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Research grants boost possibility of multi-peril crop insurance

The outlook of multi-peril crop insurance has received a boost with the announcement of new research grants for projects that collect data to assess the viability of the insurance giving producers further options to protect their investments.

Grants of up to $100,000 are available for the Queensland agriculture sector.

Crop insurance and other risk management options currently have a low level of uptake in Queensland and Australia, this has been attributed to the lack of data against which insurers can assess and price risk, which makes crop insurance premiums more expense than they otherwise may be.

The research grants of up to $100,000 will support projects that collate and/or interpret agricultural production data on a regional or industry/crop specific basis. The data will then be publicly available and could be used in the assessment and development of risk management products such as crop insurance.


For further information on these grants, including the application process, visit or phone 13 25 23.

$5 million Advance Queensland Biofutures Commercialisation Program

The Queensland Government has announced its ambition to become a global bio-industrial hub, by creating a $5 million Advance Queensland Biofutures Commercialisation Program (BCP).

The BCP is now open to receive expressions of interest from national and international applicants.

Funding up to $250,000 for projects at pilot scale of development, and up to $1 million for projects at the demonstration scale of development is available.

In 2014, a joint Deloitte Access Economics and Queensland University of Technology study projected that by 2035 an industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector could contribute $1.8 billion to Queensland’s gross state products and support almost 7000 jobs in the state, particularly in regional and rural Queensland.

The Advance Queensland Biofutures Commercialisation Program is part of the Queensland Government’s Queensland Biofutures 10 Year-Roadmap and Action Plan.

Expressions of Interest open today. For more detail visit

Australia Post and Alibaba partner to help local businesses export to South East Asia

Australia Post and Alibaba have announced a partnership that will help Australian businesses export to South-East Asia.

The partnership will involve extending Australia Post online storefronts beyond China to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, creating a powerful online platform for Australian businesses to sell products across the region.

The Australia Post-branded storefronts will establish the first Australian marketplace within South-East Asia’s leading eCommerce network Lazada, of which Alibaba has a majority shareholding.

Lazada provides merchants with direct access to more than 560 million consumers in six countries and features a wide product offering in categories ranging from consumer electronics and household goods to fashion and health products.

Australia Post Executive General Manager Parcels and StarTrack CEO, Bob Black said the South-East Asian expansion built on Australia Post’s strong relationship with Alibaba.

“We are committed to supporting local Australian businesses and delivering eCommerce solutions that make it easier to grow their businesses whether that be across Australia or overseas,” Mr Black said.

“International expansion can be daunting for many businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises. That’s why we are proud to have partnered with Alibaba to help give Australian businesses access to the booming eCommerce sector in China and now the lucrative South-East Asian market.”

Mr Black said Australia Post also planned to open storefronts on Lazada’s other sites in Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines beyond this year.

Australia Post’s relationship with Alibaba has already enabled Australian businesses to sell their products across Alibaba’s key platforms since 2014, including Tmall Global, Global TaoBao and

Sheep and Wool Challenge

Did you know that the Queensland’s sheep and wool industry is worth $132 million to the economy?

The Sheep and Wool Challenge is now open and is offering significant prize money for students who can come up with an innovative solution to an industry issue. There are sections for secondary school students, where prize money is split between the school and the student, and an Open Category for over 18’s, including those at college and tertiary students. We have also included a people’s choice award with a purse of $500. The total prize pool is $10,000. 

Entrants can go on-line and explore the industry by visiting Other handy websites are, and

Entries must be submitted by 31 July 2017. 

A full list of competition terms and conditions, and how to lodge your entry, is available on-line at

Leading Sheep is a proactive network of Queensland sheep and wool businesses; at the forefront of practical and relevant information and technology to equip progressive and thriving producers for the future.

Leading Sheep is an initiative of Australian Wool Innovation and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, with support from AgForce.

Nominations open for YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament

Young Queenslanders wanting to create real change and develop leadership skills are being encouraged to apply for the 2017 YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament.

Nominations for the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament are now open for young Queenslanders aged 15 to 25 years.

A total of 97 young people will be brought together with an opportunity to share and hear the issues and concerns for young Queenslanders.

The initiative is run by YMCA Queensland, and has seen young people from across Queensland come together for over two decades.


In April the program brings participants together in Brisbane to form committees and discuss ideas, and again in September for a residential program and the opportunity to debate their Bills at Parliament House.

Between April and September committees will connect in person, via phone, or internet to draft their Bills, and to design and implement community action plans.

Nominations are now open and will close on Monday 27 February 2017.

For more information about the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament, email or go to

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