OCTOBER 2019                    

Welcome to our first RiceMatters edition produced on the new RGA software.  This medium allows greater flexibility and efficiencies in the production of our newsletter. We hope you like it.

A Word from Rob Massina, President of RGA

The last few weeks has seen the RGA team working collaboratively with NSW Irrigators’ Council, Murray Regional Strategy Group and the National Farmers Federation (NFF) to help influence decision makers.

This is not only in the water space, but Agriculture as whole. This effort is about sound policy development. Agriculture is facing many challenges and we are working with these organisations to ensure that food security, regional communities and irrigated agriculture are not shoved to the side as a result of potentially unintended consequences of poor policy.

With a target of $100Billion for the Australian agricultural industry by 2030 our challenge is not only to develop strong policy that encourages growth and investment, but is to also about reaching beyond our regions. Influencing the populations’ beliefs on agriculture, the food we eat and the environment is something RGA will be working with the NFF on over the coming 12 months. 



RGA Rice Industry Leadership Program 2020:  The Tier 1 Leadership program (Introduction to the rice industry) is for new and/or inexperienced people with a passion and interest in the rice industry and/or supporting industries and communities. Developed in conjunction with Rice Extension team this course will be offered in February 2020... READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Waste Oil Round Up: RGA is coordinating free on farm pickups with Southern Oil Collection in Wagga Wagga. The oil collected is re-refined by Southern Oil Refineries for re-use.
Return your Expression of Interest to RGA by Monday the 14th of October... READ THE FULL ARTICLE

National Threatened Species Day Event highlights Bitterns in Rice: An event was held on the 9th September, to celebrate Threatened Species Day at the Reed Beds Wetland. 
Neil Bull, the RGA Environment Manager presented the findings of the Bitterns Rice project to a broad regional audience...  READ THE FULL ARTICLE

AgriFutures Rural Women's Awards: The RGA are strong supporters of Women in Agriculture. Earlier in September the RGA had the opportunity to send a table of representatives to Canberra to attend the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Awards Gala Dinner, where NSW Finalist Jo Palmer was announced as the 2019 national award winner. Some of our RGA female staff members along with RGA board members and other representatives attend the evening on behalf of the rice industry... READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Your RGA team advocating for you: READ THE FULL ARTICLE


Resilient Small Businesses for the future
Friday 11 October, 8am - 4pm @ Deniliquin Golf Club, 1 Golf Club Road, Deniliquin, NSW. 

NSW Landcare & Local Land Services Conference
22-24 October @ Broken Hill Civic Centre, Broken Hill, NSW.

Women in Rice - Ladies Night
Friday 25 October, 6.00pm @ Moulamein Bowling Club, Endeavour Dr, Moulamein.

National Renewables in Agriculture Conference and Expo

Thursday 14 November, 9am - 4.30pm @ The Range Function Centre, 308 Copland Street, Wagga Wagga, NSW. 

Save the date: Grower of the Year Field day
Thursday 12 December, Peter & Renee Burke, Jerilderie, NSW.

EvokeAg 2020
18-19 February 2020 @ Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC. 



A word from RGA Coleambally Branch President - Denise Kelly 

In my first article as RGA Coleambally Branch President I would like to touch on the sessions held across our region in regards to the MDBA Social and Economic Assessment Panel, the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Awards in Canberra last month and an exciting new arrival.

You would have received an email from RGA on Thursday 26th Sept advising you that Drop-in sessions were being held in the region and providing dates. I attended the Coleambally session on the 30th October and we had approximately 40 people in attendance. It was encouraging to have this many attend but would have been great to see many more.

I know we have all been here before but as the panel stated, they are completely independent and the difference this time in the consultation process is that it is being led by community members from all over the state and has been designed by these independent members.  The panel also stated that they plan to hold Minister Littleproud to account with the results of these findings.



The RGA water committee is preparing a submission following the release of the draft NSW Murray Water Resource and Water Sharing plans. Uncertainty over Planned Environmental Water (PEW) rules is a critical issue, with concern that over time the MDBA will regard PEW as all water above annual average consumptive water use. For many years this has been well below sharing plan limits, the Cap and even the Sustainable Diversion Limit. The RGA position is  that there be no loss of irrigators’ existing, full rights to water.

The RGA submission will be available on the RGA Website Policy - Submission web-page from Friday 18th October


The Independent Panel for the assessment of social and economic conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin is seeking to understand the lived experience of communities across the Basin.
As part of a broader stakeholder engagement, the online survey is intended to provide community members with the opportunity to express their vision and concerns for their community. This survey is consistent with the discussions that are occurring throughout the basin in the next few weeks. Drop-in sessions start in October as part of the consultation for the Independent Panel assessment of social and economic conditions. 



REMINDER: Applications for the SunRice 2020 Jan Cathcart Scholarship close on 12 October: Women involved in Australia’s rice industry who are undertaking tertiary study are encouraged to consider applying for the 2020 Jan Cathcart Scholarship, which offers financial assistance valued at up to $30,000. In addition to valuable financial support, scholars benefit from work experience and employment placements with SunRice... READ THE FULL ARTICLE

H2OX outline their latest water report: The allocation market has remained steady through September despite the outlooks for no further determinations in either the Murrumbidgee or NSW Murray... READ THE FULL ARTICLE

How one little device could help improve your mobile coverage: Telstra is working hard to extend our network coverage even further by offering customers products like the Telstra Go Repeater – a device designed to maximise coverage and improve voice quality and data speeds. This ‘intelligent’ antenna works by wirelessly replicating or ‘repeating’ a mobile signal to boost reception, especially in regional and remote locations where consistent coverage may be tricky... READ THE FULL ARTICLE