentage measure. These graphs are an important tool for farmers experiencing increasingly variable climatic conditions, specifically rainfall to make timely decisions. Farmers can subscribe to the Agriculture Victoria Soil Moisture Monitoring e-newsletter to get further information and analysis of data. The new Soil Moisture Monitoring program portal can be found at agriculture.vic.gov.au/soilmoisturemonitoring. For more information on Drought and Dry Seasonal Conditions support and services visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/dryseasons or call 136 186. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “For almost a decade the Soil Moisture Monitoring program has been providing soil water content data to farmers using probes located around the state.”  “This improvement will help take a lot of the guess-work out of estimating a crop potential yield and pasture growth by helping farmers better measure what’s going on underneath the surface.”

Standing With Farmers Against Biosecurity Threats

The Victorian Government will continue to back farmers and protect our biosecurity with strict enforcement of on-the-spot fines for those caught trespassing onto farms in the name of animal activism. Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes tabled the Government’s response to the Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculturein parliament today, after considering the recommendations published in February. The Inquiry’s findings identified ways to further strengthen approaches to animal welfare and biosecurity, to build and maintain public confidence in agriculture. The Government’s response supports 13 of the 15 recommendations in full, one in principle and did not support one recommendation. Recommendations supported include incorporating on-the-spot fines for biosecurity breaches caused by trespassers in legislation. The Government will introduce this legislation with a view to making fines for this behaviour among the heaviest in Australia. Other supported recommendations include working with farmers in developing biosecurity management plans and actions on animal welfare complaints for better public education, and the consideration of implementing closed-circuit cameras in abattoirs. The Government is already acting to strengthen animal welfare in Victoria through several initiatives, including the modernisation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (POCTA) regulations. The Inquiry was conducted by the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Council Economy and Infrastructure Committee in 2019 following several illegal activities in the name of animal activism. It was informed by 506 submissions, seven days of hearings held across country Victoria and Melbourne, and three site visits by committee members. The Government is committed to maintaining Victoria’s high level of biosecurity. The 2019/20 Victorian Budget included a $142.5 million boost to our biosecurity system – the largest investment of its type in the history of our state. The Victorian Government thanks the committee chair Nazih Elasmar MP, committee members and acknowledges the contributions of the many Victorians who made a submission to the inquiry or appeared as a witness. The government’s full response is available on the Committee’s page of the Parliament of Victoria’s website. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “Our farmers and agricultural businesses should be free to do their work without fear of being targeted by animal activist groups, who put hard working farming families, biosecurity and the animals they purport to protect at risk.” “These recommendations are not just about deterrence, but also education – the public deserve to know just how hard farmers and agricultural businesses work to keep their animals safe and well looked after.”

Standing With Farmers Against Biosecurity Threats

The Victorian Government will continue to back farmers and protect our biosecurity with strict enforcement of on-the-spot fines for those caught trespassing onto farms in the name of animal activism. Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes tabled the Government’s response to the Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculturein parliament today, after considering the recommendations published in February. The Inquiry’s findings identified ways to further strengthen approaches to animal welfare and biosecurity, to build and maintain public confidence in agriculture. The Government’s response supports 13 of the 15 recommendations in full, one in principle and did not support one recommendation. Recommendations supported include incorporating on-the-spot fines for biosecurity breaches caused by trespassers in legislation. The Government will introduce this legislation with a view to making fines for this behaviour among the heaviest in Australia. Other supported recommendations include working with farmers in developing biosecurity management plans and actions on animal welfare complaints for better public education, and the consideration of implementing closed-circuit cameras in abattoirs. The Government is already acting to strengthen animal welfare in Victoria through several initiatives, including the modernisation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (POCTA) regulations. The Inquiry was conducted by the Victorian Parliament’s Legislative Council Economy and Infrastructure Committee in 2019 following several illegal activities in the name of animal activism. It was informed by 506 submissions, seven days of hearings held across country Victoria and Melbourne, and three site visits by committee members. The Government is committed to maintaining Victoria’s high level of biosecurity. The 2019/20 Victorian Budget included a $142.5 million boost to our biosecurity system – the largest investment of its type in the history of our state. The Victorian Government thanks the committee chair Nazih Elasmar MP, committee members and acknowledges the contributions of the many Victorians who made a submission to the inquiry or appeared as a witness. The government’s full response is available on the Committee’s page of the Parliament of Victoria’s website. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes “Our farmers and agricultural businesses should be free to do their work without fear of being targeted by animal activist groups, who put hard working farming families, biosecurity and the animals they purport to protect at risk.” “These recommendations are not just about deterrence, but also education – the public deserve to know just how hard farmers and agricultural businesses work to keep their animals safe and well looked after.”

New Regional Jobs To Support Agriculture

More than 80 full-time equivalent jobs benefitting the agriculture industry will be created in regional Victoria, backed with funding from the Victorian Government. Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaclyn Symes today announced funding from the Agriculture Workforce Plan will be put towards job creation projects for five Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) across Victoria. These new jobs will be focused on projects that provide benefits to Victorian farmers and the wider agricultural industry – a focus that is particularly important given the impacts of recent bushfires and seasonal conditions. Funded projects include fruit fly control measures in the Goulburn Broken CMA which will target the removal of wild fruit trees from public land, and supporting bushfire recovery work in Bunyip and other parts of the Port Phillip Westernport catchment. Port Philip Westernport will also commence an innovative new program focused on agricultural education in schools involving excursions to farms and school incursions to put farmers and producers in front of students to talk about the agricultural industry and food. In the Mallee CMA, a project will be delivered to aid weed and pest animal control, while Wimmera and Glenelg Hopkins will help agricultural landlholders with land management measures such as re-vegetation and weed control. The majority of the jobs are regionally based and will provide employment over a six-month period. Successful applicants will be matched with positions through Working for Victoria, the Government’s initiative to help jobseekers find work and employers find workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan is supporting businesses in regional, rural and outer metropolitan areas within key agriculture and food processing industries through job-matching, case management, worker relocation needs, transport and training. To register interest in the program or other job initiatives, visit vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “Job creation is crucial to keeping the Victorian economy moving as we gradually ease coronavirus restrictions, and we know how important it is to keep those jobs in regional Victoria.” “We have funded fantastic projects across the state that will benefit several agricultural industries and help communities with land management, pest control and recovery from bushfire and drought.” Quote attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville “Healthy waterways and catchments are vital to sustain regional economies, and meaningful local employment opportunities is central to bushfire recovery efforts.”

New Regional Jobs To Support Agriculture

More than 80 full-time equivalent jobs benefitting the agriculture industry will be created in regional Victoria, backed with funding from the Victorian Government. Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaclyn Symes today announced funding from the Agriculture Workforce Plan will be put towards job creation projects for five Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) across Victoria. These new jobs will be focused on projects that provide benefits to Victorian farmers and the wider agricultural industry – a focus that is particularly important given the impacts of recent bushfires and seasonal conditions. Funded projects include fruit fly control measures in the Goulburn Broken CMA which will target the removal of wild fruit trees from public land, and supporting bushfire recovery work in Bunyip and other parts of the Port Phillip Westernport catchment. Port Philip Westernport will also commence an innovative new program focused on agricultural education in schools involving excursions to farms and school incursions to put farmers and producers in front of students to talk about the agricultural industry and food. In the Mallee CMA, a project will be delivered to aid weed and pest animal control, while Wimmera and Glenelg Hopkins will help agricultural landlholders with land management measures such as re-vegetation and weed control. The majority of the jobs are regionally based and will provide employment over a six-month period. Successful applicants will be matched with positions through Working for Victoria, the Government’s initiative to help jobseekers find work and employers find workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan is supporting businesses in regional, rural and outer metropolitan areas within key agriculture and food processing industries through job-matching, case management, worker relocation needs, transport and training. To register interest in the program or other job initiatives, visit vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria. Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Jaclyn Symes “Job creation is crucial to keeping the Victorian economy moving as we gradually ease coronavirus restrictions, and we know how important it is to keep those jobs in regional Victoria.” “We have funded fantastic projects across the state that will benefit several agricultural industries and help communities with land management, pest control and recovery from bushfire and drought.” Quote attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville “Healthy waterways and catchments are vital to sustain regional economies, and meaningful local employment opportunities is central to bushfire recovery efforts.”

Investing In Future Low Emission Technologies

The Victorian Government is continuing to back research and development that harnesses our valuable resources to generate new industries and local jobs in a low emissions environment. Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes today announced further funding of $600,000 for Australian Carbon Innovation to continue its work in developing high-value, low emission products using the Latrobe Valley’s significant brown-coal resource. Australian Carbon Innovation can now maintain its operations and seek additional partnership opportunities to further research and develop new high-value products from brown coal including hydrogen, carbon fibres, graphenes and fertilisers. The Government’s Statement on Future Uses of Brown Coal sets the parameters around the use of coal to ensure only low-emission product development can take place. Australian Carbon Innovation has a track record of achievement in furthering low-emissions opportunities for Victoria’s brown coal resources, including its work with Federation University to deliver a feasibility study for the establishment of the Regional Carbon Innovation Centre in Gippsland. The production of clean hydrogen from brown coal in the Latrobe Valley is a significant opportunity for creating jobs and boosting the state’s low emission fuel capability. Victoria currently has the largest hydrogen demonstration project in the world - the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project - underway to support fuel cell vehicle development and power generation in Japan. Underpinning commercial hydrogen production in the Latrobe Valley is the CarbonNet project, with work underway to assess how the seabed off the coast of Gippsland could store carbon dioxide (CO2). CarbonNet’s key storage site has the potential to store the equivalent CO2 emissions from one million cars annually for 25 years. Carbon capture and storage is a proven process with over 20 sites around the world successfully operating at a commercial scale. In Victoria, CO2 has been successfully stored for a decade at the Otway CO2CRC test facility. Earlier in May the Federal Parliament passed a bill supporting the development of CarbonNet by clarifying the governance of the geological resources where CO2 can be stored across state and Commonwealth waters. Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes “It’s important to back innovation in the pursuit of new jobs and industries – I know the Gippsland Regional Partnershiphas flagged that Latrobe Valley locals want to see investment in new technologies.” “The work of Australian Carbon Innovation and CarbonNet is vital in placing Victoria at the forefront of global low-emission technology development.”

Investing In Future Low Emission Technologies

The Victorian Government is continuing to back research and development that harnesses our valuable resources to generate new industries and local jobs in a low emissions environment. Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes today announced further funding of $600,000 for Australian Carbon Innovation to continue its work in developing high-value, low emission products using the Latrobe Valley’s significant brown-coal resource. Australian Carbon Innovation can now maintain its operations and seek additional partnership opportunities to further research and develop new high-value products from brown coal including hydrogen, carbon fibres, graphenes and fertilisers. The Government’s Statement on Future Uses of Brown Coal sets the parameters around the use of coal to ensure only low-emission product development can take place. Australian Carbon Innovation has a track record of achievement in furthering low-emissions opportunities for Victoria’s brown coal resources, including its work with Federation University to deliver a feasibility study for the establishment of the Regional Carbon Innovation Centre in Gippsland. The production of clean hydrogen from brown coal in the Latrobe Valley is a significant opportunity for creating jobs and boosting the state’s low emission fuel capability. Victoria currently has the largest hydrogen demonstration project in the world - the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project - underway to support fuel cell vehicle development and power generation in Japan. Underpinning commercial hydrogen production in the Latrobe Valley is the CarbonNet project, with work underway to assess how the seabed off the coast of Gippsland could store carbon dioxide (CO2). CarbonNet’s key storage site has the potential to store the equivalent CO2 emissions from one million cars annually for 25 years. Carbon capture and storage is a proven process with over 20 sites around the world successfully operating at a commercial scale. In Victoria, CO2 has been successfully stored for a decade at the Otway CO2CRC test facility. Earlier in May the Federal Parliament passed a bill supporting the development of CarbonNet by clarifying the governance of the geological resources where CO2 can be stored across state and Commonwealth waters. Quotes attributable to Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes “It’s important to back innovation in the pursuit of new jobs and industries – I know the Gippsland Regional Partnershiphas flagged that Latrobe Valley locals want to see investment in new technologies.” “The work of Australian Carbon Innovation and CarbonNet is vital in placing Victoria at the forefront of global low-emission technology development.”

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