Native fish report card improves information on Victorian fish

Victorians will get a better insight into the health of the state’s waterways and native fish numbers following the launch of the native fish report card.

Victoria’s minister for water Lisa Neville said the report card will give the community and anglers important information about the state of Victorian fish.

“Through Water for Victoria, we’re improving information about our waterways and catchments, and better reporting back to communities,” said Neville.

By monitoring fish populations in Victoria’s 10 priority rivers, the report card will tell anglers and conservationists about the health of key Victorian fish species.

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The priority rivers are Gellibrand river, Glenelg river, Goulburn river, Gunbower, Lindsay and Mullaroo, Mitchell river, Ovens river, Thomson and Macalister, Wimmera river and Yarra river.

Fishers, citizen scientists and community members alike can access information about recreational and threatened non-recreational fish species through a web-portal that will be updated with new fish population data every year.

Over the next three years this website will provide information on the condition of native fish.

As data is strengthened throughout the years, it will help discover trends in fish populations.

Minister for agriculture Jaala Pulford said the government wants Victorians fishing more often, which is why it’s investing in the native fish report card to provide the community information on what they can expect to catch.

“We can’t wait to see the benefits of our record native fish stocking and continued investment in snags for fish reflected in future report card results,” said Pulford.

Funding for this program comes from the Victorian government’s $222 million investment into waterway and catchment health, recreational fishing licence fees and Target One Million, which is investing $46m to get more people fishing.

The program is run by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Victorian Fisheries Authority.

Sheep and goat traceability requirements increased

Sheep and goat traceability standards are being boosted with scanning infrastructure and software installed in all sheep selling saleyards and processing plants in Victoria.

The Victorian government is increasing traceability standards to protect Victoria’s $6.7 billion livestock industry.

Performance levels for Victorian sheep and goat saleyards and processing facilities will be increased from 80 to 90 per cent from early 2019.

Sheep and Goats Identification Advisory Committee chairman Stuart McLean said the government set an achievable goal.

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“Increasing action levels for saleyards and processors on the 31st of March 2019, will be very attainable by the industry, particularly with six months to prepare and plan for these changes,” said McLean.

Levels were originally set at 80 per cent to facilitate a smooth transition for industry to the new electronic National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) for sheep and goats.

Victorian minister for agriculture Jaala Pulford said the industry had embraced the transition to electronic identification and was exceeding current action and performance levels.

“Most saleyards and abattoirs are already reading close to 100 per cent of the electronic NLIS tags on sheep and goats, so the impact of raising these levels is expected to be minimal,” she said.

“Victoria is leading the way with this critical reform and our sheep and goat industries should be commended for the way in which they have embraced the change and made a successful transition to the electronic system,” said Pulford.

The phased implementation of electronic identification, supported by the Sheep and Goat Identification Advisory Committee, has allowed saleyards, agents and processors to adapt without major disruption to established practices.

Victoria is the first state in Australia to introduce mandatory electronic identification for sheep and goats, which will provide trading partners with increased confidence in the safety and origin of Victorian products – protecting and enhancing access to expanding and profitable local and export markets.



Funding boost helps create more than 170 new jobs in Victoria

Greenham’s Moe facility is expanding its meat processing facility, increasing its production capacity and boosting its export revenue.

With a funding boost from the Victorian government, the company will be able to expand as well as create 170 new jobs.

The project includes upgrading existing processing systems, extending the boning room chains and floor space, and purchasing new chiller and latest technology freezing equipment and new packaging and conveyor systems.

Greenham Gippsland Pty Ltd is a sixth-generation meat processing business which sources livestock from over 4,000 suppliers across Australia.

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The company supplies premium beef products for both domestic and international markets under brands which include Cape Grim, Pure Black Natural Angus and Greenham Tasmania Natural Beef.

Minister for industry and employment Ben Carroll said the government is supporting local jobs and local businesses, so they can boost the Latrobe Valley’s economy.

Training and employment of the company’s staff have also been supported through FGM Consultants, a Jobs Victoria provider.

Funding is also being given to four other businesses, which will result in an additional 26 jobs being created in the region.

The companies are Executive Media, Neptune Apparel, JH Cuthbertson and GSE Health.

The grants from the Latrobe Valley Economic Facilitation Fund will result in $3.49 million worth of private investment for the region.