US and Japan closer to importing beef to Australia

`FRESH and frozen beef from the US and Japan are a step closer to hitting Australian shores after 14 years. Trade was suspended in the early 2000s due to fears about mad cow disease, or BSE, but a final Department of Agriculture review has found trade can resume — if the countries meet Australia’s strict…

Tests find white spot disease DNA in supermarket seafood products

A Queensland academic is warning that lifting a ban on the importation of green prawns into Australia is "fraught with danger" and like "playing with fire". On Wednesday Dr Knibb presented the results of the USC Aquaculture Genetics Research Group testing to the Australian Prawn Farmers symposium on the Gold Coast, telling delegates the affected…

Aussies accepting farm sales to China claimed Australia-China Relations Institute

Australians are not as opposed to Chinese investors buying local farms and agricultural assets as often claimed, the Australia-China Relations Institute said. Institute deputy director James Laurenceson said a survey by the group showed the Australian public was more nuanced and sophisticated about the benefits and disadvantages of greater foreign investment in agriculture by Chinese…

Shoddy builders using foam bricks in cheap homes

THE construction scandal ­engulfing Australia is becoming so dangerous a property expert has revealed foam fake bricks are being used in shoddy homes by dodgy builders.National building and property maintenance consultant Roscon Property Services said developers were putting residents at risk by using polystyrene bricks to cut costs on the “Esky” homes.It comes as one…

New plan to dam WA’s Fitzroy river and create cotton powerhouse

A New South Wales-based company has put forward a new plan to dam Western Australia's Fitzroy River. AM has obtained a leaked copy of the detailed proposal from retired NSW cotton farmer and KIMCO founder John Logan. The document argues it could transform the Kimberley into a cotton powerhouse rivalling New South Wales and Queensland.But…

Australia Post confirms sale of historic Sydney GPO to Singaporean billionaires

Australia Post has confirmed the sale of one of Australia's most significant heritage buildings, the Sydney GPO, to two Singaporean billionaires, despite an outcry over heritage concerns and a secretive sales process. The sale stands as one of the last acts of outgoing Australia Post boss Ahmed Fahour who leaves the organisation on Friday, delivering…

Australian beef processors hit by China export ban

CHINA has placed temporary export bans on as many as six beef processing plants in Australia. There have been allegations the bans are in retaliation to deputy Prime Minister Julie Bishop’s comments last week over freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. One meat processor has confirmed the temporary ban to The Weekly Times….

Plans to privatise Lindeman Island National Park land, Chinese developers to build accommodation exclusive for wealthy tourist

NEARLY 37 hectares of Lindeman Island National Park will be privatised if the recommendations of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released this afternoon are approved. The EIS details plans to privatise Lindeman Island National Park and place it in the hands of Chinese company, Whitehorse Developments, which will create exclusive accommodation for wealthy tourists. The…

Food waste shapes up as a national scandal

UP TO half the food produced in Australia every year — about 44 million tonnes — is thrown away. According to an Australian Institute study, Australians are discarding food worth $5.2 billion a year. Shiny potatoes, carrots that are too big and bananas “too sausage-shaped” are being rejected by supermarkets, adding to the food waste…

Concerns for biosecurity risks as raw prawn imports resume

INDUSTRY leaders fear the Government has bowed to ­foreign pressure and rushed a decision to resume raw prawn imports from 7th July , exposing the country to further biosecurity risks. Raw prawn imports were suspended for six months on January 6 as an outbreak of white spot disease spread through farms on the Logan River,…

Australia lifts ban on Vietnam raw shrimp

 Australia has lifted the ban it imposed in January on uncooked Vietnamese shrimp products. Vietnamese companies may resume importing raw prawns caught in Australia for processing and export them to Australia for consumption. The department “will be accepting permit applications for uncooked Australian wild caught prawns exported to Vietnam for processing and re-imported into Australia…