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On Landline today, the Japanese stopped biting, after a season when for the tuna industry. some divine intervention he's not religious As one fisherman was saying, could walk on water but if you believe someone from Sydney to Bermagui on the backs of southern blue fin. they could do it at the moment We attend a master class of the down-to-earth approach with the doyenne to understanding live stock. in handling live stock Basic, basic principle to handle. is calm animals are easier

with the Finn And we have a bit of fun into a live stage hit. who fashioned a farm full of sounds those old machines to audience I am going to present and engines together in a new way with music totally differently. so that the audience will hear them Welcome to the program. Hello. I'm Anne Krueger. seemed to have an opinion In a week when everyone colossal water entitlements, on clawing back Cubbie Station's to actually stump up the cash. but few were prepared Has Penny Wong called? I have to ask you this. No. How do you mean listen, Kerry? Would you listen to her? Well, if she made you an offer. and the Federal Government. Look, that's up to Penny Wong the tender process If the Government enter

as with all other tenders. it will be considered Who would I like? Who would you like to see buy Cubbie? Well, I'd not only like what will happen, Kerry, but I'm almost certain in my mind

that wishes to grow food and fibre. is that it will be an entity where the tuna season is winding down We begin this week in South Australia in more than two decades. after the most tumultuous year

consumers tighten their purse strings Prices have plummeted as Japanese from conservationists and producers are also under pressure gather pace. as campaigns against tuna fishing And we should warn you scenes of fish processing that the following report contains may find confronting. that some viewers

at Port Lincoln It's the morning rush hour for another day at the office. as the fishing industry gears up

to crayfish, abalone and mussels, From pilchards and prawns this is seafood central.

is the southern bluefin tuna. And the undisputed star of the show

is the tuna industry. The crank shaft of Port Lincoln It is an amazing industry. than little old Port Lincoln. It's far, far bigger

I love the challenge. I love everything about it. that keep me ticking There's a lot of things about it and that's the main thing. tuna fishing groups Rick Kolega runs one of 12 that operate out of Port Lincoln. of the industry His father was one of the pioneers some radical remodelling which has undergone over the last two decades. and pole, They used to fish with a line for the local cannery, everything was done to the wharves it was pretty amazing to come down

and see the boats come in tuna right up to the bulwarks and they're actually totally full of gradually sending fish to Japan and from that, you know, we started not necessarily to a cannery as a fresh fish, and in the '90s we started farming and getting high prices so that's a complete change again. at sea at the start of the year Schools of tuna are now netted out

and towed back to off-shore farms for several months. where they're fattened up in this pen There are almost 3,000 fish any have been harvested. and today is the first time

has been fantastic, The quality of the fish we've caught a lot bigger than last year the quality of fish we've caught. so we're sort of pretty happy with onto a conveyer belt Divers grab and guide the fish that carries them to the boat deck

through the head. where they're swiftly spiked It's confronting work

are highly skilled at what they do. but these farm labourers

in two hours The team will handle 400 tuna and harvest-ready tuna but having such a well-drilled crew

comes at a cost. goes out in the morning or afternoon I mean, every time a feed boat of pilchards in the sea they're throwing $50,000 worth

to feed the bloody tuna down there.

The financial risks of tuna farming agriculture are colossal relative to dry land or mainland

and the rewards can be too. worth its weight in gold. Seven years ago tuna was more than

almost overnight, Trawler owners turned into tycoons

for a fish this size. fetching around $1,000 competition from Europe and Mexico But in the last few years more has sliced into those profits.

And this year prices have plummeted for around $350. with an average fish now selling at this level. Prices have halved. Well, you can't make money of minimising the losses. You cannot make money. It's a matter Just like 2002 to 2004 was a rainbow period, just a conjunction of favourable factors. This is just a unique conjunction of unfavourable factors.

Whichever way we turned it went badly. Most of Australia's southern bluefin tuna end up here, the Tsukiji market in Tokyo, the largest frozen and fresh fish market in the world. (RAPID JAPANESE) And while the auctioneers haven't lost their enthusiasm for the prized fin fish,

some Japanese consumers have. TRANSLATOR: The reason is because tuna is not a necessity in life. When the economy was good it was treated as a luxury food but the present economic situation is very bad. People who tighten their purse stop eating tuna

so naturally had sales become bad. These type of things are a wake-up call. We got a bit lazy, frankly, in terms of improving our productivity. We should have diversified long ago. Dependence on a single market and currency is really not good business and in retrospect we should have done better. However, even with the recession biting into traditional eating habits in Japan,

the home of sushi and sashimi

is still by far the world's biggest consumer of tuna

and still pays the top price. That is still the main market. Is that really likely to change? It's not likely to change in the next five years. After that we would hope China would emerge as a major market.

But again, that has its own instabilities. One thing about Japan, it provides us a reasonably stable demand over a period

even if the price fluctuates. Our industry is based in Port Lincoln on the southern shore of the Australian continent. That's why the Australian tuna industry is trying to improve its profile in Japan. The Minami Sodachi brand represented by the logo you see here symbolises the clean, beautiful seas of Australia.

It recently launched a million-dollar campaign in Tokyo, re-branding Australian tuna in an attempt to capture consumers' attention

and boost prices by up to 15% over the next decade. We found that the gap between the higher-priced northern bluefin tuna and our own tuna was widening. We need to narrow that gap. TRANSLATOR: Japanese people have become familiar with southern bluefin tuna only recently. We've been catching perfect bluefin tuna for a long time. While the Australian Embassy served up southern bluefin for the launch, generally it's sold in supermarkets and conveyer belt restaurants.

It's always been - in the Japanese mind, particularly buyers - not as good as the northern bluefin tuna. We're very confident from anonymous group testing that our product tastes almost exactly the same and can be supplied at a more competitive cost. I think a unified brand is a very good thing. In Japan, the image of Australia is very high-class compared to other countries

and a successful example is Aussie beef. As Aussie beef became successful, I think if there's greater advertising

it will definitely be successful. As the tuna industry promotes Port Lincoln's pristine environment overseas, back home it's battling a mining company to keep that reputation in tact. Centrex Metals wants to use this wharf to export iron ore,

a move local fishing industries, which also use the wharf, are trying to block. It's not just to the image of the product, it's a genuine environmental threat. If they put any iron in the water - currently the waters around Port Lincoln don't produce large-scale algal blooms simply because there's an iron deficiency in the water. As soon as you put iron in there, algal blooms will come and algal blooms will mean the end of aquaculture.

Saying it's an environmental threat, what are you basing that on?

I'm no technical expert, we have those, but to get an independant view we went to the CSIRO they produced a report which confirms our worries. But Centrex Metals says its own tests confirm any worries are unfounded. We've never disputed the fact that fitoplancton growth can be stimulated by the addition of soluble iron.

The parameter we're putting in is hematite which is insoluble. We have undertaken quite extensive test work, which has been endorsed by the EPA, that shows there is no threat of algal blooms. The South Australian Government will soon resolve this sensitive issue

which has seen the mining and fishing industries at loggerheads for more than a year. At the same time, the southern bluefin tuna industry's own environmental credentials are under fire from conservation groups over the state of wild stocks. The latest advice from the international scientific committee is that there's less than 10% spawning biomass

which means there's very few adult individuals remaining, to produce young fish to come back into the fishery. So it's close to being commercially extinct, if you like. Fishermen say it's an argument they've heard for years and one that doesn't stack up out at sea. As one fisherman was saying to me the other day, he said he's not religious but if you ever believed

someone could walk on water from Sydney to Bermagui they could do it at the moment on the backs of southern bluefin. And they're fishermen's anecdotal stories, of course, but these people are serious. We're not saying there's something special about that, we think the recovery has been happening for a few years.

Given the enviromental conditions, the right currents, yes, there might've been an abundance of tuna around their particular area where they usually fish,

however the advice from the scientific committee says there's no signs whatsoever of stock rebuilding. Southern bluefin tuna only spawn once a year

in the Indian Ocean off Sumatra and then migrate south. Each year an international commission sets limits for countries that catch the fish. Japan's was more than halved after it was caught illegally fishing

on a massive scale. Australia is allowed to catch the most, almost 5,300 tons, a figure which has never changed. But the World Wildlife Fund says it should set a better example. We'd definitely like to see a very significant cut in the catch allocation. How much of a reduction?

We're talking almost a moratorium on southern bluefin tuna fishing. There's going to be a good deal of pressure on all nations over the next couple of years when the commission meets to try to find ways of putting and tougher measures in place that may well give the stock a bit more breathing space. Without the Japanese over-catch from the last 20 years

the stock would be in a very strong position and then we wouldn't be even having this debate. Frankly, we're not prepared to pay the price for someone else's systematic fraud. We are fighting a war against fishing

and we are winning. It's a debate that's unlikely to go away

with the international launch of the damning documentary, End of the Line. Bluefin is the front line. Bluefin is the most immediate crisis that we know about. For many years, scientists have been predicting

that the king of the tuna would be hunted to extinction but now it is actually happening.

While Brian Jeffries says the film exaggerates the facts, it is having an impact in Europe,

with some restaurants and supermarkets banning bluefin. That movement hasn't filtered down through the Australian marketplace yet and there are some conservation groups such as ourselves who are putting pressure on retailers and governments to make that change but we're just a bit slow in realising the pressure that's on our stock.

Ironically, it's a prominent fisherman who could hold the answers for taking pressure off stock. Wild tuna have made Hagen Sther one of the wealthiest men in Australia. While he's not turning his back on his fishing business... ..it's what's in these tanks that he's banking on in the future.

They look fantastic. These young, rather nervous fish, are the first southern bluefin tuna in the world to be bred in captivity. The history-making hatchery at Arno Bay near Port Lincoln houses 24 brood stock that weigh up to 180 kilos. Scientists tweak the conditions in the holding tank to induce spawning. We can see the female moving up, male behind and now the cloud of sperm being released behind over the eggs that she's trailing out from the front. So then what actually happens? The marine eggs are buoyant, so these eggs are going to float on the surface. They've been fertilised. In the wild they would drift free, we collect them off the surface, move them to the hatchery, then they go into tanks at the bottom of the system and start the larval process for us. Clean Seas Tuna, a public company which Hagen Stehr started, has already been successful at propagating king fish. In March last year it had a breakthrough with tuna when the first southern bluefin egg hatched. This year it's gone on a spawning frenzy.

The fish spawn for 35 days non-stop. We were shocked actually what happened. We weren't ready for it. I'm going to be really honest right now. We only got two tanks and so we had to dump lot of eggs. We could have been commercial already

if we'd had the complex ready to accommodate all the eggs. Instead, scientists have used the spawning as an intense study session. One challenge is to stop the fast-swimming fish colliding with the sides of tanks. Another problem is the baby tuna have a tendency to eat each other

but Hagen Stehr is confident they now have enough knowledge to take the next step.

If you get those fish into the sea after 20 days in the hatchery, by Easter we could maybe pull out fish of two to three kilo. If you get them by the millions, you can restock. You put it back into the ocean. This is an absolute perfect sustainability cycle. It's very important that we just don't create another niche market

for aquaculture of southern bluefin tuna and still rely on the wild populations. Australia isn't the only nation to go down the tuna propagation path. Japan closed the life cycle first with Pacific bluefin tuna and has since reared the species to marketable size. But despite global interest in what's considered the industry's Holy Grail, the local fishing sector is skeptical. We haven't really factored into our business right now because we think it's still a way off

before the fingerlings and whatever will become available. The set-up costs, including air lifting brood stock into the hatchery, have been immense. Clean Seas Tuna is expecting an after-tax loss of $6 million

for the second half of the financial year after a $6.6 million loss for the first half. Hagen Stehr says the rewards will come in time. It's going to make investors in the future a lot of money. This a group of people who produce an idea a minute. This is just another idea along the way. Some work, some don't. Gee, again, Hagen's given this one a great go, Do you think this one will work?

I think the man himself makes it work. And the man is in his mid-60s, maybe younger, let's see, but the thing about this issue is like all these ideas

that come out of Port Lincoln and the group of entrepreneurs - how to make it economic is really the issue. With concerns about the viability of on- and off-shore industries, some of the shine in tuna town appears to be fading. But the Mayor says the fishing barons haven't finished buffing yet. Is it going to have to reinvent itself again soon like it did all those years ago? Even if it does, that's no big deal.

One thing they have demonstrated a long-term resilience. They are extreme risk-takers and their vision has invariably been reconfirmed. Sure they've all of them, every single one of them, including the bloke that built this pub here, they've taken serious hits but they've recovered.

And with other bluefin fisheries struggling, Port Lincoln producers predict the cloud over the local industry

could clear as early as next year. This could be a golden period for Port Lincoln,

both in terms of the wild product and if the hatchery production comes off because our competitors have fallen away very sharply. So, you know, that golden era could come again.

To our news summary now. And there's mounting pressure on the Federal Government to commit some serious money to buying up and shutting down Australia's biggest cotton farm. Like everything associated with Cubbie Station,

the price tag is breath-taking. Some question whether downstream graziers or the environment will get much bang for almost half a billion bucks. It's the farm

that's come to crystallise the national debate about water and it's for sale. We're extremely proud of what we've achieved out there. We've created a magnificent piece of irrigation infrastructure.

It is at world standard, if not the best in the world, I believe. Cubbie's one of the biggest cotton producers in the country and a major local employer but beyond Queensland's southwest it's not hard to find critics who argue it's not in the national interest. Cubbie Station's a massive cotton property

that siphons off billions of litres of water

from the Murray-Darling system. They've urged authorities to buy the 90,000-hectare property and bulldoze its network of farm dams on behalf of the environment. Buying Cubbie Station will mean huge benefits for our wetlands and wildlife downstream.

The Queensland Government talked about buying the property years ago but balked then at the cost. The asking price has now doubled. Going on the market presents a real opportunity for us to consider the water allocation here. At the other end of the Murray-Darling

they're also urging Canberra to be bold and make a bid but if the Commonwealth is a bidder, it's a silent one. We will assess any sell offer through our buy-back program on the basis of value for money and environmental need. On that basis alone, there's plenty of skepticism

that buying Cubbie may not be worth the trouble. My message to Federal Government is don't buy Cubbie Station because you'll end up buying water you can't control and we'll end up having to pay twice for that water

in the absence of to proper full Federal takeover of the river system

it just won't work. Which may be the only point everone in this debate agrees on. I think in the case of the Murray-Darling, NSW reckons Queensland's taking too much, the Victorians don't like what NSW is doing and SA hates everyone. The interim report from Victoria's Bushfire Royal Commission has recommended sweeping changes to the State's fire warning system. The good news from this report is the very high degree of overlap between the actions we've taken this year, the commission's recommendations. They include:

The last two recommendations have sparked their own heated debate.

I think voluntary relocation is fine. Compulsory relocation is where the problems would emerge.

I still have issue with the use of safer places in neighbourhoods.

I think that's - unless they've been assessed as such and then are supported by fire fighting forces I think that's a really dangerous option. As for the man in the hot seat, criticised for not being more operationally involved - Everybody I've spoken to from the top of this organisation to the bottom did the very best they could.

Finally, Australian scientists say they're successfully developing healthier vegetables without genetic modification. They say their first project, a new variety of broccoli, uses less water, fertilisers and pesticides and contains 40% more disease-fighting anti-oxidants. We've had access to their collections and for example, with booster, we tested over 400 broccoli varieties

and selected the one with the highest anti-oxidant content. They're now using the same process to produce healthier varieties of other common vegetables.

Cubbie Station boss John Grabbe has never been afraid to defend his property against all sorts of allegations in recent years and now he's back on the front foot trying to sell it. The well-publicised asking price is $450 million. I spoke with John Grabbe last week and I began by asking him how much could you make from Cubbie in a good year? Yeah, in a good year, well and truly towards 100 million.

There's also been critical analysis of Cubbie

which suggests the property's worth closer to 200 million rather than your 450 million That's just absolutely ridiculous, Kerry, yeah. How is it worth 450? It's worth 450 because of what is, Kerry. There's very few properties of this nature in the world that have the infrastructure -

well, I don't think there's any property in the world that has the scale of irrigation infrastructure and the efficiency that ours delivers. Yeah, anyone that suggested a couple of hundred is really right off the mark. So, John Grabbe, what went wrong? Why are you forced to sell? We're not forced to sell, Kerry. Nothing's gone wrong. Over the last couple of years with the impact of drought,

the last few years, handful of years, our debt has risen and as a board we've made a decision to realise the properties to recapitalise our balance sheet. Now the important question, have you had any offers? Kerry, you're aware of the process. It's a tender process which closes on September 30 so we certainly won't be making any comments as to what discussions

we're having with prospective purchasers until after September 30 when all tenders will be given due consideration. Can you let 'Landline' viewers know if there are any nibbles from overseas for example? Kerry, what I can say is there's been an incredible amount of interest both from onshore and offshore at this point. That's Cubbie boss John Grabbe. One thing they do have at Cubbie at present is a cotton crop

and they'd be disappointed to see the October price for cotton dumped more than 4 cents on the back of low volumes.

Across country to Chicago where corn was down a fraction

for a new December contract as yield reports remained strong. Wheat slipped below the critical $5 barrier and soybeans were down for a new contract for November.

To livestock - and a rapidly deteriorating season has pushed numbers up at saleyards and reports suggest quality has fallen away considerably in recent weeks.

Live exports are doing OK, prices are being driven by a lack of supply rather than a lift in demand. There's plenty of action for ships in and out of Darwin, Broome and Karoomba.

The good news continued last week for wool. It seems pipelines are light on and processors are looking sharply at inevitable supply problems. India and Taiwan supplied strong buying demand to China and pass-in rates were very low.

Finally a quick look at one of the best economic indicators in the world - the Baltic Dry Index. The BDI is a barometer for the cost of shipping commodities like coal, iron ore and wheat.

And that's the Landline check on prices. If trends in Europe and North America are anything to go by,

animal welfare is set to become the next major factor in consumers' buying habits. And according to one of the world's leading animal scientists, agriculture needs to close the gap between claims made by animal advocacy groups and the reality of what actually happens on farms. Dr Temple Grandin has a unique view of the world and how animals see it.

Cattle's an animal that gets scared easily. They're a prey species of animal. Their wide-angled vision is designed to scan the horizon

for possible dangerous things. They get scared easily. That's actually an anti-predator behaviour because the dingo you can see is not the dingo that's going to chew up your calf. It's keep a safe distance but watch. She's a best-selling author, world-famous scientist

and soon to be the subject of a Hollywood movie but she's probably best known as the woman who thinks like a cow. Temple Grandin's unique view of the world comes from being autistic. The animal mind is in the detail and one of the things where autism helps me is I think in pictures. I'm an absolute total visual thinker. I do not think in words.

You ask me something, it's like putting a search term

into the Google picture service on the Internet and I start to see pictures. You asked me about pigs, I see pigs, you ask me about chickens, I start to see chickens. And I can search through my memory file. This helps me with animals because animals don't think in language. They're sensory-based thinkers. It's visual.

They think in pictures, it's not in words. You want to understand animals, you have to get away from verbal language. The basic, basic principle in handling livestock is calm animals are easier to handle, it's just that simple. Temple Grandin was recently in Australia on a speaking tour. She's internationally recognised for her work in redesigning livestock facilities and improving animal handling.

Often times brand new facilities don't work well until you get some of the smell of the cattle in there. They may not want to go from the dirt floor on to the concrete floor. Then take some dirt and spread it on the concrete floor to get rid of contrast. Cattle have dichromatic vision. You might wonder why I'm wearing a red shirt when I handle cattle - they don't see red. This is going to appear black or dark grey.

Here she's lecturing Queensland cattle producers

on the sort of distractions which make cattle balk in even the most modern facilities but increasingly she's working with large corporations

on an objective way to measure or audit animal welfare. We go to the meatworks and we measure handling. It's done here in Australia by McDonalds and I worked on implementing that program.

Instead of someone saying the cattle handling is terrible, there's too much electric jigger use I want to measure it - how many cattle fell down during handling?

How many cattle were mooing and bellowing in the stun box? How many cattle were poked with the electric jigger? How many you stunned correctly on the first shot? These are things I can measure. If the plants have more than 1% of cattle fall down,

they fail the audit. It's just that simple. Now she says the same objective measuring system can be adapted for on-farm use.

On the properties, I'm going to measure how many cattle fall during measuring, how many got the electric jigger, the percentage of cattle that run into a fence or gate and the percentage that are speeders - these are cattle that move faster than a walk or trot.

At Kenya near Muttaburra in Central Queensland, Dr Grandin was able to oversee a state-of-the-art handling facility which uses her ideas on curved racers and crowd pens for optimum cattle flow. I was very pleased with the lay out of the yards and part of the yard design has some of my elements,

my basic curved system, the race way, the round crowd pen, the lead up to it, is based on one of my curved designs. The rest of the yard is an Australian design.

I thought they worked really well. John Seccombe invested about $150,000 on the new facility for his 65,000-hectare backgrounding operation. It can handle 1,500 head and needs just three operators.

In our particular case, we don't have a lot of labour anymore. No rural properties have the labour that they used to have and so to be able to handle our livestock

with reduced numbers of people and be able to handle them efficiently and without stress becomes a very big issue.

It just allows you to maximise the animal's production gains and of course that minimalises the time they have to be here and with a backgrounding operation like this, you've got more cattle coming on all the time, so if you can't move your cattle at the time they're supposed to move through then you start to get a doubling up effect which, if you've only got so much pasture,

and you have to monitor that very closely. The facility features curved yards and races as well as pneumatic automatic drafting technology and is the first of its kind built by its Australian maker. It's important in designing cattle yards and building them that we focus on making processing cattle as efficient, simple and safe as possible so people don't view it as a chore, but do it when they need to do it

so that they can make economically sound decisions on their herds to improve their bottom margin. In all, it's safer, easier and more efficient. But importantly for the Secombe family, it also ticks all the animal welfare boxes. I think animal welfare has become a big issue because it's important to people other than those that live on the land

and these yards over here are designed for minimal bruising, they would pass any quality assurance program for cattle handling and also they're low stress. They're designed so that the animals will feed through the yards without being stressed. They have natural flow regimes built into the yard design and the cattle goes through quite calmly

and that's very good for the cattle.

I mean, stressed cattle will not put on weight so it's a benefit for everyone. Calm cattle make good economic sense because stress costs money. It can cause a process known as dark cutting which affects both the appearance and eating quality of meat. It affects about 10% of beef in Australia and for individual producers it can mean heavy discounts

of up to a dollar a kilogram. Meat and Livestock Australia has worked hard at reducing the volume of dark cutters slaughtered in Australia. That's where stress affects the glycogen levels in muscle tissue. We think about a glycogen bucket in the animals, and that's essentially the sugar stored in the muscles.

If we stress them or put them through extreme activity prior to slaughter,

we'll run down that glycogen bucket and that glycogen is essential at the time of slaughter to enable the muscle Ph to decline steadily over time.

That Ph decline needs to occur at a certain rate and certain level. If it doesn't we'll end up with tough eating meat and dark cutters and consumers don't like dark cutters. At Kenya station, producers from all over Australia came to hear Dr Granden and to see its state-of-the-art handling facility. AgForce Queensland says the turn-out reflected growing concern about animal welfare issues. It certainly is, because of the extensive nature of operations in Australia,

I think it's compounding the issue and we're really going to have to confront it on a larger scale. More extensive areas means animals aren't handled as regularly so they're not as exposed to humans so the low-stress idea has to be perpetuated within our training systems for young people. What role can AgForce play in educating producers?

Today is an glaring example. Whereby we pull people together. People with the world-wide impact

of a lady with the experience of Temple Grandin, we can see a massive roll-up here of people today, people really interested in seeing what she has to offer. Temple Grandin has been working with the Australian feed lot industry

since 1978. She says its strong export focus has helped it achieve high animal welfare standards but she says all livestock industries need to improve to meet the growing expectation of consumers. Research is showing very clearly that cattle and other animals feel pain. This is absolutely scientifically documented. They feel pain, they feel fear

and one of my big concerns in animal welfare is what I call biological system overload and right now the dairy cow's got lot of problems. We're breeding her so much for so much milk production that they're difficult to breed now. A dairy cow is only lasting for two years of lactation in the US. I think this is disgusting. There were problems with chickens, pigs with rapid growth causing leg lameness.

Breeders are starting to correct that but that's biological system overload. That was done just with genetics.

Temple Grandin is also an expert on pig behaviour and says intensive piggeries need to do more to provide stimulation for pigs so that they can act out their natural behaviours. Animals have certain behavioural needs. Animals are social.

One of the big controversies now is pigs kept in stalls for their whole pregnancy where they can't turn around. That's something industry needs to change. We need to look at everything we do and say, if you brought out a whole bunch of people from Sydney or in America, I'd bring out a bunch of people from New York and Chicago, am I going to be proud to show them everything I do or are there going to be some things where I'm squirming, and if I'm squirming I need to stop doing it. Sow stalls is definitely in that department,

that does not fly with the public. VIDEO: Now today I'll show you a lovely recipe I've discovered for pork roast. Firstly preheat the oven to 220 degrees. With the point of a sharp knife, score the skin of the pork at 1.5 cm intervals. She says animal welfare advocate are waging and winning a public relations war against farming and producers need to fight back.

You go on YouTube and you type in "cattle slaughter" or "hen house" and you get all kinds of awful things, you know, undercover videos, it's just terrible. Well, your average farm isn't like that. We need to be getting on YouTube and explaining what to do out here on the property. One thing that - this has been my first trip to the interior of the outback and it's very remote out there.

I mean, this land cannot be used for crops, it can only be used for livestock. Property owners need to talk more to the public on what we're doing for the land. Use things like Facebook and YouTube and things like that

and explain the good things we do.

Yes, there's things we need to improve but on the other hand, it's definitely not the horror show

that some of the advocates say it is. A few months back we got a call about a bloke recording farm equipment sounds around central western Queensland and we were intrigued that he planned to incorporate not only those noises but local farmers as well

into a series of live shows

as part of the Queensland Music Festival's regional gigs. Kimmo Pohjonen has played some of the great concert halls of the world and now he's played the Blackall Wool Scour.

There's an energy unleashed by the machinery that keeps the bush ticking over that few of us associate with art, yet when a self-confessed crazy Finnish musician called into Blackall a few months back, he was on a mission to collect the sounds that make this famous western Queensland town buzz for the show he was putting together for the Queensland Music Festival.

Always they are curious and they are open-minded and their attitude is very positive and I like it a lot because I know that it's not very normal thing for them

when the crazy Finn comes with his accordian to record their machines.

Blackall is the home town of legendary shearer Jackie Howe, he of the eponymously named blue singlet and whose 1892 record for hand sheering 321 sheep in seven hours and 40 minutes still stands. On the outskirts of town is the historic Blackall Wool Scour,

a living museum dedicated to the district's long-standing connection with all things ovine. The boiler - Yeah, that's the boiler,

that's the gage, she runs on 500 kilo pascals And as it turns out, a creative spark for this Finnish accordion virtuoso. OK, guys, can you go in and we'll lock the door?

Those old engines, everybody knows them. They think that people normally do work with those engines but for me it's also kind of music. So I want to present those old machines

to audiences a new way with music, with compositions

and music and engines together so the audience will hear it totally differently.

ENGINE PUTTS Kimmo Pohjonen takes his collection of sounds and blends them live with his own original compositions in a high-tech fusion he describes as earth machine music. I can trigger those sounds from computer or I can program

so that I can play some engines from my keys. Together with accordion sounds, I can play some engine sounds through my accordion. The idea about going into the field and recording tractor noises and assorted farm machinery and livestock

and then triggering these sounds through his accordion to create completely individual soundscapes every time he performs,

I'm intrigued.

Amid the diesel and dust, farmers are very proud to show off

their workhorses. They want to show everything they have

so sometimes I am just recording even when I think that I have enough but they want to show more. This biennial music event is no stranger to the more eclectic end of the performance spectrum,

shows invariably inspired by their rural settings.

They've included the critically acclaimed musical fence in Winton and the dancing bobcats in Mount Isa. FIDDLE PLAYS

2009's revved-up symphony of sounds incorporated everything from steam engines to spinning wheels.

There's live engines, like farmers they can drive with their tractor in front of the stage, we put microphones there and the engines start to vibrate

so the people hear, OK, there is a great rhythm, and then I play with the engine.

Kimmo Pohjonen directs this musical mayhem from centre stage, tapping out cues either on the computer console

or on the side of his accordion or through the pedals at his feet. But the real secret to the success of these earth machine concerts rests with the local ring-ins

and obviously there's a fresh crew in every town he plays. Born and bred drover turned Blackall Wool Scour tour guide Keith Dendle,

known as the Beaver, got the call to play a lead role. Rung up about half past nine and said can you come out and click the sheers? I said as long as I don't have to sheer the sheep I'll be right, I'll click the sheers. I seen them working years ago but I never was a shearer. If I was a shearer he'd have a wild-looking haircut, I can tell you that.

And for Denise Shields, it's not quite her usual spinners and weavers environment.

Then the music comes in and you've got the pikes and that, yeah, it's great, it's fun. She even has a loose connection with the accordion player. He's from Finland, Helsinki, and that's where my granddad comes from.

The more they see and hear, the more the big players appreciate what the blow-in is attempting to stage in Blackall. Very experienced man. He's got a lot on his plate. All them buttons he's pressing, mate, I couldn't even play a piano, let alone all those buttons he's pressin'. MAN HUMS

Kimmo Pohjonen and his remarkable squeezebox of tricks blaze across the world's music festival trail as well as popping up in a remarkably diverse range of collaborations

all over Europe and North America - from dance, theatre to classical recitals, rock, jazz, folk and film schools.

It's just magic, hey. Like the noises that he can get goin' and turn into music

out of farm noises that you just hear in the background

and never think twice about it.

The Blackall sessions and the sounds of western Queensland will go into Kimmo Pohjonen's musical memory bank, ready to be plucked out and performed again when his audience least expect it. Community is really the basis

of what the Queensland music festival is all about and participation and if you can be involved in making music it's a fantastic thing. We tell local stories by local people with local participation but also with the help and assistance of the best practitioners

that we can source from around the country, around the state and around the world.

Yeah, I thought it was excellent. You don't see this sort of thing out at Blackall very often. Yeah, and it really incorporated a lot of the local sounds

and I was quite impressed how he used local people as well. They were part of the performance. I am very happy about the reaction which coming from those people who are involved in the show. They are surprised what's going to happen and what is this project but at the end they seem to be quite happy to perform.

Maybe first time in their life, so it's a very unique performance for everybody. The end result saw the whole town turn out, tune in and take part and the community spirit generated from the free performance - priceless.

An old timer was telling me last week there's still another three or four weeks to go before grain growers in eastern Australia need to start popping desperation pills. He's probably right. August, September are traditionally dry.

On the other hand it's been very, very dry and very, very warm for this time of year. Here's our check on the Southern Oscillation Index. At the moment it's at minus 4. The official bureau site says El Nino effects are usually - but not always - associated with below normal rainfall

in the second part of the year

across large parts of southern and eastern Australia. There you have the SOI. Not much to report rainfall-wise last week. Dry except across the southern half of the continent. Unseasonally hot just about everywhere - in fact last week I heard of a new season called 'Sprummer'.

Now some rainfall numbers. Nambour - 2mm, Khancoban - 14mm, Rosebud - 17, Pioneer - 30mm,

Wilmington - 6mm,

Curtain Springs - 8mm, Seven Oaks - 35mm. And that's the Landline check on rainfall. That just about brings us to the end of another show. Next week we'll be out in western Queensland on the long paddock where cattle are being driven back to a station in the Barclay tablelands the traditional way. Once you do this drovin' to them they are educated for the rest of their life. Every day they're in control and just makes 'em a hell of a lot different cattle to handle. It makes them real quiet cattle, they're hand all the time and getting watered and fed long and controlled all day. North by north-west, one of our features next week. I hope you'll join us again then. Bye for now. Closed Captions by CSI