Diggings 21 April 2021

Frederickton looking toward Kempsey March 2021

After 160 years, Aboriginal cultural burning returns to Coranderrk Station

‘Watching on, Wurundjeri woman Mandy Nicholson reflected on her ancestors, whose lives had been tightly controlled during Coranderrk’s mission years.

“I feel quite emotional being here today because we’re bringing back cultural practice to a place where culture wasn’t allowed,” she said.’


A US ban on kangaroo leather would be an animal welfare disaster – and a missed farming opportunity

When kangaroo kills are brought in for processing, regulators can monitor the industry’s compliance with welfare codes. Such monitoring is nonexistent with amateur culling. We believe a further decline in the kangaroo industry – the goal of the proposed US legislation – will lead to worse animal welfare outcomes. It will prompt more amateur culling, and risks mass kangaroo starvation in the next drought.


The rise of the reducers: Why some of us are putting less meat on our plates

“I really noticed the shift about three years ago but it’s very common now,” she said. Ms Barton processes up to 600 lambs a year through her business For the Love of Lamb. She said many consumers were telling her they were having two or three meat-free nights a week. And they are willing to pay more for her products because they trust the animals were treated ethically, including her “low-stress handling” farming techniques. “If they went to Coles they could probably buy twice as much,” she said.’


‘No one will eat it’: How a small Australian town developed a love for sushi

However, encouraging the rural community to try something new was not as easy as she had hoped. Rolls and rolls of sushi went to waste, and Izumi often wondered if it was worth it after all. “Persistence was the key,” says Izumi, who with the help of Melanie kept encouraging locals to have a try. Izumi tried to listen to the feedback and offered sushi rolls without seaweed for those who weren’t a fan of seaweed. Gradually, people came back for more, and the word spread. “Now customers, some who have never before eaten sushi, order a week ahead!” says Melanie.


Seasonal work on Australia’s farms: ‘No one wants to do this sort of work’

“It is so difficult sometimes when you are on the piece rate,” she said. “We would receive between $0.39 and $0.55 per punnet. Sometimes we have good days and sometimes we can work all day for 10 hours and do only 90 punnets ($35 to $49.50) because of the rain and the scrubs. “We all know this is happening but this is how it is. At least we were all together. We make the three months for our visa and then we leave.


Curries bring tourists and truckies to Snowtown

He said he did not know of Snowtown’s grim recent history at the time. “I wasn’t … an internet sort of guy and I didn’t know the history of what happened at Snowtown,” Mr Singh said. “It came from elsewhere — it’s not about our town.” Mr Singh said he was happy to be cooking up a new reputation for Snowtown and that word was spreading. “Instead of the barrels it’s now known for its curries,” he said.


Men’s Shed pilot program sharpens kitchen skills — and appetites — for men who live alone

Alby Powerlett is almost 90, likes “good tucker” and, to his own mild surprise, has developed an appetite for learning how to cook for the first time. It’s simple, really, he says of his new enthusiasm for the kitchen: “I don’t want to eat rubbish tucker.” “I’m only really a pepper-and-salt man … so it’s educating me,” he said. “I want good tucker because I’ve got to look after the inner man, OK?” Mr Powerlett is among men taking part in a pilot program that teaches participants how to take care of themselves.


The rice of the sea: how a tiny grain could change the way humanity eats

‘The find has set the chef, whose restaurant won its third Michelin star in 2017, on a mission to recast the common eelgrass as a potential superfood, albeit one whose singular lifecycle could have far-reaching consequences. “In a world that is three-quarters water, it could fundamentally transform how we see oceans,” says León. “This could be the beginning of a new concept of understanding the sea as a garden.”


More than 70 serious injuries for food delivery riders in NSW in one year

More than 70 serious injuries to food delivery workers were recorded last year in NSW, with the state’s work safety authority also warning companies of the significant risks posed to untrained riders often working on student visas. There were 74 “serious notifiable injuries” to UberEats riders in 2020, according to SafeWork NSW documents tabled to NSW Parliament and seen by the Herald. The SafeWork notices also outline concerns by the regulator with food delivery service HungryPanda over the company’s use of overseas students who face serious risk on the state’s roads.


Did somebody say workers’ rights? Three big questions about Menulog’s employment plan

Menulog, Australia’s second-largest food ordering and delivery platform, has declared it will break with the standard “gig platform” business model and engage some of its couriers as employees, not independent contractors. “We owe it to our couriers,” Menulog’s managing director Morten Belling told the Senate Select Committee inquiry into job security this week. The inquiry is investigating the scope of insecure or precarious employment in Australia. The Transport Workers’ Union says Menulog’s move is a “watershed moment for the gig economy”. By committing to pay couriers a minimum wage and superannuation, it is going further than its competitors such as UberEats and Deliveroo. But let’s not get too excited yet.


Shenhua set to walk away from Watermark coal mine with taxpayer payout


Andrew Pursehouse, a farmer whose property bordered the Watermark area on three boundaries, said the company had said the mine would cost $1.6 billion to develop. That sum included $200 million Shenhua would have had to fork out to proceed to mining. It had planned to produce about 10 million tonnes a year for 30 years for export. “We’ve been predicting this for a long time,” Mr Pursehouse said. Still, “there’s been a lot of heartache”, and locals had spent more than $1 million to fight the mine. Concerns include damage to aquifers in the key farming region particularly if the mine were to expand in the future to reach better quality coal some 600 metres below the surface.  “There’ll be one hell of a party when it’s over,” he said. “The whole farming community was against it.”

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