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Grapevine trunk disease workshop – November 2014

The 9th International Workshop on Grapevine Trunk Diseases is being held in Australia for the first time and will be run over three days on 18-20 November 2014 at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide, SA.

The workshop will showcase the Australian wine industry’s pro-active methods for trunk disease management and provide an opportunity for grapegrowers and winemakers to learn the latest information and practical management options for grapevine truck diseases.

The event is being hosted by the SA Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and the University of Adelaide and sponsored by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA).

Growers and winemakers who sign up for the Industry Forum Day on 20November (before the early bird cut-off) will receive a discount thanks to AGWA’s sponsorship!

Earlybird discounts are available until 17 August 2014.

You can view full details in the media release via the AGWA website or register for the workshop directly by visiting the International Council on Grapevine Trunk Diseases website.

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Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship – NOW OPEN!

Applications for the 2015 Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship are now open!

The scholarship will award $5,000 for full-time study (or $2,500 for part-time) for an individual who demonstrates a passion of the Australian Wine Industry and who will play a part in shaping a positive future for the industry here in Australia.

It is aimed at tertiary students studying oenology, viticulture, wine marketing or agriculture.

Applications close on 30 September 2014.

To learn more visit the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW website.

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Agvet chemical reforms

As of 1 July 2014, reforms to the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Legislation Amendments Act 2013 commenced.

Several other agvet reforms are currently before Parliament.

The Australian government is implementing reforms to the regulation of agricultural chemicals and veterinary medicines (agvet).  These reforms are designed to reduce red tape and encourage the development of new chemistry.

Visit the Department of Agriculture website for further details.

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Biosecurity update from PHA

Plant Biosecurity Status Report

The 2013 National Plant Biosecurity Status Report is now available.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of the plant biosecurity system that protects Australia’s economy, environment and community from the negative effects of plant pests.

Visit the Plant Health Australia website to download a free copy.


Farm Biosecurity updates

Have you visited the Farm Biosecurity website recently?  Some latest news that may be of interest to growers:

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Scholarships for Women to attend Board Training

The Australian government recently announced that it will be offering 140 scholarships for women to attend Board Training.

The scholarships will be delivered by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and split into:

  1. Rural and remote diversity
  2. Board ready
  3. Sector development

To learn more visit the Australian Institute of Company Directors website.

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Changes to Water prices and trading

Bulk water prices to remain the same

The current prices charged by the NSW Office of Water throughout NSW, and the State Water Corporation for NSW (outside of the Murray-Darling Basin), will remain in place until at least June 2016.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) have agreed to requests from both agencies to defer scheduled price reviews as bulk water reforms now underway could mean significant changes to their functions and associated costs.

For further details visit the IPART website.


New water trading rules start 1 July 2014 for Murray Darling Basin

The new basin plan water trading rules took effect from 1 July and are designed to:

  • reduce restrictions on trade,
  • improve transparency of information, and
  • improve market confidence.

Anyone who trades water must be aware of the new requirements, including declaring the sale price when completing state trading applications and desisting from trades if aware of information that is not publicly available.

For further details visit the MDBA website or call the MDBA hotline on 1800 230 067.

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Research and development news from the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) that may be on interest:

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ATO advises of changes to the Super system…

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) have implemented SuperStream – a new and more efficient system for making super contributions.  It is designed to ease the superannuation guarantee burden from employers whilst providing employees with better protection for their retirement savings.

From 1 July 2014, the system commenced for businesses with 20 or more employees.

Those with 19 or less employees will have another year to implement these changes, however the ATO is encouraging businesses to start sooner and enjoy the benefits now.

View the ATO website for more information on SuperStream and how it will impact on you.


e-Alert no. 33 (download PDF)


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