The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - News -

A SO­PHIS­TI­CATED wool sub­sti­tu­tion racket with the po­ten­tial to dam­age re­la­tions with China – Aus­tralia’s big­gest wool market – has been un­cov­ered.

At least 18 bales of Aus­tralian wool, worth tens of thou­sands of dol­lars, have been seized at mills in China in re­cent months after they ar­rived con­tain­ing wool vastly dif­fer­ent from that tested by au­thor­i­ties in Mel­bourne.

Vic­to­ria Po­lice al­lege the bales were tam­pered with some­where be­tween test­ing in Aus­tralia and un­pack­ing in China, with “high-value” fine wool stolen and re­placed with “sig­nif­i­cantly” lower-value prod­uct.

The al­leged scam, which comes amid record prices for Aus­tralian wool, has also thrown into ques­tion the in­tegrity of the na­tion’s wool han­dling and ex­port sys­tem.

THE meningo­coc­cal dis­ease out­break con­tin­ues in cen­tral Aus­tralia, the Barkly, Kather­ine and Kather­ine west re­gions. To date there have been 25 con­firmed cases of meningo­coc­cal W with one case await­ing fi­nal lab­o­ra­tory test­ing. All of those af­fected in this out­break to date are Aboriginal peo­ple, and 19 cases are chil­dren un­der 10 years of age. The North­ern Ter­ri­tory health au­thor­i­ties are work­ing closely with their coun­ter­parts in the other ju­ris­dic­tions to mount a co-or­di­nated pub­lic health re­sponse to the out­break. The NT Depart­ment of Health has iden­ti­fied the close con­tacts of these cases and pro­vided ap­pro­pri­ate an­tibi­otics and a vac­cine to min­imise the chance that the or­gan­ism might be passed on to oth­ers. This week a mass vac­ci­na­tion pro­gram is be­ing rolled out in the af­fected re­gions.

THE Gerang Gerung Feed­lot is up for sale.

The Albrecht fam­ily has put the feed­lot and 742-hectare Crim­son­dale Farm at Gerang Gerung, 22km east of Nhill, on the market.

GG Feed­lot is run by Matt Albrecht and owned by his wife Gabrielle La For­gia.

Man­age­ment of the feed­lot has been the cen­tre of con­tro­versy in re­cent years over al­leged non-pay­ment or slow pay­ment of lo­cal farmers for grain.

Mr Albrecht owns the farm in part­ner­ship with his par­ents, Ian and Dianne Albrecht.

Prop­erty con­sul­tant CBRE is the agent for the sale.

CBRE com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Natasha Wal­lis said the Albrecht fam­ily be­lieved it was an ideal time to sell the prop­erty to “cap­i­talise on the strong market con­di­tions” but also al­low­ing them to make a lifestyle change to­wards re­tire­ment.

THE Fed­eral Coali­tion is los­ing ground to La­bor in regional Aus­tralia, with sup­port drop­ping to 34% in the third quar­ter, the lat­est Newspoll shows.

The Gov­ern­ment won the Fed­eral Elec­tion last year with 44% of the pri­mary vote out­side the five cap­i­tal cities, with the poll show­ing a 10% slump.

And de­spite the Gov­ern­ment in­creas­ing its sup­port in NSW, Vic­to­ria and South Aus­tralia, it has not been able to halt the national slide to­wards La­bor, the poll con­ducted ex­clu­sively for The Aus­tralian shows.

La­bor con­tin­ues to lead the Coali­tion 53 to 47% in two-party pre­ferred terms.

Mal­colm Turn­bull con­tin­ues to lead Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten as pre­ferred prime min­is­ter.

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