Burke & Wills Renovation_Sml[1]

The positives keep coming for the Toowoomba region

Colin Jackson Bush Chat, Property

THE POSITIVES keep coming for Toowoomba — one of the highest grossing agricultural areas in Australia, contributing 11 per cent of Queensland’s value-added agriculture. Moreover, agriculture generated $743million in value-added produce from the region, an increase of 48 per cent over the past decade. When the Wagner family developed and built the first privately-funded major airport in Australia, and the first new airport in the nation since 1970, Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport became the international hub for exporting Darling Downs produce into Asia and beyond. It should be noted that Toowoomba exports 70 per cent of the nation’s agricultural output; in 2015, that was worth $1.13 billion. Recently the Inland Rail received Federal Government go-ahead to link Melbourne and Toowoomba, and those involved are already planning extensions. EXCITING TIMES: http://agalert.com.au/exciting-times-inland-railway-beyond-imagination/ BIRTH OF A RAILWAY: http://agalert.com.au/birth-of-a-railway-as-told-by-everald-compton/ Adjacent to the airport is the Charlton Wellcamp Industrial Area that will service both airport and inland. And in addition, work is currently progressing on the second range crossing. Such infrastructure ensures a steady flow of business people, visitors and tourists to the entire Darling Downs and the west, and has seen the development of quality accommodation houses throughout the area. It was in 1957 …

Rural landholders urged to check new valuations

Colin Jackson Bush Chat, Current News, Property

AGFORCE IS URGING rural landholders to check new land valuations released today are correct to ensure they don’t end up paying more in Council rates and leasehold rent than they should. AgForce rural property valuer, John Moore, said the Department of Natural Resources and Mines was today issuing 88,000 rural valuations in 28 council areas across Queensland, with increased sales in rural markets to result in rising land values in various agricultural sectors, including grazing. “The rural property market over the past 18 months has been particularly buoyant on the back of strong commodity prices, with general rises of up to 25 per cent in parts of the market,” he said. “Unimproved value — which is the amount for which rural land could be expected to sell for without physical improvements such as structures, fences, clearing, yards and water — generally follow market trends, so we can expect there will be rises in unimproved values as well. “Unimproved values determine what council rates rural landholders pay, and are also used to calculate leasehold rents, so it’’s important the figures are right.” Mr Moore encouraged rural landholders who receive new valuations to check them using the Land Valuations Globe online and …

Soils linked to antibiotic resistant bacteria

Colin Jackson Current News, Horticulture, Property

SOILS CONTAINING even small amounts of metals are more likely to contain strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria, according to new research from Edith Cowan University. Global health challenge: Antibiotic resistant bacteria pose one of the world’s most pressing health issues. Researchers from ECU’s School of Science and School of Medical and Health Sciences found that soils containing even small amounts of lead, manganese or aluminium contained bacteria with antibiotic resistance. Researcher Dr Annette Koenders said previous studies carried out overseas had shown a link between high levels of metal contamination in soil and antibiotic resistant bacteria. “But our study, undertaken in WA, shows that even low concentrations of metals are correlated with increased antibiotic resistance in bacteria,” Dr Koenders said. “This antibiotic resistance in bacteria occurs as part of a naturally occurring response to protect from pollutants or stress, especially toxic metals.” Methods: Soil samples were collected from 80 sites on residential properties around the State. The samples were analysed for the presence of 14 different metals. The DNA of the bacteria in each soil sample was analysed for the presence of genes associated with antibiotic resistance. Implications: Dr Koenders said the results showed that an assessment of the metals …

Land acquisitions: should defence better manage training areas?

Colin Jackson Bush Chat, Current News, Property

IT WAS only a week ago that One Nation’s Pauline Hanson told agalert.com.au that she had met with the Defence Department, and suggested they utilise more of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area instead of resorting to the compulsory acquisition by the Department of Defence of properties in the areas surrounding Charters Towers (west of Townsville) and Marlborough (north of Rockhampton) for use by the Singaporean Military. “I was told that it has become overgrown, and the government was restricted by environmental laws from clearing it,” Senator Hanson said. “One Nation will continue to fight against the acquisition.” “Not only will communities like Marlborough be affected, but this decision will destroy a farming sector handed-down from generation to generation.” Yesterday (February 7) AgForce entered the argument, demanding the Australian and Queensland Governments work together to ensure the Department of Defence better manage their military training grounds. AgForce released video footage and photos taken during a helicopter fly-over on the previous week-end that showcased the difference between the Department of Defence’s current training grounds at Shoalwater Bay and the neighbouring grazing properties the Department wants to acquire. AgForce General President Grant Maudsley said the 60 farming families who face the prospect of …

Adani looks at half dozen NQ carbon farms

Colin Jackson Current News, Property

INDIAN ENERGY group Adani, best known for its controversial Alpha coal proposal, is negotiating to buy up to half a dozen cattle properties for carbon farms. Adani announced this week plans for Australia’s biggest solar farm near Moranbah, and another in South Australia. Adani has major solar projects as well as coal-fired power stations in India. The next announcement may be about its investment in carbon farms. These would provide offsets to its coal mine, which would be Australia’s biggest if it manages to get through a thicket of green group legal challenges. However, in November it began talks with graziers with large holdings in the Clermont-Bowen-Mackay triangle. Owners were visited a fortnight ago by Adani consultants from a Victorian eco developer. Follow-ups are about to start from Sydney consultants. Graziers would be allowed to continue some cattle production, but would not be allowed any land clearing or agriculture, except tree plantations. Most of the properties being negotiated have heavy timbered country.

Quayle Dalby modified

Record price for Dalby grain property

Colin Jackson Property

Despite low wheat and falling pulse prices, the 628-acre Quayle property near Dalby achieved a record $3,900 per acre at auction on August 9. The self-mulching black soil dry land grain farm 15kms north-east of Dalby had been in the one family for 108 years. Auctioned by Ray White Rural in Toowoomba, it had eight registered bidders, with two neighbours pushing the price to a record. An old house, sheds and grain storage was included, but not the crop. The $2.4 million price suggests long-term faith in grain on some of the best country in Queensland.