Daily News Roundup

September 19, 2018

Image: ABC News

People have taken to social media to share their inventive strawberry recipes and urge others to support farmers, giving rise to the trending tag #SmashaStrawb.

As the needle contamination scare continues to play havoc for the strawberry industry in Australia, the owners of one south-east Queensland farm are getting more serious with new ways to put their unwanted fruit to good use.

Already in the grip of a strawberry glut, Sunshine Coast couple Adrian and Mandy Schultz have been looking at ways to sweeten a sour deal.

They have a strawberry farm at Wamuran unaffected by the needle scandal but close to the first farm targeted.

Their Luvaberry farm has recently been turning reject strawberries into dried products and even beer to eliminate waste.

Ms Schultz said she had already begun to seriously investigate jam-making and chocolate collaborations as the needle-tampering crisis set in.

Strawberry beer is also another option on the drawing board, thanks to interest from a Brisbane brewer.

“I think the key here is sometimes small business and start-ups need to collaborate together to make big stuff happen,” she said.

“I’ve got 200,000 plants. I can make magic happen with a bit of luck.”

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An inflatable veterinary field hospital that will help animals injured by natural disasters has been launched in South Australia just weeks out from the state’s annual fire danger season.

Said to be the first of its kind in Australia, the tunnel-shaped structure resembling a Nissen hut will house SA Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM) staff.

“During the Sampson Flat bushfire of 2015, we saw probably close to 1,000 animals over an eight-week period,” SAVEM’s Rachel Westcott said.

“Many of those were wildlife, mainly kangaroos and koalas, but we did see all species such as horses, dogs, cats, reptiles, other pets, as well as cattle and sheep.”

Dr Westcott said the most common injuries were burns to feet and hooves.

“Kangaroos can have catastrophic injuries to their feet, while livestock can have burnt hooves as well as burns to their whole body,” she said.

“At the Pinery bushfire, animals that were in canola stubble died because the fire was so hot.”

Dr Westcott said smoke inhalation was another common and sometimes fatal condition that could be treated with antibiotics, pain relief, anti-inflammatories, and by “making sure they were well hydrated” by using IV fluids.

“Lots of horses had smoke injuries in the Pinery fire because the smoke was so dense it was like night time where they were.”

The $30,000 field hospital was financed by The Hackett Foundation.

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Superannuation will be paid to mothers and fathers on government parental leave and people who earn less than $450 a month if Labor wins the next election.

The Federal opposition has announced a raft of proposed changes to superannuation, in a move it said aimed to prevent women spending their retirement in “abject poverty”.

The policy would cost the government about $409 million over four years and would apply to both women on government-paid maternity leave and fathers on the two-week paternity leave scheme.

A Labor government would also abolish the $450-a-month threshold at which super starts to be paid.

The growth of low-paid and insecure work has prompted industry experts to call for a dramatic overhaul of the superannuation system.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said Australia’s super system was “not working as well as it should for Australia’s women”.

He said under the plan, a mother-of-three who took three lots of maternity leave would be more than $30,000 better off when she retired and women would also benefit from the changes to the minimum amount at which super started getting paid.

“Some of our lowest-paid workers, those on less than $450 a month, don’t get paid superannuation guarantee,” Mr Bowen said.

“We have had the increase in the casualisation, people working more low-paid jobs, and they are people who actually need money in their superannuation accounts.

“And this is an anomaly that has got to be fixed, this is an important matter of fairness.”

The policy is predicted to help hundreds of thousands of people, including 200,000 people on paid parental leave each year.

 

This daily news roundup is curated with stories from ABC News.

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