• Nationals Member for Benalla, Bill Sykes today participated in the annual Marngrook footy game at Bright P-12 College.
• Dr Sykes also took the opportunity to recognise the Bangarang people who are traditional custodians of much of the Benalla electorate.
Dr Sykes joined local community members, Bright P-12 students, teachers and some boys from the Wadeye Aboriginal community which is located in the Daly River Reserve in the Northern Territory, at the annual Marngrook footy match.
“To participate properly in this match we wear only a lap-lap and some ceremonial skin paint as we pursue a stuffed possum-skin ball,” Dr Sykes said.
“This game is part of the Bright P-12 partnership with the Thathangathay Foundation and the Kindred Spirits Foundation which seeks to provide broader experiences to young people from Wadeye, a seriously disadvantaged Northern Territory community.
“The aim is to also encourage students to achieve to their potential.”
Local Bright students benefit by having the opportunity to visit Wadeye and learn about their rich Aboriginal culture.
“Well done to Justin and Bec Crawley and the whole Bright community. It is a great project,” Dr Sykes said.
Dr Sykes also said that his experiences with the Bangerang people, traditional custodians of much of the Benalla electorate along with the Taungerong, Dhudhuroa and Yorta Yorta, had made a strong and lasting impression on him.
“I have worked with and formed great respect for the Bangerang people in Benalla. People such as Uncle Sandy Atkinson, Vicki, Marlene, Freddie Dowling, Jane, Kevin Atkinson, Uncle Wally Cooper and his boys Kevin and Jesse.
“Uncle Wally has a great ability to connect our cultures, highlighted by the words he uses when he does a welcome to country. He highlights that, ‘We walk across this country together’.
“One of my most treasured memories is from earlier this year, when with the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs I met with over 100 Bangerang people in Benalla.
“We met four generations of proud, caring people with a very strong connection to their country.
“I wish them well in their application to become a registered Aboriginal party, which is currently being considered by the Aboriginal Heritage Council.”
I write to congratulate Mansfield school teacher and agriculture advocate Julie Aldous for representing Victoria at the 2014 RIRDC Rural Women’s Awards at Parliament House in Canberra recently.
Ms Aldous attended the national award ceremony last week after winning the Victorian Rural Women’s Award in March this year.
The RIRDC Rural Women’s Award celebrates the achievements of rural women and recognises the work they do to drive innovation, productivity and sustainability in primary industries, in turn generating economic and social development in rural communities.
The 2014 awards again saw an impressive range of finalists from across Australia and while Julie didn’t take out the top prize, she can walk away very proud of what she has already achieved for rural Victoria and our primary industries.
Julie has dedicated a large part of her teaching career to promoting the wide variety of careers available in agriculture to young people, including her applied learning course ‘Agribusiness: The Mansfield Model’, which is designed to address the shortage of skilled young people in the agricultural sector.
The Victorian Coalition Government has set a target to double the state’s food and fibre production by 2030 and we can’t achieve that without the next generation of skilled farmers and agribusiness professionals, so I commend Julie for her vision and commitment.
The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to supporting and promoting women’s leadership in rural communities, industry and business.
Well done Julie.
Member for Benalla
Parliamentary Secretary for Primary Industries
• Grants awarded under Napthine Government’s $16 million Driving Business Innovation program
• North East Catchment Management Authority to share in feasibility study funding
• Liberal National Coalition Government supporting business innovation
Nationals Member for Benalla Bill Sykes announced today that the North East Catchment Management Authority (NECMA), in partnership with Altrutec, would receive one of 11 grants of $75,000 under Round 1 of the Victorian Government’s Driving Business Innovation program.
Dr Sykes said the $16 million Driving Business Innovation program was funded in the 2013 State Budget and provides financial support for innovative small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to partner with a government agency to co-develop a new product or service in response to a particular technology challenge.
“Altrutec have received funding for their proposal to investigate a virtual fence that will reduce the costs of replacing fences lost in floods and fires, as well as reducing injuries to stock and wildlife from traditional fences.
“I have had discussions with Altrutec and I see many practical applications especially in flood prone areas such as my property which has 2km of creek frontage.
“Altrutec will work closely with NECMA to undertake a feasibility study into their proposal, which will then be assessed for a potential grant of up to $1 million to develop a proof-of-concept prototype,” Dr Sykes said.
Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan said the Driving Business Innovation program was designed to encourage innovative and emerging SMEs to undertake specific research and development projects for Victorian Government agencies and to explore new commercial opportunities.
“These 10 successful businesses were selected from a pool of 65 innovative Victorian companies which proposed solutions to challenges in areas including water, waste management, health and agriculture,” Ms Ryan said.
“It is exciting to see the innovative and ground-breaking ideas that are being pioneered, with successful proposals including a synthetic skin ‘scaffold’ for treating burns, the use of algae in the treatment of waste water, and a non-invasive lung imaging technology for very sick children.”
Feasibility study outcomes will be delivered later in 2014 then assessed for further proof-of-concept and commercialisation support.
The successful companies are:
Algae Enterprises will work with Melbourne Water to explore an innovative algae cultivation system to provide a treatment for liquid waste that will reduce costs and recover useful nutrients from the waste stream.
Altrutec will work with North East Catchment Management Authority to investigate a virtual fence that will reduce the costs of replacing fences lost in floods and fires, as well as reducing injuries to stock and wildlife from traditional fences.
Blue Curve will work with Melbourne Health to investigate a mobile solution that will allow real time sharing of blood glucose results to better manage inpatients with diabetes.
Draco Scientific will work with Melbourne Water to explore the use of low-powered, lightweight laser technology to allow measurement of gases released from sewage treatment ponds that are difficult to access.
Global Data Harvest will work with South East Water to investigate the use of a mechanically-tethered floating paddle to build a profile of waste water, particularly related to trade waste, such as paints and oils.
Grey Innovation received two grants. They will work with Alfred Health to investigate a light-weight device to provide an early warning of cardiac arrest. They will also work with the Royal Children’s Hospital to provide non-invasive real-time lung imaging of sick children.
Hydrix will work with Monash Health to investigate the development of a cost effective device designed to provide artificial heart function for at-risk cardiac patients.
NIESM will work with Melbourne Health to investigate a real-time wearable device to detect epileptic seizures in outpatients who are at risk.
PolyNovo will work with Alfred Health to investigate a synthetic biodegradable replacement for skin that will provide a ‘scaffold’ on which new tissue can grow, allowing more effective and less expensive treatment of burns.
Successful Endeavours will work with Melbourne Water to investigate the development of a chemically resistant suite of sensors that can transmit humidity, air flow and pressure data from inside the sewer, reducing cost of manual monitoring of the sewer.
More information about the program is available at: business.vic.gov.au/dbi
The Goulburn River near Kevington was today stocked with 5,000 brown trout as part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s investigation into the cause of declined trout populations in High Country rivers.
A further 5,000 brown trout will also be released into the Howqua River near Sheepyard Flat tomorrow.
Parliamentary Secretary for Primary Industries and Member for Benalla Bill Sykes said the trout had been marked by volunteers from Mansfield and District Flyfishing Club prior to being released as part of the Wild Trout Fishery Management Program, allowing the stocked trout to be distinguished from wild fish spawned naturally in the river.
“Over the next three years, DEPI fisheries researchers will undertake annual backpack electro-fishing surveys at sites along the two stocked rivers to check the progress of the stocked fish and wild trout numbers,” Dr Sykes said.
“Anglers will also be interviewed along the riverbanks each year to determine the proportion of caught trout that are marked.
“All of this information is vital to inform the Wild Trout Fishery Management Program and help to establish what has contributed to reports of declined brown trout numbers in High Country rivers.”
Member for Seymour and Liberal candidate for Eildon Cindy McLeish said Victoria’s northeast and Gippsland trout rivers were highly valued by freshwater anglers, local communities, the tourism sector and the fishing tackle industry.
“This investigation also involves tracking trout in the Delatite River, conducting annual surveys of spawning success in 12 iconic trout rivers, and monitoring catch and harvest levels of trout,” Ms McLeish said.
“It is an extensive and thorough program of initiatives that will allow Fisheries Victoria to better understand why numbers of trout have declined and how populations can be improved.”
Further trout stockings in the two rivers is planned in 2015 and 2016 as part of the program, which is funded by fishing licence fees and the Coalition Government’s $16 million Recreational Fishing Initiative.
Nationals Candidate for Eildon Jim Child said the Victorian Coalition Government was committed to supporting and improving the state’s recreational fishing industry.
“The Coalition Government recognises the important social and economic contribution of recreational fishing and we are building a better Victoria by ensuring our state remains a top fishing destination for locals and visitors,” Mr Child said.
The brown trout released into the Upper Goulburn River were stocked over 26 kilometres from Jamieson upstream to Edwards Creek. In the Howqua River, the trout were released from Running Creek Reserve 10 kilometres upstream to Sheepyard Flat.
Mansfield and District Flyfishing Club President, Graham Godber, said being involved as volunteers in marking the brown trout, and then their release, was a partnership approach they valued with freshwater fisheries managers from Fisheries Victoria.
For more information visit www.depi.vic.gov.au/troutrecovery