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Good afternoon. The Federal

Government has urged Australians

travelling in Indonesia to exercise

extreme caution following the

execution of the Bali bombers.

Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra

shot by firing squad last night. The Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra were

Australian Government says there's a

risk of reprisal attacks and

school-leavers in particular should

reconsider travelling to Indonesia

the moment. If they do determine to reconsider travelling to Indonesia at

go we urge them to be very careful

and exercise extreme caution and

particularly to avoid those places

where previous attacks have

occurred. New Zealand's Prime

Minister-elect John Key has started

work to form a new government. The

Nationals won 59 seats in the

122-seat parliament. They'll rely on

the support of the small

parties to form Government. Helen the support of the small conservative

Clark says she accepts

for the defeat and is standing down Clark says she accepts responsibility

as Labour Party leader. And a very

powerful Category-4 hurricane has

Cuba with winds of more than 180-km powerful Category-4 hurricane has hit

per hour. The late-season hurricane

named Paloma earlier knocked out

power across much of Grand Cayman

Island. It uprooted trees, flooded

low-lying areas and ripped roofs off

some buildings, but residents

appeared to ride out the storm

unscathed. Paloma has strengthened

and is now moving over the southern

coast of Cuba.

CC THEME MUSIC On Landline today - in the bush the battlelines are drawn options, like wind farms. over the impact of renewable energy are being torn apart. Communities that were once cohesive It's change, and it's progress, of those two things. and people sometimes are scared NSW Farmer of the Year. We meet the pick of the crop - make money out of MAN: The only thing farmers

and even in the cropping game in the livestock game is water, manage for is water use. and the one thing you've got to and big-budget ad campaign And can a blockbuster movie for a break? convince more tourists to go bush we got to go walkabout. BOY: (Whispers) Sometimes

MAN: I'm glad you're back.

Welcome to the show. Hello, I'm Anne Kruger. Across rural southern Australia is taking place - a towering revolution

the rise of wind farms.

to legislating With the Rudd Government close renewable-energy target, its promised mandatory in renewable-energy investment. there's predictions of a virtual boom

an alternative income stream It's potentially for cash-strapped farmers struggling rural communities, and a boost to some these winds of change. but not everyone is welcoming

frequently be short of water, Lake George may but it's rarely short of wind. It's a dreadful, windy place, we are not getting a royalty and I regret that for these electricity generators, when the wind blew, because then we'd - I'm making money!" I'd think, "What a wonderful thing - like I always have all of my life. instead of hating the wind

towards paying its way. Now the wind may go some measure A small colony of towering pylons on Lake George's southern shore. is taking shape of a Capital Wind Farm, They are the beginnings developments one of a dozen or more wind-power and the Snowy - planned between Sydney across Australia. one of 70 proposed I'm very excited about it.

I think they are great. going to be so big. And I had no idea they were building 63 skyscraping turbines Babcock & Brown Wind Partners is on these Highland spurs.

capacity of 35%, Based on a conservative operating hours of electricity - they'll generate 400,000 megawatt each year. enough to power 57,000 homes completed turbine. We are looking at a partially on the ground here, The blades obviously are assembled waiting to be erected. The tower is halfway, placed on top of that. so there'll be another two sections How big are these rotor blades? They were 44m long, each blade. with a wind speed of just 14km/h, The turbines start generating at a severe gale-force 90km/h. and will cut out

people working inside it? When this is mounted, there'll be and outside, yes, Absolutely, work environment, so, yes, it's an interesting and the wind is absolutely howling, and you can imagine 80m up, sitting on top of the nacelle and you are outside would enjoy that. a particular type of person

a head for heights. Yes, you'd want to have Absolutely. Yes. this one is highly desirable - As wind farm locations go, close to major population centres

with spare capacity. and a 330 kilovolt transmission line the best windfarm site in NSW. Without doubt it's that we are really after - We have that wind regime predictable wind resource, that it's a good, there's high demand for electricity. and it's blowing at times when is raised, Once the last section of the tower the 80-tonne cell and 40-tonne rotors within 24 hours have to be hoisted into place of the column. to prevent any warping getting it bolted down The most important part is before the wind gets up. We don't like losing them. It's a delicate operation. rated to carry 600 tonnes - The crane shouldering the load is one of only six in Australia. is hooked into place, As the first rotor and a sense of achievement. there's relief that one's up. 66 to go. There you go, settled this country Patrick Osborne's great-grandfather in 1864. near Bungendore 20,000 sheep and employed 30 staff. In its heyday, Currandooley ran is in great depression. The rural industry here a lot of money for our wool - We used to get now we hardly make costs. who don't want this? Can you understand those people Oh! Oh, I don't. I sort of understand them, a certain amount of jealousy, but a lot of them, that they are spoiling the view. It's... Some people think I think cities spoil the view, too. the project, While there was some opposition to the Bungendore community is generally supportive. Elsewhere, it's a different story. We only have 150 acres here

and we've got three bloody boundaries with these people. We couldn't be in a worse position if you tried. As far as the fact that most of them are family. John McGrath lives on the slope of the spectacular Black Range near Yass. If NSW planning approves a 15-tower wind farm hosted by four neighbouring farms, his home will be the closest. They are going to be a lot higher than that. 87 land-holders signed a petition opposing it. John McGrath says it will ruin the landscape and post a significant erosion threat to the creek the whole valley depends on for water. This hill is prone to what we call gully rakers, where we can get a foot, two foot, 300mm, 600mm high wall of water come off that hill, drags down a heap of gravel with it. Origin Energy, which bought the project, says it doesn't intend to develop it at this stage, but, for the McGraths, the damage is already done. What's it doing to your family? Split it down the guts. One's for, one's against. My mother's against, my uncle's for. I have a cousin that's for it. We are against it. We live on the boundary with these people, we live in the paddock next to where some of these towers will start. The rest of them will look at the trailing-off part of it, but to me, Joanne, this is only the start of it. It's like a friend of my said about the power - this same sort of system they put up in WA, he said, "Don't let it start, it will just grow like cancer." There's little doubt southern Australia will see more wind farms.

South Australia has about half of Australia's wind generation with eight sites operating and another 34 pending construction or approval. Victoria is not far behind with six generating and 29 more on the way.

But many more are coming on line in other states as well. The Rudd Government has committed to a 20% renewable energy target by 2020.

Once it's legislated, an expected flood of investment dollars will follow. We estimate that there'll need to be an additional 900-1,000 megawatts of wind farm or wind-farm equivalents installed every year for the next 10 years just to meet that targets. We've already got a substantial contribution in renewables from wind. There are other forms of renewables,

which will need more than the mandatory renewable energy target, and that's where my gross feed-in tariff comes in, but under a 20% emirate, we should see a huge explosion of wind energy around Australia. But not everyone thinks wind power is the panacea

for Australia's greenhouse pollution problems. If any town could lay claim to being the windfarm capital, it may soon be Crookwell, home to one of the country's first wind farms, with eight 45m turbines. Crookwell no. 1 will be dwarfed by two nearby projects. Humphrey Price-Jones was on the front line of the Franklin Dam dispute, so when a company proposed an 84-turbine windfarm along a 22km stretch of the Gullen Range near Crookwell, running past his back fence, Mr Price-Jones was the first landholder approached. As an environmentalist, I would be - they assumed I'd be interested in hosting wind turbines,

so I explained to them that I was definitely not interested. Well, this is what they refer to as low-value landscape, and they suggest it has low sensitivity to wind-turbine development, which is a bizarre statement considering these things are as high as 45-storey buildings. He says if if goes ahead, the windfarm will destroy the amenity, pose a threat to endangered species, impose heavy vehicles on local roads that won't cope, and that the turbines will generate noise

and an effect known as 'shadow flicker', as the sun drops. To call it a wind farm is a misnomer. Of course, it's a huge, huge...industrial site basically. The renowned wildlife artist bristles at the suggestion his opposition constitutes the 'not in my backyard' syndrome. When is it peculiarly unreasonable to defend one's own home? It's a ridiculous accusation,

and I do resent very strongly being accused of NIMBYism. nothing could be further from the truth. And we can't predict where the wind will blow. I've had people say that wind is the cheapest, most effective way

of kicking off renewable energy right now, and that these are going to mushroom. I completely disagree with the first part of what you've just said. You could put wind turbines on every ridge of the Southern Tablelands

and it would not make one iota of difference to the amount of coal that's being burnt, because there is absolutely no way that wind can ever supply base-load power.

It's not green, it's not clean, and it's completely unreliable. The industry says a greater spread of wind farms to capture more winds more often will overcome issues with intermittent supply. We have a great wind resource and we've barely begun to utilise it. The more wind farms we install onto the network the easier it's going to be for the network to operate with the wind farms, in terms of we are spreading out our generation,

smoothing out our generation. It's a complementary energy to the grid as we see it. Wind comes into the grid, so you integrate your grid to be taking energy from wherever you can get it at any particular time. 10km east of the Gullen Range, construction of the 47-tower Crookwell no. 2 should begin in February. Because we live next to the Crookwell 1 wind farm just up the hill up here, we always suspected we might be a wind farm site on our property. The main interest I have is in getting an alternate income stream, a drought-proofing income stream for my property. My main game is I'm a farmer, and I want to remain - I want to remain a farmer but I don't want to degrade my land like most of Australia's been degraded.

Grazier Charlie Prell said few farmers in his region could survive without off-farm income. We haven't had a run of seasons, we haven't had more than half a season for more than eight years.

It's a matter of how much you owe, the size of your block of land - land around here is based on real-estate value, not on agricultural value. I see the threat of climate change affecting the viability of my farming. If people are going to pay me a bit of money - and it's not millions - if they want to pay me a bit of money to put turbines on my property that won't devalue my property we'll be able to run less animals and put less pressure on the land and look after it a whole lot better, get the biodiversity happening as it should - that's a good outcome for me. Charlie Prell said he investigated the arguments against wind farms and couldn't substantiate them. A study into birdstrike at the Crookwell no. 1 windfarm was shut down after six months because not one bird was killed. He says proper sighting of turbines away from traditional migration patterns can avoid bird casualties. Neither is he concerned that the proximity of the development will affect his quality of life. The first thing that I and my wife did about five or six years ago was go and visit modern wind farms in Victoria, and we realised very quickly that a lot of myths that were being proposed as facts were exactly that - they were myths. We are quite comfortable with a turbine right here where I'm standing, and my house is about 500m away. We are comfortable with that. If there's one point Charlie Prell and Humphrey Price-Jones agree upon is that the issue has generated enormous tension in Crookwell. I've experienced that divisiveness. I've been called all sorts of names. This one is different because it's a large proposal, but it's change and it's progress, and people sometimes are scared of those two things. Communities that were once cohesive are being torn apart. It would mean that nowhere on the Southern Tablelands was safe from such inappropriate development. Farming renewable energy is one of the core platforms of the Greens. Senator Christine Milne says transmission lines to areas where agriculture is more marginal need to be upgraded to give those rural communities the option to host large-scale wind and solar ventures. She says governments can alleviate much of the angst with better planning. I don't think you should ever foist anything on local communities, and the key to getting renewable energy across the country, and getting the community excited about it will be to make sure that there is adequate consultation in those rural communities, and that areas are pre-permitted. So far, the Federal Government has promised much, but delivered little to the renewable energy sector. Six weeks ago, the Prime Minister announced $100 million for a clean-coal institute to investigate capturing and storing carbon dioxide emissions, but the $100 million solar research centre is on hold. There's a $500 million clean-coal fund, but the commercialisation fund to expedite renewable technologies has been put back several years.

We need to get rid of those fossil-fuel subsidies and make sure we support the roll-out of the renewables because it always comes down to basics. The science tells us that climate change is accelerating, that we are at the worse-case end of the IPCC - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -

the worst-case end of their scenarios. PAT OSBORNE: I've always worried that we are using fuels that were laid down millions of years ago, and they won't be replaced, and future generations and as far as you can imagine forward, people will say, "Look, they had all that coal and oil, "and they burnt it all up in a century." And I think it's very bad. Controversial or not, wind farms have certainly become a feature of the South Australian landscape. The state now produces almost two-thirds of the nation's wind power, and, this week, a ninth farm came on-line. Those responsible for the latest project at Snowtown in South Australia's mid-north say it's a natural fit. South Australia's quite exposed to the winds. They come - the roaring 40s winds that come around the southern end of the Australia. The 47 turbines will generate about 98 megawatts of energy a year, enough to power about 50,000 homes. With nine wind farms in use, two under construction and several more on the drawing board, the Premier says the rest of Australia is lagging behind.

We, as a State, have 8% of the population of Australia, but, as from today, 58% of the wind power - not just more than any other State, but more than all of the other states put together. The know-how of desert people and innovators has been an display this week in Alice Springs. International and local speakers focused on the need to build economic development in arid areas. We are really asking desert people to really put their views on what will work. I mean, they've been subjected to a lot of systems that don't work to their advantage,

they have been locked out of a lot of decision-making. One of the world's largest aerial surveys of waterbirds

is under way across Australia. Scientists in three light planes are flying for seven hours a day for two months, scouring every major wetland and river in the country. It's never been done in Australia and it's never been done anywhere in the world at this sort of scale. They've already worked their way across the tropics,

from the wetlands of Kakadu to Cape York, at times counting flocks of more than 100,000 waterbirds using nothing more than a keen set of eyes. From the deserted dunes of the Simpson Desert and the heat and the aridity, and then trying to find a gap in the weather to count alpine lakes. Another survey is showing that there's still plenty of life left in Adelaide's much-maligned River Torrens. South Australian researchers have been counting these fish since this device was built to allow native species to swim upstream. We found that there was a lot of native fish - whitebait in particular are using the fish ladder. We are catching over 1,300 in a single day,

so they are all flocking up into the fresh water. Weirs and barriers along the river have stopped native species

from swimming up the river where they lay their legs. In a normal cycle, the eggs would have floated out to sea

where the larvae develop. Certainly shows that the Torrens is going to be a good home to a whole range of native fish, if we can make sure that we improve the habitat and improve the ability for fish to move along the river. To the West now, where authorities are also keeping a close count on the bag limits following the opening of the annual abalone season. Pretty much average in terms of our, sort of, strike rate for offenders. We ended up with a total of about 35 warnings today, about 15 infringements, which carry a fine between $100 and $200. Everyone must have a valid licence to fish and it can only be done on Sundays between 7:00 and 8:00 in the morning. The season closes on 7 December.

And, finally, a big crowd was on hand for this week's other big race meeting - the annual Noonamah frog races.

Fashions on the field were strictly Territory casual, and there were no international runners - only the finest local thoroughbreds mustered from swamps and billabongs. Bidding was spirited, as connections 'jumped' at the chance to be part of local racing-history. In hot and humid conditions, they leapt out of the barrier on a track declared officially damp. Spray bottles replaced the whip as the green gallopers were cheered to the finish line. It's all for a good cause - $7,500 was raised for local charities. The dust has settled on the American elections and while there's the usual goodwill for a winner, Australian farmers look set to be among the possible losers. American Democrats are traditionally protectionist and heavily into subsidies, and they've shown no enthusiasm in the past for supporting reforms to world agricultural trade. A couple of other issues from last week - the swings in our dollar are causing havoc in most grain markets. The volatility has seen as much as $60-a-tonne changes in the one day.

And it's been a nightmare for meat exporters.

Credit squeezes and currency problems has led to buyers reneging on contracts,

and scores of containers being stranded on wharves or on the water. And, for woolgrowers, things are going from bad to worse. Can I possibly start with good news? Yes, if you're a pig farmer. Have a look at pig prices in the past three months. A combination of dwindling domestic supplies, our falling dollar and the Christmas season ahead has pushed pig prices to the highest in many years. A rise of more than 17% for porkers and over 21% for baconers since mid August. The indicator category of fat-score 2:4 slipped:

To live exports, and here it's boom time. Record numbers to Indonesia and the industry is very, very confident about its future. Last year we were able to export almost 770,000 cattle, 4.1 million sheep and 90,000 goats. This year, we probably are looking at a few more cattle and that. Sheep numbers, of course, are very tight no matter what industry you are in, and goat exports continue to rise, with most of those goats are actually going out by care. Demand for all types of livestock

right across the Asian and Middle Eastern regions in our major marketplaces are very strong. And strong it was in Darwin last week. Prices out of Darwin were pushed along by a shortage of cattle in the Top End. Turning to grains, and it can only be called a horror week as the soft commodities followed energy and equity prices. Incidentally that wheat price - $5.23 - is less than half the price quoted in Chicago in May of this year. Sugar is holding up OK: The gloomy news for cotton is that a substantial tonnage of Chinese cotton remains unsold because of a lack of demand from local textile and garment makers. The local futures are also sour:

Dairy prices, they continue to soften:

That claim by China about contaminated Australian product looks designed to take some heat off local manufacturers. Expect to hear a lot more in coming weeks.

Finally to wool, where the bad news continues. Although we're told the market finished Thursday on a firmer note, the major issue once again was the volatility of the dollar.

The good news from wool was the 40,000 cents a kilo

paid for a bale of 12.5 micron ultra-superfine at the Newcastle auction. And that's the Landline prices check. Hello, I'm Pip Courtney. Coming up later in the show, we are off to a birthday party in the Queensland outback -

it's 25 years

since Bill Peat began showing tourists around Australia his way, which is small groups, in luxury, by air. MAN: It's very special for us to be 25 years old, because we didn't know if we'd be 1 year old. Most of NSW remains firmly in the grip of drought, but you wouldn't know it at Yeoval in the central West, at least not on Nigel Kerin's property. He's the NSW Farmer of the Year, and his revolutionary approach is attracting interest from across the country. Well, we changed over to cell grazing four year ago, and now everything, everything's run under cells, which is just big mobs in small paddocks for a small amount of time with long rest periods, and we put a lot of mulch down using the hooves of animals on to the ground, and that mulch layer insulates the soil from drying out and, also, from getting too cold. The central West of NSW may be in drought, but Nigel's Kerin's lands are growing fat on lush pastures. It's the result of a farming philosophy which puts environmental wealth before money in the bank. To get environmental wealth, most of it comes without spending a lot of money, there's very few input costs into it because all we are doing is managing grass, rather than managing livestock,

because it's very hard to have money in a money bank if you've got no grass bank in a livestock operation. Nigel Kerin runs sheep and trade cattle on 2,000 hectares on Yeoval, as well as 600 hectares of cropping. He installed these knock-down electric fences because he hated opening gates. It says something about the man and his approach to farming. I guess now we have a low-maintenance environment, livestock enterprise

and a low-maintenance in our people that work in the business, as well. Most of the trends that happen in agriculture usually have something to sell you, where the one I've entered into now was pretty much only wire fencing and water that I had to improve, and that was the end of the spending. We get underneath it, Nige. There we go! Look at that for a mass of roots. Look at that dark soil coming across the top there. It may not be a trend yet, but the NSW Farmer of the Year's approach to farming is attracting plenty of interest. He's paired back his operation and runs off a strict management blueprint. At its heart is constant monitoring of his pastures, and, most importantly, rainfall. It actually smells like fish emulsion, like fish oil... We found the profit drivers of the business were simply water, and managing for water use on our farm. It's our most limiting factor, and, yeah, we just pretty much run our business and manage it for water-use efficiency. In just under a month, this farm has had 175mm of rain. Ordinarily, a dam like this would be showing a significant inflow. But under Nigel Kerin's philosophy, a dry dam is a good dam. I'm quite lucky where my country has good bore-water supply for stock and domestic, and on our farms there's pretty much a dam in most paddocks, but we've found that if we are getting water into those dams, we are not doing our job as managers, as land managers, as good as we should be, and the one thing I never want to see now is water in me contour banks and water in me dams, because I know I've actually eaten into my ecology, and I've actually eaten into my mulch layers and let that water run off the farm. 32 south... ..43 minutes... ..994 seconds. So, paddock name is Nahringlabak tank. It's site no. 1. Righto, you got your clicker? Got the clicker. Good to go. Lucerne, lucerne, lucerne, mulch, mulch... On this paddock, Nigel Kerin is auditing his ground cover with the Little River Landcare Group's director Fergus Job. For three years, he's been running stock here for just four days at a time every six months. If you looked across this little river landscape 10 years ago you saw flogged outed perennial species that had been introduced - they disappeared out of the system, people couldn't keep perennial species in their system for more than about four or five years. They were almost monocultures, so they were lucern and subclover. There was lots of bare dirt, there was lots of salinity issues, lots of erosion issues - all those sorts of stuff. 15, so that's 28%, and the weeds.

But a lot of the real benefits on Nigel's system are coming through from species that were there 40 or 50 years ago,

but because of the management system that was in place, they never got an opportunity, 'cause we overgrazed them or they didn't get a chance to actually grow and respond and flower when they needed to.

Nigel Kerin's land management is also paying handsome dividends on his cropping venture. He's virtually stopped spraying on half of his paddocks, where cereal is being sown into summer-active pastures. We've got away without using any grass herbicides because of the mulch layers that are on our country. The mulch was that thick across the paddock that the annual weeds didn't grow up through it. And it's been an absolute winner for the last three years we've done it. It's gross margin has been level-pegging it with our no-till farming practices. The big difference is

the risk factor that's involved in pasture cropping is probably reduced by 70%, because if we do have a failed group, we've actually extend perennial pasture underneath that. And if we do miss a harvest and we get summer rains, we've got a magnificent pasture to graze. And you can see all your perennials are just starting to take off now. Pasture cropping has had a big impact on Nigel Kerin's fat lamb production, but he reckons it was a move to the Jim Watts soft-rolling skin-breeding system which saved the enterprise.

He's no longer mulesing, and he's been able improve his fleece by more than three micron to 19 micron. Lambing rates have also improved from less than 100% to 135% each year. There are sheep that does well.

They are very mobile, very plain-bodied, got no wrinkles up the neck, no wrinkles around the breach area of the sheep, coming around here, and they've also addressed that ethical standards

that are being implemented upon agriculture right now,

and that is the mulesing debate. Another really important part to us is that we are breeding a Merino sheep that's sort of working with our climate variability - and that is, our Merino wether lambs, we can get them off the farm up to four months earlier than what we had done in the past, because they are a plain-bodied animal, they mature quicker, put more weight on quicker, and they're able to get them off the farm. And what that does is, then, when we sell our wether lambs into the lamb trade we put some money in the money bank and we put grass in our grass bank and that grass is put in there to put more weight on the ewes to get better conception to breed more lambs later in the year. Five years ago Nigel Kerin was, by his own emission, a conservative traditional farmer. His rod to Damascus came after attending a wholistic farm-management course and then engaging the services of a business coach. So a lot of the plants we can see are growing out of old crowns, but there's a lot of recruitment, as well... That coach is Sean Martyn. His company provides Nigel and Kate Kerin with accounting and tax advice and a range of other services, and while he's a trained agronomist and livestock specialist, he says his focus is working with individuals. Our mission is to really to help people help themselves, and the idea of our coaching is to build the capacity within the individuals that were working with to the point that we actually become redundant. Agriculture's a tough game, and a lot of people feel that they are at the whim of climate and prices and factors outside of their control. And that's the person that I started working with four or five years ago. You know, Nigel was - and I think he'd be happy to admit - pretty stressed about the pressures that were on the business. Now I see somebody who is in control of their business, has a business that works for them, rather than the other way around. For Kate Kerin, the change in her husband has been profound and has extended well beyond how he runs the farm. The whole family concept, especially, was... His idea of a great Sunday out was to sit on a tractor

and listen to Ray and the boys rather than be at home with, you know, the wife and kids. And I think through the whole thing it just taught you, you know, family values, and family first,

and, you know, all those sort of things. Steve Shepherd is another coaching success story. Until last year, he was a seventh-generation farmer at Crookwell in the central-west. As part of his training, he joined a focus group with Nigel Kerin and five other farmers. Instead of helping his farming, it helped him decide to give the game away and buy a landscaping business. They helped me realise that I was carrying a lot of guilt,

and that I was farming because I felt I had to farm, having been seventh-generation farmer, I felt it necessary that I continue on the tradition of farming, even though, at this point, I was starting to realise

that I really didn't want to be a farmer, and I really wasn't doing it very well because it wasn't my passion.

Obviously, since then, we found our passion, both Kell and I, and we are now doing what we love doing. We are doing it, we believe, really well. With wife Kelly, the pair now have plans to develop more businesses. His whole demeanour has changed. He's passionate now, whereas before he would go into the paddock, you know, to 'work' - because that was what he thought he had to do, and didn't do it very well, to be honest. But, now, he's passionate about what he does, he loves. He bounces out of the bed in the morning, and he's doing what he loves doing. And the winner of the 2008 Farmer of the Year is... WOMAN: Nigel Kerin, Yeoval. Nigel Kerin is passionate about the business of farming and says he was honoured to be named Farmer of the Year. According to the NSW Farmer's Association, Nigel Kerin's recipe for success in a time of prolonged drought sends an important message of how to not only survive but thrive. If you sit down and look at how he was monitoring his pastures and really analysing them on a regular basis, including rainfall into the program, figuring out how much feed he would have in a certain period of time, allowing him to make decisions very early - compared to a lot of the other people in the same situations - was one of the steps that, I suppose, really showed that he could be prepared to get out and make decisions that would look to be a bit strange at times, but in the end turned out to be very, very effective in this area. NIGEL KERIN: The only thing farmers make money out of in the livestock game and even in the cropping game is water. And the one thing you have to manage for is water use, so if you start hand-feeding you've basically drawn a line in the sand and said, "I'm going to keep handfeeding until that breaks," and by the time that breaks, you may end up with nothing but a dust bowl. And you can go back into average rainfall straight after that for the next 12 months, but you'll never ever grow the grass. You could have, had you had kept the cover on that country. Those with a passing interest in the Australian movie industry are holding their breath waiting to see if Baz Luhrmann's new movie 'Australia' lives up to all its pre-release hype. If it's a worldwide hit, there could be big spin-offs for Australia's tourist industry thanks to a $40 million campaign based on the enduring appeal of the outback. After all, it's a simple formula

that's been working pretty well for one tour company for the past 25 years. WOMAN ON PA: Well, folks, welcome to the outback. We are coming into Longreach. Once landed we'll be heading out to Longway cattle farm to meet Rosemary, who'll be hosting our barbecue for the day. The Mayor of Longreach says Bill Peach has been great for the town. When he first started, 25 years ago, he was certainly a pioneer in his day. He started his tours out of Sydney, and opened up the west a great deal, just through his dreams and his vision. Rosemary Champion reckons, for many visitors, the outback is a tonic. You get people fly in from San Francisco, have a sleep in Sydney, and they wake up and they are in Longreach the next day

and they say, "Where the heck are we? And you say, "You're alright, you're in the centre of the universe!" Any of your worries that were mountains when you left are mole hills by the time you get to Longreach. After visits to the Stockman's Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founders Museum, it's off to Longway to meet the Champions. WOMAN ON PA: Now I hope she took note of my recipes I sent her. I hope she's got the snake stew cooking in the galah pot. What did Bill Peach want you to show people? What did he want people to get out of a visit here, and what did you want to show them? Absolutely the real, genuine, authentic thing - nothing Mickey Mouse/Walt Disney stuff, you know -

what you see is what you get. And, you know, basically, it's a working cattle property, and that's what we like to demonstrate. The Champions enjoy the blow-ins.

Cattle are our core business and tourism has just been a lovely way to network with the rest of the world, really. With Warwick Champion on the barbecue and Bill Peach holding court on the verandah, the travellers start to get their heads around outback life. The people who come here not only say, "What nice, friendly people," they say, "That's what people live." You have to be born to that I couldn't, being a city slicker, I only lived in Paddington and Bondi all me life, you know, that was it. And I'm really grateful for what they do,

and I appreciate every bit of it, you know. Here you go, 25th birthday. (Laughs) Well done! Bill Peach said he didn't know 25 years ago if his idea would work. It's very special for us to be 25 years old because we didn't know if we'd be 1 year old. You don't know. You know, a travel venture is like anything else - you don't know what the demand is going to be. And here we are in our 25th year, so there must have been the germ of a good idea there, Pip. But what made Bill Peach decide to give up a great job, fame and a huge profile to show tourists this world in the first place?

'50s BEACH BONGOS PLAY Well, oil is not the only one of Australia's natural resources that's in the news this Friday.

Bill Peach made his name at the ABC in the '60s and '70s presenting the current affairs program 'This Day Tonight'. ..built for the United States Navy. After eight years, the self-confessed stickybeak left to make documentaries, becoming a household name in the process.

Instead of sticking in that studio I began to travel right around the country

and make these documentaries about Australia's history, the colourful stories that we had to tell, the wonderful scenery that we had to show, and I found that there was just so much in this big country. In fact, we calculated in two years of doing 'Peach's Australia' that we travelled five times around the world without leaving the continent.

'PEACH'S AUSTRALIA THEME MUSIC He says even when he was writing and presenting TV shows like 'Peach's Australia', the 'Explorers', 'Gold', and 'Holidays with Bill Peach', he wanted to show Australians their country and tell them about their history. Especially the outback. It's a very important element of Australia, and a lot of our legend, our pictures of ourselves, you know, they come from this, and I'm very much in sympathy with it. He says he knew life as a tourism operator wouldn't be easy. We had to change the concept, in a way, of what a holiday was because a lot of Australians in those days felt it wasn't really a holiday unless you went overseas -

staying here, that didn't qualify that. He had a plan, though, that he thought would turn that around. For after years of rattling around the outback in 4WDs with the ABC, he figured people would go see the outback if they could see it in a plane. Very often, I found our travellers had been everywhere else - these are Australians - but they haven't been to Australia,

and they said, "Thank God you came along. "We were wanting a way to do this, "but we weren't going to go out there and beat up the tracks." He started with two Fokker Friendships - now it's Dash-8s. A big country like Australia is made for aviation - that's why we've always been good at it, I think - but it just shrinks the distance, and, secondly, you have unrivalled flight-seeing, along the way, and I always say to people, "The way to look at the Gibson Desert "is looking out the windows of the plane sipping a gin and tonic." It's a lot easier that way. Aircruising, while not cheap, has proved a winning idea. You can travel enormous distances in great comfort to see places that you haven't seen before. And the more I see of it, the more I admire those early explorers.

This is our 23rd trip. We first started in 1986. We have done it a few times. We've done this particular - we've done the 'Great Australian', I think, five times.

MAN: No, four. No, I think I'm right. (Both laugh) Do you mind if we have a little bit of a, you know?

We'll leave you to it. Leave us to it, yes.

Shirley Towns and John Gorman are a tourism operators dream - customers who keep coming back. Many of the travellers on this tour have done Bill Peach trips before, but none have done more than 86-year-old Sydney man John Gorman. He's done 52 trips in 11 years, and he says he's not done yet. (All cheer) I got hooked and I just couldn't help myself. I kept going and going,

and, I mean, now I'm a damn addict, you see. We have a huge repeat business, and a lot of it is word of mouth and I think in travel that's really important. Bill Peach says he's looking forward to seeing what the world focus on the new Baz Luhrmann's movie 'Australia', starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman,

will do for outback tourism. Especially as the director has produced a new advertising campaign to accompany the movie. Tied in with the movie promotion, it seems to me to be a good idea, and I hope they've rung the bell. Let's hope the movie doesn't bomb. Exactly. Well, that's one of the unknowns, isn't it? There's no footer on the front page. It will have to be done again. Sorry I haven't called earlier. MAN: It's never going to change, is it? What are you saying? You are not the same person I fell in love with. Sometimes, we have to get lost to find ourselves. Sometimes, we gotta go walkabout. I'm glad you are back. I hope it's something that says, "This is a special place. "This is like something you won't get somewhere else, "but you will always remember as being uniquely Australian."

Given the outback, like other parts of the country, has suffered from a fall in tourist numbers in the past several years,

Longreach's Mayor is hoping the movie and ad campaign gets overseas tourists interested in Australia again. Oh, very much so.

It will portray what country life is a little bit about, and, from that, people will just want to come out and sort of say, "Well, what's it like living out here?"

because they just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities - no traffic lights. So where the bloody hell are you? The 'Where the bloody hell are you?' was a spectacular flop... Sometimes we got to go walkabout. ..so the Australian Tourism Industry badly needs Baz Luhrmann's ads to work.

Tourism authorities hope the $40 million campaign to be shown in 22 countries lifts visitor numbers by 200,000. But while Longreach would love more visitors, the trouble is its airport can't handle big planes full of tourists. There's a 14-million plan to strengthen the runway and replace the tiny terminal so it can, but there's no start date in sight. And the proponents now of that project

have been waiting for the State Government to come on board and, of course, every 6 or 12 months that go buy you've got to add a little bit to the price tag, so the sooner the State Government come on board the quicker this whole project will get up and running. John Seccombe says the delays are frustrating.

Well, regional tourism is missing out enormously throughout the whole western Queensland region. The fastest-growing sector of tourism today is the fly-drive market, which allows tourists to come into a region and explore that region, so, without an airport you can't achieve that. Bill Peach is right behind an airport upgrade. You don't need every sort of cattle station in the Kimberley to be able to land a jumbo jet, but certainly Longreach, because it's placed in the centre of the State, so I would say, in that sense, it would be very good to upgrade. Bill Peach journeys doesn't normally fly to Winton, but, for the birthday trip, a detour to the town

famous for being the home of Waltzing Matilda and the birthplace of Qantas was arranged. Winton's also famous for its dinosaurs and at Lark Quarry is a dinosaur tail like no other, for here are the fossilised footprints of the only recorded dinosaur stampede on Earth. The story the 3,000 footprints tell is of a 4-tonne dinosaur

chasing a couple of hundred smaller ones across a mud flat 93 million years ago. You can't come to Winton and not go to Carisbrooke, the sheep and cattle station run by Charlie Phillott boasts breathtaking scenery that even Bill Peach had never seen. And then suddenly you come into this quite dramatic landscape and it opens out on both sides, and it's like this country, it's sort of full of surprise, you know. And is it great that you, after all this time travelling, can still get a surprise like that? Yeah. I mean, that's what you always hope for. You don't want to be jaded with things and think, "Oh, my God," you know, "I've done this, seen that." It's wonderful when you see something new, and it hits you right in the eye, and that's what this country does. The Silver Anniversary tourists say Bill Peach's aircruising formula is just the ticket. There are lots of great bits of Australia that are separated by great bits of nothingness, and you fly over those. We've had a look at those, as well, but this way you get to see the little jewels. I don't think there's enough Australians come to the outback areas to see what their country looks like. The views are quite different from anything we have seen before. So it is - yes, they are just spectacular. Yes, they are, and we didn't know quite what to expect, but then we never do - it's always a surprise. Marvellous, absolutely marvellous. It really was. Yes, look forward to the next one. Don't think we'll be able to do as many as John, though, but we'll try! Thoroughly enjoyable, seeing the bush well and truly in the middle of the country, middle of the desert. Seeing places they've never been before, and seeing outback Australia - it's been fantastic, you know. I've been a city slicker all my life, and it's opened my eyes tremendously. You know, it's been great. Well, happy travelling. It's been a pleasure to meet you. Alright. I hope to travel another 25 years. (Laughs) OK, all the best. See you, John. So long! Been nice to know you. Bill Peach might be 73, but he says he hopes he'll be showing Australians their outback for another 25 years. WOMAN ON PA: Well, folks, we are now leaving Winton, leaving the outback behind and heading to tropical Hamilton Island. BILL PEACH: There's nothing like seeing it - and I did do it on television - and I know that being there is different, better than 1,000 pictures. Just as farmers start searching for contractors and more trucks, along comes the rain. Graingrowers in southern Queensland and northern NSW, in particular, would not have been happy with recent falls,

and, as we go to air, it looks like there'll be downgrades across a lot of areas. Here's the map. And you can see the rain splashed right across wheat country in the east and even in the west. Down south, falls were light to moderate as agribusiness contemplates what's been well-below average falls across Victoria for the past three months. While South Australia had its driest September/October on record. The wheat crop in Victoria is now tipped to be just 1.4 million tonnes. Last year, which was seen as pretty ordinary, it was 1.9 million tonnes. Some rainfall over the past week. Queensland's Dalby - 42mm. Moree in NSW - 67mm. Lilydale in Victoria - 12mm. Meander in Tasmania - 10mm. South Australia's Jamestown - 27mm. Mango Farm in the Top End - 33mm. While Beverley in the WA Wheatbelt - 4mm. And that's Landline weather. Times just about beaten us again, but I do want to tell you about one of the next week's stories, when we check on Australian inroads into the Russian beef mark. There's been growing interest in the trade for both chilled beef and live cattle for breeding in recent years. So it's a great opportunity for Australian farmers to not only supply cattle and high-quality Australian breeding-cattle into those locations, but to also extend past that in terms of education and training and delivery of programs that support the animals once they arrive. To Russia with love - Australian beef meeting the demand for protein - a special report from the ABC's Moscow correspondent Scott Bevan. I hope you can join us again next time. Bye for now. Closed Captions by CSI