Region-specific contributions by the ABC in New England (Northern Tablelands)
The ABC continues to serve the New England region though its New England/North-West service based in Tamworth. As well as providing life-saving emergency information in times of flood, fire and other natural disasters, it presents both local and national stories that appeal to regional and rural communities. Here are some of those, long-term and recent:
Backroads, in-depth stories of rural and regional communities, including a recent episode on Waterfall Way.
Landline, in-depth examination of many issues affecting rural communities, especially landholders. Recent stories included the rise in the price of beef, a headache for consumers but a windfall for producers; and how an 80-something year-old woman, still working, revolutionized the leather industry by applying science to the tanning process.
One-off series like Muster Dogs, the heartwarming story of five pups from the one litter trained for cattle mustering by their handlers. The handlers took part in a friendly competition to identify the most adept muster dog (and trainer).
Narrabri Plant Breeding Institute. A harvest of a different kind has taken place in the New South Wales north-west, with native millet and Mitchell grasses gathered at the University of Sydney's Narrabri Plant Breeding Institute. First Nations people lead this Indigenous Grasslands of Grain project.
Wind towers and solar farms. A plan to erect hundreds of wind towers in New South Wales north west has been questioned by some farmers. Uralla sheep producer Richard Croft, an NSW Farmers Association executive member, does not want wind towers in his area, largely because of the visual impact. Instead, some are proposing small-scale solar installations of around 20 hectares on farms to feed into the grid and to support farm income in tough times like drought.
Whitehaven coalmine watch. Whitehaven Coal wants to extend the life of its Narrabri Underground mine by 13 years. Planning authorities have been told the mine's methane emissions could rise significantly. Business representatives say the extension is vital to the region's economic diversity. But what of the future implications of climate change on our region? Should we be putting the short-term gain for some above predicted long-term problems for all?