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Good afternoon. The Acting Prime

Minister Julia Gillard says the

Federal Government will need to be

more focused in its second year of

office. Marking the one-year

anniversary of the Rudd Government,

Ms Gillard says its agenda has

"on track" despite being buffetted Ms Gillard says its agenda has stayed

the global financial crisis. She "on track" despite being buffetted by

the Government has delivered on its the global financial crisis. She says

promises. We've done what we said

were going to do and then of course promises. We've done what we said we

we've put in place the long-term

foundations for reform. Now these

haven't been easy jobs. They've

made harder by the global financial haven't been easy jobs. They've been

crisis but we've stayed on track.

Emergency crews are on standby in

Victoria with more strong winds and

rain today. The unseasonal cold snap

brought snow to the alps while heavy

rain is continuing to fall in

Gippsland. Large volumes of water

continue to build in the upper catchments and communities

are on high alert for flooding. And catchments and communities downstream

in Rugby League New Zealand is

celebrating its first World Cup

an upset win over Australia in the celebrating its first World Cup after

final at Lang Park in Brisbane. The

Kiwis stunned the hosts with a 34 -

20 victory in a see-sawing and

controversial decider. New Zealand

took advantage of some poor mistakes

and were awarded a penalty try to

seal the win. More news tonight.

CC THEME MUSIC On Landline today, we head to Britain is all about. to see what all the food miles fuss is that it's thinking about, The whole point of food miles and connecting, and raising everyday consumer culture come from. with where does their food For Australia just to say,

alcohol to the world," "We have the right to export is stupid, actually. Australia, grow up. cattle stations in the Top End And one of the most controversial is again up for grabs, allegations as authorities investigate on Tipperary Station. of illegal land clearing

to take the Government on, They've done that more money out of cattle and they are trying to make at the Government which had said, but thumbing their nose to clear in that area". "We are not going to allow anyone Hello, I'm Anne Kruger. program for 2008. Welcome to the last Landline A little later, I'll tell you about a special DVD the Salvation Army that's just been put together by consistently on this program on a subject we've covered depression in the bush. over the years - Because a lot of us get stubborn, we don't need any help. we don't need anybody, But deep inside you know you do,

because you can get out of it. your Christmas table will feature There's a fair chance some fully imported food treats a second thought and you probably won't give getting it here. to what's gone into After all, with the tyranny of distance Australians are used to just dealing and getting on with it. But in Britain, increasingly fixated consumers are apparently becoming has travelled with how far their food and drink its carbon footprint is. and how heavy discovered in London, And as Landline's Prue Adams food miles is no passing fad. UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS Unmistakable London. populated island on earth. The capital of the third most have to eat. And all these British people a daily kilogram of food, If they each chomped through 60,000 tonnes they'd consume an astounding each and every day. - beans from Morocco, Much of it comes from somewhere else even lamb from New Zealand. corn from Mozambique, in Britain, There is a very long tradition particularly England, of essentially an empire focus. the British, Australia/New Zealand fed Latin America. along with Canada, that somehow food should be cheap, There is an assumption

the rest of the world, that food can be provided by brackets 'we own it'.

But that mentality is shifting. their food buying habits. The Brits are changing the country of origin before, I never used to look at but now I do. it's kind of everywhere. I, you know, people are telling you to, Everywhere you go,

and so, yeah, I do. you know, be considerate, from the farmers market I tend to buy most of my vegetables that happens in my town that's local produce, so they are from - and when I go to supermarkets seasonal produce I do - I'm aware of in December, and, you know, if I see strawberries

far away I know that they've either come from to create them or they've used a lot of energy in a glass house. as a gastronomic black hole, For a country that's often derided its fair share the UK has certainly kicked off of major food campaigns. got started. This is where the Anti-GM brigade

Fair trade is a catchphrase, first to get into the organics craze. and this country was one of the It's also the place was first coined where the term 'food miles' back in 1992.

It was the brain child of this man, at London's City University, a senior academic Professor of Food Policy. and, he says, the world's only coin the phrase food miles, So, the short answer of why did I was to say to ordinary people - wherever you are in the world - comes from." "think where your food the distance food travels Food miles is all about to the plate. from the producer

close to where it's grown It maintains food should be consumed limited fossil fuel supplies because transportation uses up blamed for global warming. and produces greenhouse gases, springing up around There are various farmers markets and Australia, the United Kingdom philosophy. which conform to the food miles near Canberra An independent grocery shop of kilometres even states the exact number their fruit and vegies have travelled. In simplest terms, the majority of our product comes by truck to here, our trucks,

and so the shortest distance is, obviously, the smallest environmental footprint.

While there's a small niche of dedicated shoppers in Australia who choose on the basis of food miles, the big supermarket chains haven't yet jumped on the bandwagon. That's not the case in the United Kingdom. CHECKOUTS BEEP This is Tesco, the United Kingdom's biggest supermarket chain by a country mile. And on many of their fresh foods mileage counts. According to Trade Commissioner Kylie Hargrave, it'll really count for Australian exporters. It struck me, sort of, between the eyes when I landed in London and it was quite interesting because we were going out to some of the major retailers, like Sainsbury's and Waitrose, and Morrisons and saying here's this fabulous product from Australia and they were asking us about the food miles element, and they were talking about little red planes and labels on the food that would explain to consumers about how far the food had travelled, and my alarm bells started going off quite considerably because, obviously, Australia is a long way away from this market. If there is one Australian industry that has the most to lose from the whole food miles thing, it's not food at all. It's drink. Australia now exports around $3 billion worth of wine each year to 60 different countries.

And you only have to scan the shelves of a London supermarket

to see some well known Aussie brands. Food miles is a real issue for us because we export about one-third of our wine product goes to the UK. It mainly goes by sea freight, but, certainly, the sheer quantity going over there, and the high profile that Australian wine has in the UK market, means we are something of a target for these sorts of initiatives. While the wine industry has been anxious about the food miles campaign for a couple of years, anxiety is now also being expressed within the highest echelons of Australian Government and industry. I think we need to expose it for what it is. I mean, it's an absolute nonsense.

It's not backed by science. I mean, to me, this is just another non-tariff barrier by Europe. Food miles is another excuse for protectionism. You have to work on the basis that every consumer campaign that's geared against you is a challenge and one to beat, so we don't have data on the precise impact that it's having so far, but that doesn't matter. If somebody is out there wanting to stand in the way of Australian produce making its way offshore, then we are going to have the argument with them. Frankly, your minister has got to wake up, actually. The new era that he, she, any successors are going to have to address

is going to include this messiness that is captured

by terms like food miles. It's not about protectionism in economic senses, it is about protecting the globe. Professor Lang is no lightweight, he has the ear of leaders in the UK and abroad, but while his food miles concept has undoubtedly taken root in his own country, there is a belief emerging that choosing food or wine solely on the basis of the distance it's travelled is too crude. Food miles as an issue is dead. We believe it's dead, and, certainly, some of the authorities in the United Kingdom and the market gatekeepers

also recognise that the issue is somewhat too simplistic

for their consideration. I'm amused by that. When an Australian says something is dead - the number of times I've heard Australians say English cricket is dead. I think it's nonsense, of course it's not. The whole point of food miles is that it's thinking about erasing and connecting every day consumer culture with where does their food come from. For Australia just to say, "We have the right to export alcohol to the world", is stupid, actually. Australia grow up. But even the tough talking Tim Lang admits

the food miles debate is moving on. There's no admission, your question puts admitting.

I'm someone who is deliberately trying to create a debate. Now we have to get used to terms like carbon footprint, life cycle analysis, and carbon ethics. A new era where carbon is considered public enemy No.1, but its emission is not always directly related to distance. I think the good news for Australia is probably the food miles debate has certainly developed so people don't really speak solely about food miles any more, but the bad news is that it's gone much bigger than that, so they actually talk about carbon emissions or the carbon credentials, or the carbon ethics of the companies in total. So, at Austrade do you see that as a headache or as an opportunity? (LAUGHS) A bit of both, to tell you the truth. It's a headache in the sense that a lot of Australian companies are dismissive of the issue. It's an opportunity in that the more this carbon emissions issue grows, the more areas we see where jobs are being created, where new rolls are being created. The Australian Winemakers Federation has seized the opportunity. We have developed the International Wine Carbon Protocol

in association with our partners in the US wine industry, also in South Africa and New Zealand.

In lay terms, the industry can now analyse how much carbon is produced by making a bottle of wine in Australia, compared to the carbon emissions from a bottle of wine from California or anywhere else, for that matter.

And you might be surprised by the real carbon culprits. Glass bottles are one of our highest concentration of emissions and something we do need to look at quite closely.

Alternative packaging formats such as bag in box, PET bottles. Transport of the product is a major consideration in looking at the carbon footprint profile and something we need to take into account... Amy Russell says even the closures that are used on bottles, cork from overseas or metal screw tops, can contribute to the footprint. It's not just about calculating how much fuel you are using, how many kilometres you are travelling in vineyard equipment or in farm machinery each year, it's about tracking how much fertiliser is used, what the life cycle environmental impact of the production of fertilisers, trellis wire, all those sorts of production inputs are,

and adding that to your own greenhouse gas inventory. It's a exceedingly complicated process

when you start looking at it closely. Australia likes to promote itself as a clean, green producer, but the country's reliance on coalfired grid energy puts the wine industries at a distinct disadvantage over countries that use renewable power sources. The Wine Makers Federation estimates the baseline carbon footprint of a bottle of Australian wine

is three times higher than a Californian bottle, simply because of the power source. Ms Russell says that's just one complication. Wine producers who want to stay afloat will have to assess factors that many haven't even heard of. To undertake an assessment and get a result against the life cycle assessment basis is exceedingly difficult because it is so complex, and we don't have the baseline data to do that at this stage. Carbon Choice, how can I help? Filling the data gaps has been the job of this organisation, an independent body set up by the British Government to help companies reduce their carbon footprint. After research involving scores of companies, and environmental buffons, the Carbon Trust this month released a measuring standard. Everyone agrees that there needs to be a single way to measure the carbon footprint of products and services. And so we are pleased that we have just published past 2050, which is the internationally recognised standard for the measurement of the greenhouse gas emissions from products and services. With the very 'now' title of General Manager of Carbon Footprinting, Euan Murray says he hopes other countries, even Australia, might pick up on the British standard. Either way, the Trust's carbon reduction labels have started hitting the shelves of some supermarkets, Tesco being a leader in the field. Well, we are testing the Carbon Trust carbon reduction label on 20 of our products here in our stores in the UK. We've got the label on about four different categories, including washing detergent, which I've got some examples here... Katherine Symonds at Tesco says it's early days, but the detergent, some potatoes and some orange juice brands carry the new carbon reduction label. Research has shown that over 50% of our customers have said they'd like information on carbon that would help them make decisions when shopping. So we know we are really giving customers something that they want with this label.

In an astonishing move, Tesco now also ships its generic Australian wine in containers into Liverpool.

Then instead of trucking it, the bulk wine is loaded on to barges and taken down river to a bottling plant outside London. So that means that we are not shipping the bottles and glass all the way over from Australia, that reduces the carbon emissions from our distribution network, by 80%. Not far from the wine shelves is the potato chip section, and here one brand stands out as embracing the new carbon economy, as the BBC reported last year. Now, one crisp maker has started to label every packet with the amount of greenhouse gas involved in its production, they've traced it all the way back through the supply chain, from the supermarket shelf... FAST FORWARD SOUND

..through the distribution network... FAST FORWARD SOUND ..right the way through the production process...

FAST FORWARD SOUND all the way back to the farm, and the potato in the ground. So, actually, when we started, we expected the process to move the potatoes from farm to factory

would be a big source of emissions in the supply chain. Particularly when Walkers were bringing potatoes from France and Belgium as well as the UK, But, in reality, that makes up less than 1% of the carbon footprint of a bag of crisps. Whereas the process to make the nitrogen fertiliser that the farmers are using is more than 15%.

And that's a real surprise.

It says the big impacts are not where you expect them to be, but also the big opportunities to make reductions are perhaps where you weren't expecting them. The Walkers crisps examples comes off the back of some groundbreaking research from New Zealand. In most British supermarkets you'll find New Zealand lamb right alongside the British lamb. In 2006, a team at Lincoln University found sheep meat farmed in New Zealand was produced four times more efficiently than the intensively grown UK lamb. And that offset the carbon emissions of shipping it across the globe. New Zealand dairy was at least twice as efficient. It's a good study. What it does was actually rightly point out all the obvious things that if you've got a benign climate, grass grows liberally and amply, and you throw sheep on it, they'll have a lower carbon load, they'll have a less of an ecological impact than if you intensively rear and grow grain using huge amounts of ecological inputs. I think it's been really helpful. It's been another piece of evidence

that we've been able to use to help make this case that we need to be more sophisticated than just thinking about food miles. But is the public really ready to understand the more sophisticated carbon footprint issue? Now, this is quite interesting, while the big end of town is talking carbon footprints, a major sandwich shop puts air miles on its packaging still and says, "We believe airfreighting fruit and vege is completely over the top". Food miles is such a catchy term that it might just be easier for consumers to get their heads around, and that, of course, is a problem for distant traders like Australia. I think that's all part of the education process, and we are already seeing the term, carbon footprint, be used much more widely. IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK LIKE CHRISTMAS BY BING CROSBY PLAYS Certainly, one small Australian company has taken up the challenge of fighting food miles.

A pudding maker, in the NSW city of Newcastle, will by Christmas have shipped to Britain 8 tonnes of handmade puddings. I think food miles is a really important issue, and in some ways I think consumers or retail customers in the United Kingdom

are very aware. It's very top of mind - food miles or carbon footprints. Pudding Lane does everything it can to reduce its carbon footprint. Almost all the ingredients are sourced locally. The eggs they crack into their mixture come from several nearby freerange egg producers. CHICKENS CLUCK The bread crumbs they hand make from bread,

from a country town bakery not far away. The mixing is all done by hand and the puddings are all boiled in a cloth using gasfired coppers. Less electricity equals fewer carbon emissions. It probably is important if you are exporting to the United Kingdom to look at the concept of environmental credentials, of environmental quality management. I think it is important if you want to break into the United Kingdom market

because, you know, we have the hurdle of the tyranny of distance. They looked at how they produced, how they packaged, how they shipped, how they marketed, and pulled out all the elements they could that showed

that they were very green.

What makes this very, very special, Michael, is that it is the first ever food to come all the way from Australia, and take a gold in the Great Taste Awards. To prove that Australian businesses can make it in the UK market, if they have the right product and environmental story to tell, the company's macadamia pudding has just taken out a major food award. This is award, in England, is like the Oscars of fine food. Pudding Lane is a wonderful story because, as you said, it's sort of like ice to Eskimos. Who would have thought that what England needs is one more pudding supplier. I WOULD WALK 500 MILES BY THE PRETENDERS PLAYS Austrade, which works out of Australia House in London is tracking the food miles carbon footprint issue and finds the rest of Europe is now catching on. The United States is about six months away.

The organisation warns exporters they had better get used to the fact this is not a fad. It's a reality, and it's here to stay. And as for the acerbic academic who kicked off this whole issue in the first place, put it this way - he's travelling a lot better than English cricket. It's fantastic. Not that anyone will notice if I drop dead, but it will be - that would be somewhere in my epitar that this is a man who coined food mile. To our news summary now, and local councils across the country got an early Christmas present this week from Canberra. The Prime Minister announced $300 million worth of new infrastructure spending to kickstart regional economies, and he's urged civic leaders to spend it as soon as possible.

We'll make immediate provision of $300 million to local governments. The money is split into two piles, a $250 million one-off grant for small building projects, and a $50 million fund for larger works. Allocations from the first pool ranged from 100,000 for the smallest councils to $2.9 million for the largest. The average council will receive about $450,000. And there's no shortage of projects.

We really need fibre optic at home. Like we have a bridge that needs replacing. We have a swimming pool that we need about 1.82 million.

We are looking at replacing our bore water infrastructures, or talking about $2 million. The idea has two aims - to improve infrastructure

and increase activity in the economy to try to inoculate it against the worldwide slow down. Our intention to have this spending done as quickly as possible. There are signs the Prime Minister is considering yet another bailout. Which means, that in terms of the challenge ahead, we have to do whatever we can to support domestic tourism. And he's got his fingers crossed that Baz Luhrmann's latest big budget blockbuster will do the trick in that department too. Beyond this movie, and this movie is the biggest, bigger than superman. Largely filmed across northern Australia, the $150 million man carries the hopes of both of the Australian film and Australian tourism industries on his shoulders. By the way the short answer is yes, I've fallen under a lot of pressure. While the stars and the rentacrowd packed out the premiere in Sydney, many of those who worked on the movie in the bush were invited to simultaneous screenings where the film was actually shot. In Darwin, Bowen and Kununurra. What everyone hopes is that we'll do for this part of Australia what Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand. Next time a film crew roles into the Kimberley they'll be in cotton country. The Western Australian Government has lifted a longstanding ban to allow genetically modified crops to be grown commercially in that state for the first time, and cotton's top of the wish list. There's been 10 years of trial in the Ord of GM cotton. This gives the opportunity for potential, investors and growers in this area now to look at another potential crop to support the development of Ord stage two. The decision warmly welcomed by growers. GM cotton trials showing the plants produce 10% more cotton, and need less insecticides. I suggest the farmers up there will be happy with the response. They've been looking for an alternative since the sugar cane industry fell over. I think GM cotton is going to give them that alternative. Finally, to the Top End, where not even the rising heat and humidity can disrupt the fruit harvest. At Katherine, teams of pickers are working through this season's crop of Calypso variety mangoes. At the moment, we are midway through our first pick harvest. We've got approximately 600 tonne off the trees now,

and we are just moving on towards our second pick next week, and we have got about two to three weeks to go. And closer to Darwin, a bumper lime crop is coming off. Just in time to garnish drinks for the Christmas party season. It's certainly seems that they have a liberating effect, the lime in the alcohol. So we believe that the demand will keep going, because of some of these factors. And it sounds as if some of the visiting pickers

could use a gin and tonic themselves. When you have a shower you just get out and you feel like having another shower straightaway again.

It's like there's no real respite.

I'm told the collective noun for a number of bears is a sloth. We'll last week saw a sloth swoop over both the stockmarket and the commodities exchanges that bears were everywhere. But the bears, obviously, couldn't find the wool auctions because wool went positive for the second week running.

It was a pretty momentous week for wool, growers voted overwhelmingly to tip out most of the olf AWI board

and install a group of reformers or independents, as they prefer to be called, headed by Wal Merriman. Mr Merriman was immediately installed as AWI chairman. He told Landline, the board's immediate focus would be cost-cutting and promotion of wool. And as for mulsing and the campaign by PETER, Mr Merriman was very direct. They'll do what they do. I mean, at the end of the day, you can't have a situation where three million lambs will die a slow and painful death of fly strike. If that's what PETER wants, well that's up to Peter. That's a good question. No doubt PETER will have its own answer. Moving on to cattle, and prices were down across all categories last week. A forgotten influence has been the price of hides. Down as much as 50% in just six weeks.

To grains, and AWB reports that wheat farmers across Australia are holding back deliveries, hoping for better prices. And it's not just AWB wanting wheat, other exporters are having problems attracting consignments. The only other issue last week was, of course, the weather. The rain across southern Queensland and northern New South Wales will no doubt result in a lot of downgrades. But that won't be the case at Cubbie Station, which has most of its 14,000ha of irrigated wheat off and in the bin. That's a lot of wheat, much of it prime-hard and will be very welcomed by Cubbie. It's bank is owned by Graincorp which is set up to handle Cubbie's wheat. On another positive note, the summer season is set up nicely in terms of profile and pasture, at least to the east. And that's our look at the markets.

The property market may be in the doldrums in Australia's big cities,

but in the bush it's a whole different ball game.

And across the Northern Territory there's a virtual land grab for Top End cattle stations. By far the largest is the Tipperary Group of Five Properties in the Daly River region, south-west of Darwin. The iconic holding is located in the midst of an environmentally important area, where land clearing and development has been put on hold by the Territory Government

until 2010.

But the sale of Tipperary has reignited debate over how this vast tract of land should be managed

not just for farming, but for all Australians. Adrien Francis reports. IT'S A LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY PLAYS I first came to Tipperary station when I was about 3 years old, it was one of my very earliest memories. In fact, I remember clearly saying to my mother once, "Mum, that song is right, isn't it? It is a long way to Tipperary." And she said, "I don't think it's the same Tipperary, dear." I couldn't understand why it wasn't the same Tipperary because it was such a long way out here. It's a far cry from the Fields of France where the marching English expeditionary force first sang the famous World War I song. Tipperary was carved out of the scrub by pioneering pastoralists the Burn brothers. It's thought they named the station in the early 1900s to evoke memories of their homeland in south-west Ireland. Almost a century on, the journey is still an adventure. 30km of red dirt and corrugations when you leave the bitumen. When I first drove out here after I had won the job, and I was thinking on the way, you know,

what sort of an idiot would call the place Tipperary, but then as I drove in, it was all Emerald green, and during that wet season it rained every day and I could understand exactly why they called it Tipperary. Come on everybody, school time! Rosemary Sullivan has been living at Tipperary Station for the last five years, which makes her one of the longterm residents. Alright everyone, it's time for silent reading so books out and reading quietly at your desks, please. What book have you got, Brody. It's a life Rosemary Sullivan cherishes.

Go, little Jack. C'mon, little Jack! Ready, set, go! Go. Go. I certainly think that Tipperary Station school is one of the best schools in the Northern Territory. It's certainly one of the best to work in, and that if you are a child you are very lucky child to be here. But life around here is about to change. The Tipperary Group of Five properties is up for sale. It's not a for sale,

it's just an investment that our vendor has put in place, and they are capitalising on the situation in the world at the moment with the dollar the way it is, and they are realising their capital on the property. Well, Tipperary is definitely a very, very unique property.

It's big, it's got a lot - it's got a high rainfall. You know, it's been quoted as being big and mean,

you know, we've got a lot of scrub country, we've got a lot of water. It's not as if it's easy to muster, it's not easy to farm, it's not easy to do anything. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of skill. Say you leave here at 9:00. Go there, get going, do this, land at Lizzy for lunch.

So you don't have to land anywhere until you get to here. David said this covers all five titles. David Warriner is the Group Manager of Tipperary, and he's been given the job of showing off the property to the agents who will be selling its appeal to potential buyers. It's a vast area. 9,000 square kilometres from coastal floodplains and rainforest to open grazing country. It's an hour and a half up to Litchfield and about the same to Lizzy. You try to get people in the night before.

The vehicle inspection on each of these properties won't take long because you just can't really get anywhere. To David Warriner, Tipperary is a place of untapped potential. We've got double frontage to the Daily river. It's one of the only rivers that, flow in Australia all year. And I think, you know, I've heard it quoted the Daly River is still about 99% pristine, so it hasn't been affected by agriculture or cattle operations to any extent. And I think it's - you know, there in itself is a potential asset for Tipperary, is, we are in still a very pristine environment even considering the developments that have happened in the past. That pristine environment has also tweaked the interest of conservationists. Tipperary is a million hectares of some of the best conservation and grazing country in Australia. It occupies most of the bottom part of the Daly River catchment, which is one of our best rivers in Australia. It's been the focus for agriculture for maybe 100-150 years,

and there's been a lot of land clearing there in the past. Now the focus is on how to manage that land clearing so it won't have much impact on biodiversity. Tipperary Station has had a colourful and varied past. It's perhaps best known for its wildlife sanctuary created by Western Australian businessmen Warren Anderson. He invested 8 million setting up a zoo with 28 animal species, including giraffe, pygmy hippos, zebra, orox and tapier and two endangered white rhinos. He also amassed 65 bird species, including this spectacular Macau. Well, it's just been one of those places in which everything was happening on a far greater scale here than at anywhere else. And people seemed to come in and spend significant amounts of money and be really quite out there in terms of farming in the territory. In 2003, Warren Anderson was accused of neglecting over 2,000 of these animals. Anderson vigorously denied the accusations and police charges against him were later dropped. The Territory Government apologised unreservedly. By then the station was owned by Melbourne barrister, philanthropist and wool grower Alan Myers QC, who forked out around $50 million for the Tipperary Group in 2003. Late last year, a bitter business partnership and investor dispute led Alan Myers to appoint David Warriner

as the new group manager of Tipperary, and refocus the property as a commercial cattle operation. The Warriner family is part of the fabric of the North Australian pastoral industry. David's father Ken manages the Packers consolidated pastoral empire with his brother Jeff. I've always looked at Tipperary

and thought that would be a good one to get hold of because it's got such a checkered past. I think, basically, the problem of Tipperary in the past I mean, that's changed over the last few years, is the focus is not been on a cattle operation at all. But his vision to turn around Tipperary has been interrupted by the sale and debate over how much of the fertile Daly River region, and this pastoral group, should be developed for farming. It's estimated 400,000 hectares of Tipperary was cleared for cattle grazing in the 1980s. 25 years ago, enormous areas were pulled, and enormous areas have been reclaimed, and we've got no intention of going anywhere near what they did then. In 2003, concerns over land clearing in the Daly River catchment sparked such debate, the Northern Territory Government froze development by introducing a moratorium. How significant though has the challenge been for you with with this moratorium in this region?

The regrowth is an issue, but at the end of the day the moratorium was agreed to by industry a little while ago, and it was continued by the current Government. I mean, commonsense will prevail at the end of the day over politics. We aren't very worried, I am not worried about the moratorium. I think we'll be allowed to maintain our developed areas at the end of the day. We don't want to do any sort of broadacre clearing, we don't want to pull any remnant vegetation down. In May, the Northern Territory Government upgrated the Daly moratorium to a Interim Development Control Order, which prevents rural subdivision and clearing native vegetation. It's due to expire in March 2010,

but pastoralists are confident it will be lifted before this Christmas. What makes you so confident, David? Because common sense will prevail. If you don't fix it, we are all in trouble. This wet season's vigorous regrowth of the vegetation on Tipperary, makes parts of the station resemble a tree farm. Tipperary is being investigated by the Northern Territory Government for allegedly breaching the ban by clearing 2,000 hectares. David Warriner says it was all regrowth. The station is being investigated for tree clearing? Well, the media reported that. But, you know, that's what happens. Is that the kind of - We were knocking suckers over, we weren't touching vegetation. Native vegetation, I mean. Conservationists aren't convinced. Tipperary have knowingly deliberately, repeatedly broken the land clearing moratorium that the Territory Government has in place. They've done that to take the Government on, and they are trying to make more money out of cattle, but thumbing their nose at the Government,

and they are a smaller landowners next door to Tipperary, who are not able to clear, and do not have the funds to take the Government to court.

But for now, the Territory Environment Minister, Alison Anderson, won't comment on the investigation,

except to say it's at a sensitive point. In the longer term, conservationists want parts of the station declared a wildlife sanctuary. Look, I think there's been discussions

about a lot of Tipperary's lands being managed under covenants,

which a good thing, and we want to maintain that momentum with the future owners. And I think we should be looking at over half a million hectares of the Tipperary Group of stations being managed under covenants in the future. A lot of that land is not good for grazing, it's not productive, you lose a lot of cattle in it, it makes economic sense for the pastoralist to not be grazing it

or grazing it very lightly. Pastoralist say they are already managing for conservation, the station spends up to $1 million every year controlling the invasive weed mimosa pigra across 20,000 hectares of the Daly River flood plain. We have huge mimosa problems here. Tipperary spent enormous amount of money on Mimosa in the past. We need to continue that, we need the Government to understand that we have these problems. I think they sort of think it's not a problem sometimes, but it's a real problem. Weeds are not only mimosa, we have Bellyache Bush, we got different weeds, that we are funding the programs ourselves,

keeping on top of it. These are a few stud cows that we've been putting together. Just started to do our own bull breeding unit. David Warriner's dream for the future at Tipperary is focused on these yards in the picturesque Honeymoon Hills. They can hold 10,000 cattle destined for the live cattle trade to south-east Asia. Most of the Tipperary weaners come into here. There's 15,000-20,000 of those a year. They come here, get a bit of feeding, all the handling, We've got a crew here that look after them, educate them, then they go out on to improved pastures. It also facilitates backgrounding before we sell cattle. We feed them for 30, 40, 50 days, thereabouts, sometimes more, and they get themselves into an order where they better fit the market specs. The yards reduce the need to develop land for grazing, and are designed to allow cattle to be loaded direct for live export from the Port of Darwin, boosting the holding share of the live trade. Off Tipperary, you have the potential to export from 30,000-40,000 cattle a year, and within that it's a significant part of the market, the whole market is 760,000 cattle. It grew by 15% last year, people are saying it's going to continue to grow each year. And it's interesting, in the last 12 months there was a 15% increase, as I said, on the back of the dollar, the Australian dollar, being between 85 and 92-3 cents and that demand was still strong. Crude oil prices high, your shipping costs increased, so it's a very strong viable industry. I think even with the current global crisis, financial crisis, I think our demand from importers out of Asia, China, Indonesia, south-east Asia is still very strong. Much of the meal for these cattle is being grown on Tipperary. Just like wartime munitions,

80,000 tons of feed is being stockpiled in the Honeymoon Hills.

Most of the fattening ration is salage, made from cut and crushed wet sorgem. It's mixed with this potent silage made from cut and crushed dry corn. Corn silage, just the cob of the corn crushed up mixed with ammonium, soya beam based pellets, gives off a high ammonium smell. It's just really high in protein. The protein rich meal is adding at least a kilo a day to these steers. Good feed there, Trev. Plenty of grain in it.

High in protein. That'll do the job. A kilo a day on that, ay? Easy. Two. Three on some of them. The honeymoon yards are also allowing the station to boost smaller weaners. Who make through the potty calf nursery, and like everything associated with Tipperary, it's on a grand scale too. Milk bottles are made up within the kitchens

of a vast indoor horse sports arena. I started here about three years ago. There wasn't a potty calf program at the time. No one really had time to do it. We started with about seven calves, and we've probably done over 1,000 in the three years, varying amounts on bottles, some just on pellets and a bit of extra TLC. At the moment we have about 30 on milk, and another 60 on pellets, and extra hay and extra additives. And there's no chance these 90 hungry potty calves

will ever escape their pens. These enclosures were once home to the zebra and rhinos which farmed part of Warren Anderson's exotic animal collection.

CALVES MOO It's a labour of love and this nursery cuts a year off time in the paddock. It has to be extremely valuable especially up here in the territory, where it is hard work for calves to survive, it's rough country. And I think every calf that you get on the ground is worth looking after. It's early days for the nursery, and vast cattle yards, but employees hope the venture will continue, despite the sale of the property. They are waiting anxiously to see who the buyer will be. You can't help but feel a bit nervous, what's going to happen? Is all this, everything we've, sort of, worked for is it going to be, sort of, continuing on. So obviously we hope that that's what will happen, but I guess we have to wait and see. There's probably no point worrying or panicking about it yet. It is a bit sad to see the end of an era. I feel very confident that the station will just move on to a new phase in its development. You know, whoever buys it is going be a person with deep pockets, and they are going to have some kind of plan for the future of the property. I love the Top End. It's a difficult environment, it takes a certain type of character with a certain type of experience to do well up here. You just got to go with your gut feeling most of the time in these sort of operations,

and, you know, there's no book that you can buy on how to run a cattle operation in the north. We've started a program here and we believe, you know, that we can improve the viability of it.

And we'd like to continue it.

The weather focus last week was, obviously, on south-east Queensland which copped a real belting. It was like an old-fashioned big wet we used to get in the 70s especially. It will be interesting to see how the season unfolds, especially in relation to cyclones crossing the coast and causing massive inland Brisbane wasn't the only place with high rainfall. Here's some unusual pictures of the Todd River flooding and cutting Alice Springs in two. The locals seemed to take it all pretty well, although it hasn't flooded in the Alice for about two years. Now, here's the national map of rainfall for the past week. The standout is the Brisbane region where some areas had more than 300mm. Out west, the rain is playing havoc with harvesting. And that's Landline weather for this week and for 2008. See you next time. For most of the us Christmas is an opportunity to have a spell, catch our breath after a busy year, and relax with family and friends. But for some, it's a sad and difficult time. Often exacerbated by the pressure to put aside their problems and get into the festive spirit anyway. The Salvation Army produced a DVD aimed at helping those in the bush struggling with depression. Braver, Stronger, Wiser - maybe the most thoughtful gift you can give someone you care about this Christmas, and it's available free, simply by contacting the Salvos on this toll free number: or by logging on to the Salvos website.

SOFT MUSIC PLAYS My name is Katherine and I live in a remote area outside of Charleville in western Queensland.

I'm Mark Pickford. I live in Cumnock in central-west New South Wales. My name is Warren, I live in the Northern Territory in the Gulf. My name is Hanna Stone, I live in Charters Towers in North Queensland. UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS I've got strategies to help me, which include, you know, friends and medication, and psychologist and also being out here is part of my strategy, as well, because this is my dream. And trying to build a dream and live your dream is part of the strategy for survival as well. Having some success somewhere, doing something that you believe in strongly is also a strategy for help. Ha. Ha. (WHISTLES) There's so much out there to do and to see,

and to love, and to cry about, and I'm really glad I'm here, and I'm glad that five years ago it didn't end. And I think that I love life. Yeah, we often talk about Australian values, and what makes an Australian, and, you know, an Australian man, you know, that stiff upper lip and suck it up,

you'll get over it, get up and go again. I think the value of the - the Australian value of mate helping mate is probably the value we need more, when it comes to depression. If you've known that path that I've been down,

stood on that path I've been down. I mean, there's always help, because a lot of us get stubborn, we say, "We don't need anybody, we don't need any help." But deep inside you know you do because you can't get out of it. God is watching over me. And he's watching over you too, you know. UPLIFTING MUSIC PLAYS

That's just about it for us this year. The Landline team will be enjoying a well earnt break over Christmas, but we are delighted to again be able to present some of our most popular yarns from 2008 in the Best of Landline series, which starts next week in this time slot. We'll be back in February for our 18th season, when I hope you'll join us again. And we'll leave with some unusual and eye catching works of art

created from recycled farm equipment. It's all part of the Spirit of the land art festival at Lockhart in the heart of the Riverina, come to think of it, they'd make a unique Christmas gift for the person who has everything. Closed Captions by CSI