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Mayor's Message - Council Connections 23 September 2017

23rd September 2017

Ambulance Service Recognition

I recently attended a ceremony held by our local Ambulance Service in recognition of long serving officers and committee members.  Congratulations to Bruce Smith (45 years), Damian Jardine (35 years), Trevor Hulbert (30 years), and Richard Brown of Halifax Station (25 years).  A sterling effort in such a demanding and often unpleasant role.  It is reassuring to our community to know we have such caring and dedicated people ready to assist in times of need.  Thank you for a job well done.

Special recognition also to Arthur Bosworth and Barry Bosworth for unselfishly donating their time and service for the past 20 years as members of the Local Ambulance Committee.  Your experience and assistance to the local brigade has proven significant and invaluable and you are both commended for your effort.

Share your perspectives and experiences regarding agriculture diversity

Council is pursuing a number of avenues for diversification, including tourism and alternative energy. However agricultural diversification into new crops complimentary to our cane industry remains a very high priority.

I constantly hear that “this district has been there, done that and failed”. I know we have constraints to marketing alternative crops, including our lack of underground water supply and often volatile weather patterns, but and there is always a but – there is a lack of study and research into the trials that apparently were previously undertaken and no research has been done on the possibility that new plant products and technological advances could have.

Why did the failures occur?  Was it due to a lack of water, or too much water?  Or was there no market, or were transport or supply chain logistics problematic?  We need to know these issues to ascertain if there is a way forward and to retest the waters and re-examine our past practices.

We are looking into all these matters to determine the possibility of a way forward and I need your help. A Masters Research Project is presently being undertaken in the Hinchinbrook Shire about farmer’s perspectives and experiences with agricultural diversification into new crops/innovative crop rotations in the Hinchinbrook Shire.

We need to know your views on why you think it can’t work or will work, what will work or won’t work, your experiences with alternative crops and any other information you may be able to offer.

It won’t cost you anything but for a little time.

If you are able and willing to assist, please contact myself or Council on 4776 4602.

Image credit: Project Catalyst Rotational Cropping Trial, Herbert Cane Productivity Services Limited (HCPSL), at Gairloch. Photo by Rod Neilson, HCPSL.

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