Central Highlands Development Corporation

Driving growth & empowering business in the Central Highlands

eNews 14 May 2019 - Three Ports in Three Days

14 May 2019

Registrations are now open for the From Paddock to Port Tour on 1-4 July; expressions of interest called to provide product for the annual Farm to Fine Dining event; drought assistance reminder; congratulations to seven aspiring export businesses who completed the Export Council of Australia Export Ready Program; and a link to a final election ag wrap-up...

3 Ports in 3 Days
- From Paddock to Port Tour

Get in quick to grab a spot on this year's tour of the three northern ports - Townsville, Mackay and Gladstone - in three days. From Monday 1 July to Thursday 4 July 2019, CHDC and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) will run their second tour of the Port of Townsville (POT), Port of Mackay (North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation) (NQBPC) and Gladstone Port Corporation (GPC) facilities for a group of 26 exporters, aspiring exporters and value chain members. Participants will gain insights from key supply chain personnel for Central and Northern Queensland, and connect with the critical representatives who can assist with growing, processing, freighting and exporting the products from our region. 
The $950 (incl.) cost covers the chartered aircraft, quality accommodation at all venues, all meals as well as the itinerary at each Port. This is only achievable with substantial support from the Grains Research Development Corporation, Advance Queensland, CQ Inland Port, DAF, Gladstone Port Corporation, GrainCorp, Lowes BP, NQBP Port of Mackay, and Port of Townsville.
We will be running a different supply chain related event next year, and NOT be holding the Tour in 2020, so don't miss out on this unique opportunity. Register here.

Register your interest NOW to supply products for Farm to Fine Dining

The Farm to Fine Dining Regional Showcase is one of the important ways that CHDC and the Central Highlands Regional Council build awareness and advocate on behalf of the Central Highlands region and its businesses, as well providing the opportunity for local producers to directly network with an influential audience.
Each year this event brings the best of Central Highlands produce to Brisbane. CHDC works with local producers and the venue's chef to develop a menu that showcases the region's produce to leaders and strategic stakeholders from agribusiness, government, peak industry bodies, tourism and investment sectors. 
If you have products that will be ripe in mid-July and would like to be showcased as part of the event this year, please register your business for free at Grown in the Central Highlands to be automatically considered or contact me in the next week on 0429 471 511.

Drought Assistance Reminder

In Queensland, a drought declaration can be either:
·         an area, shire or part-shire declaration
·         an Individually Droughted Property (IDP) declaration.
Currently the area south of the Capricorn Highway in the Central Highlands is drought-declared. Government drought assistance is available to properties that fall within that area or that have their own IDP declaration. Programs provide a range of financial assistance to eligible producers, including subsidies, rebates, loans and allowances. Free counselling services are also available. More information on what assistance is available is here.
The Queensland Government Drought Relief from Electricity Charges Scheme (DRECS) provides relief from supply charges on electricity accounts that are used to pump water for farm or irrigation purposes. Producers can apply for a waiver or reimbursement of supply charges on all relevant electricity accounts. Find more information here.
Rebates on land rent and water licence rebates and other Australian Government assistance may also be available here.

Congratulations to ECA Export Ready Program Participants

Seven aspiring exporting businesses met for their final workshop in Emerald last week with guest presenters Paul Cooper, Chair of Australian Manufacturing Growth Centre and Diane Tipping, Chair of the Export Council of Australia - both experienced exporters. The group had a strong grains focus including marketers, growers, accumulation, and consultants, and there is strong interest to pilot a direct export trade of containerised grain in the coming year.
The good news for local agribusiness is that two of the participants will be available to help others on their export journey. Taylor Pressler from Oracle Agriculture will complete her Plant Export Authorised Officer (AO) accreditation later this financial year. AOs are trained and accredited individuals who are authorised as Australian Government officials under the Export Control Act 1982 to perform specific export inspection and certification functions in accordance with Australian export legislation. This will allow her to assess and approve local consignments for export. Currently this activity takes place generally at Ports, but having a locally-based AO may allow producers to undertake the process at their own businesses. Another experienced exporter Belinda Coetzee worked for ten years in the field of sales and logistics in the numerous international countries for a South African manufacturer. She is obviously now an Emerald resident, and will also be available to support producers from the region to navigate the complexities and opportunities of export.
CHDC recognises and thanks the Australian Government Building our Future program for its assistance with this program.

Upcoming Election

There have been a number of important announcements from both parties for our region, including:
·         The Coalition has included sealing of the Tambo/Springsure Rd in the ROSi (Roads of National Significance) package in the Budget, with $40 million over three years in a 80/20 funding package between State and Federal.
·         Both the Coalition and Labor have committed $100 million to the Gladstone Port Access Road, providing lost mile solutions into the Port.

With the Federal Election looming, it can be difficult to understand quickly and easily how the policies of the major parties may affect us in regional and rural Australia. The Farmer Farm Table provides a free weekly eRoundup and this week it contained a great summary of both the Coalition and Labor election commitments. You can sign up here.

Coalition Policy and Election Commitments:

Future Drought Commitments
Concessional Agri Starter Loans
$22m pledge to dairy industry
ACCC Review into Southern Basin Water Markets
Wild dog fences
Tax cuts
Workforce strategy
Mobile blackspots
Regional study hubs
Agriculture Shows investment
Additional agricultural commitments
Additional regional commitments
Labor Policy and Election Commitments:

Farm Productivity and Sustainable Profitability Program
Climate and Energy Policy
Land clearing reforms
Carbon Farming Initiative
Basin Plan back on track
RDC reform
Bush telecommunications
TAFE funding boost
Capital expenditure tax break
Animal Welfare Plan
Phase out of live sheep exports
Negative gearing, CGT concessions, discretionary trusts
Tax cuts
Minimum wage to foreign workers
Improve NBN
National Rural Health Strategy
Inheritance/death tax = fake news

 Enjoy your democracy sausage sizzle on Saturday!
Contact Liz Alexander for more information E: ealexander@chdc.com.au or M: 0429 471 511.