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 ABARES Regional Outlook conference - Margaret River, Western Australia

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is hosting the third Regional Outlook conference for 2012 in Margaret River, WA, on Thursday 5 July 2012.

ABARES holds a Regional Outlook conference in each state and the Northern Territory each year, taking its agricultural commodity forecasts and discussions on key issues affecting rural industries to major regional communities.

ABARES Chief Commodities Analyst, Jammie Penm, said the Margaret River conference, hosted in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, is organised around the future of food.

“The Regional Outlook conferences are an essential part of our delivery of commodity forecasts and research results direct to rural and regional communities,” Dr Penm said.

“The conferences engage regional audiences to discuss the key issues affecting the outlook for Australia’s agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries, natural resources, climate and trade.

“Each conference delivers thought-provoking information, from local agricultural data and innovative business practices through to the global commodity overview, while encouraging economic viability, community vitality and environmental sustainability.

“Conference delegates can hear commodity forecasts, discuss industry trends, access information and make new contacts in their community that encourage new approaches to traditional issues.”

The Margaret River conference features a range of local producers, business owners and regional organisations, complemented by ABARES speakers who will speak in four sessions focused on the region.

The opening session Future economies – current perspectives features ABARES Chief Commodities Analyst Jammie Penm discussing National and international issues affecting the region; followed by Justin Smirk from Westpac with A banker’s perspective on future finance.

The next session, Future scenarios – Agrifood 2025+, includes Phil Longmire, Coorong Pastoral speaking on Farm TechWAy –technical solutions to production; Suzanne Daubney, Bannister Downs Dairy with Global supermarket Way –dairy marketing of the future; David Hohnen, The Margaret River Farm Shop discussing Gourmet Way – slow food niche markets and Caroline Gunning-Trant, ABARES on the Commodity outlook and farm performance.

The third session, Future environments and operating contexts, features Glenn Cook of the Bureau of Meteorology with Climate of the south west; Sonya and Michael Harcourt Smith from Kojonolaokan Hills speaking on Following a vision – toward resilient farming and concludes with Keith Bradby from Gondwana Link on Farming, mining and saving Australia’s wildlife. 
The closing panel discussion will explore future rural societies and regional development opportunities. During this discussion, the panellists and delegates will explore topics such as demographic change, agricultural trade and markets in an Asian century, agri-tourism, regional development futures, urban-rural relationships and future producers, labour, skills, foods, industries and technologies.

Panellists include Lucinda Giblett of Stellar Violets, Simon Ambrose representing Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association, Simon Johnson of the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, Nerilee Boshammer from South West Catchments Council, and Brydie Creagh who is a PICSE Ambassador and student at University of Western Australia.

For more information, download the conference program and registration form.

Date: Thursday 5 July 2012
Venue: Australis Margaret River, 78 Wallcliffe Rd, Margaret River, Western Australia.
Time: Registration from 8.30am, conference 9.00am – 5.00pm
Cost: $98pp (inc GST) including conference admission, the current issue of Agricultural Commodities, copies of available speakers’ papers, lunch and morning and afternoon tea.
To register contact: ABARES Conferences on 02 6272 2303/3051, mobile 0408 487 825 or email.

MEDIA NOTE: Media registration is complimentary. For media inquiries contact 02 6272 3232 or email DAFF media. Follow ABARES on Twitter and Facebook.