The town of Narrabri lies in one of the richest agricultural regions in Australia.
The 13,000 square kilometer Narrabri Shire, in the heart of the Namoi Valley, is home to a divers range of agricultural enterprises. The fertile country north, west and south-east of Narrabri produces cotton, wheat , barley, oilseeds, and a variety of other crops, ranging from grapes to peanuts. Livestock production includes sheep, cattle and pigs.

The annual value of agricultural production is in excess of $330 million per year. This figure includes more than $200 million from cotton and about $60 million from wheat.

Irrigation farming, utilizing both surface water from the Namoi River (provided via a regulated flow from Keepit Dam) and groundwater, is a very important component of the Shir’s success. The success of the agricultural industries have resulted in the development of big storage and transport centres in the Shire.

The high volumes of agricultural commodities have led to the extablishement of big secondary processing industries such as the huge Cargill Oilseeds plant at Narrabri which processes about 250,000 tonnes of cottonseed each year.

The moder Canzac Pulse Processors Pty Ltd plant in Narrabri brings state of the art technology to the task of producing high quality pulse seeds for export. Other plants include seed grading, mixing and packaging operations.

The huge agricultural industries are in turn supported by a host of specialist supply, engineering, chemicals, and consulting firms.

Two world-rank research establishments are located in the Narrabri district; the I.A Watson Grains Research Centre (operated by the University of Sydney), and the big Australian Cotton Research Institute (ACRI) a shared venture between the CSIRO and the NSW Department of Agriculture.

Late 2005 saw the launch of the new Cotton Catchment Communities Cooperative Research Centre – based at ACRI. This new CRC will provide a multi-faceted approach to cotton industry research.

Narrabri is also home for the important Cotton Research and Development Corporation. The CRDC is a $15 million body funded by the Federal Government and industry to select and fund suitable research projects.

It was from humble beginnings in Narrabri that the Prime Wheat Growers’ Association was born.  This local wheat grower organization went on to encompass wheat growers across NSW before acquiring GrainCorp which now operates grain handling and other businesses in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Narrabri Shire’s growth and development is strongly tied to the success of its agricultural industries. Fortunately, district farmers are acutely aware of the need for the wise use of resources and sustainable farming methods. It is this knowledge and expertise which is driving the town and district forward to a bright, prosperous future.
I live daily with the stress that farmers are powerless to refuse access to coal seam gas

I live daily with the stress that farmers are powerless to refuse access to coal seam gas

Sara Ciesiolka Opinion piece in The Guardian today

Farmers and traditional land owners are petitioning the Coag meeting of mining and energy ministers to control their livelihood, and their land

As a large scale food producer on the extremely valuable and productive lands just downstream from the largest of the State’s proposed gas hotspots at Narrabri, I live daily with the knowledge, and the stress, that ultimately we are powerless to refuse access for coal seam gas extraction on our land.

This is land that we have successfully toiled over for generations to build into a sustainable and productive enterprise capable of feeding hungry mouths both at home and abroad.

For our city cousins, it’s like someone knocking on your front door, demanding to be let inside, and taking up residence in your living room and making a mess. Sometimes they don’t even bother to knock.

The balance of power is skewed heavily in favour of the coal seam gas companies, who have all the rights, against individual landholders, who have nothing but risk.

On Friday there is a meeting of Council of Australian Governments (Coag) mining and energy ministers, and federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg has promised landholders that the issue of a farmer’s right to say ‘no’ will be on the agenda.

Seventy-nine farmers, landholders and traditional owners, including myself, from every state and territory across Australia have sent a letter to minister Frydenberg and the state ministers, calling on them to grant us this right.

The signatories include beef graziers, wine-makers, and landholders struggling in the centre of the Queensland gasfields, the coalfields of the Hunter Valley, and traditional owners from the Kimberley, the Northern Territory and New South Wales.

In NSW, Santos and AGL have signed an agreement not to enter freehold landagainst the express wishes of an individual landholder. But this agreement only covers drilling activities, not the extensive range of critical infrastructure such as gas and water pipelines which are essential to coal seam gas extraction.&

Friday, 4 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
North West Local Land Services Tree Give away

North West Local Land Services Tree Give away

Free trees available from North West Local Land Services

Yes, that's right - the ‪#‎TreeGiveaway‬ is here again!

If you are keen to plant a few native trees in our region, then take a look at the details attached.

Expressions of interest are being taken until 12 February 2016.

North West Local Land Services is seeking requests from landholders, nongovernment organisations,
government departments, clubs, schools and community groups for free trees.

• trees will be available for pick up in winter 2016
• all species are native to North West NSW and come in hiko trays
• over 30 different species available
• up to 1000 trees available per request
• to apply, complete all sections over page.

Requests must be submitted by the 12th February 2016

Thursday, 3 December 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (2093)/Comments (0)/
Rise in deadly parvovirus

Rise in deadly parvovirus

By Rebecca Belt Nov. 29 - the Northern Daily Leader

Narrabri has even been named as one of the top 10 hotspots for the disease, with 22 cases in the past few months and Tamworth vets treating more dogs in recent weeks. 

Tamworth Veterinary Hospital’s Dr Jess Bourke said they had two or three cases last week, with some of them having to be euthanased.

“There never really seems to be a break from (parvovirus), but we have had a bit of a surge recently,” she said.

The only way to stop your dog from getting the virus is to vaccinate them and ensure they have their annual booster. 
Monday, 30 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
Santos waste water plant approval to face legal appeal

Santos waste water plant approval to face legal appeal

By Kerrin Thomas - ABC Sydney

The state's Environmental Defenders Office has launched legal action against the State Government and Santos, over the approval of a waste treatment facility near Narrabri.

The application for a waste water treatment plant at the Leewood facility should have been viewed as outside the scope of exploration and therefore required to face a higher level of development scrutiny, according to the EDO and its client, Narrabri-based group People for the Plains.

Under State planning laws, some CSG exploration works are exempt from requiring development consent but the EDO's Principal Solicitor, Sue Higginson, said this development should not have been exempt.

She said the approval processes are significantly different.

"The process that's been applied to this development required a less onerous environmental assessment," she said.

"It also didn't provide for the full public participation that, had it gone through the full and rigorous legal assessment and procedures, we say ought have been applied."

Thursday, 26 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/
Protesters Vs Santos - Wastewater court battle

Protesters Vs Santos - Wastewater court battle

By Jamieson Murphy Nov. 25, 2015, 9:30 p.m. - Northern Daily Leader

A NARRABRI anti-coal seam gas group is taking the energy giant Santos and the state government to court over the approval of the Leewood wastewater treatment plant in the Pilliga forest.

People for the Plains will argue the approval given to the CSG wastewater treatment plant last week is invalid.

CSG explorations works are exempt from requiring development consent under NSW planning law, but the group will argue the plant is not for the purpose of CSG exploration and required separate development consent.

They will be represented in the NSW Land and Environment Court by the NSW Environmental Defenders Office (EDO).

Principal solicitor of EDO NSW, Sue Higginson, said the case is about ensuring proper laws and development assessment processes are followed in approving such development.

Thursday, 26 November 2015/Author: Kate Schwager/Number of views (0)/Comments (0)/

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