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 ABARES Regional Outlook conference - Toowoomba, Queensland

5 October 2012

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), in collaboration with Nuffield Australia Farming Scholars, will host the Queensland Regional Outlook conference in Toowoomba on Thursday, 25 October 2012.

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

ABARES Executive Director, Paul Morris, said the Toowoomba conference has been tailored to the region and will be valuable for anyone wishing to access the latest economic and scientific data and information for decision makers in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors.

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

“Open to everyone, 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.

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

“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 Toowoomba Regional Outlook conference features a range of local producers, business owners and regional organisations, complemented by ABARES speakers in four sessions focused on the region.

The first session, Global economy – local impacts features ABARES Jammie Penm, discussing National and international issues affecting the region, followed by Mark Bennett from ANZ, with World agribusiness – finance and risk from a banker’s perspective.

The second session, Expanding agricultural productivity and markets, includes ABARES Peter Collins, with the Commodity outlook and farm performance; Georgie Somerset of ‘My Yon’ in Kingaroy, discussing Productivity and people – opportunity and outlook; Jeff Sabburg, Bureau of Meteorology, on Water and land – for agriculture and natural resource management and concludes with Peter Hart, GrainHart, on Driving success along cotton and grain supply chains.

During the third session - Agriculture and energy – a changing environment - delegates will hear from Origin Energy’s Ronald Thompson, with Being on both sides of the fence on CSG and RIRDC Rural Women’s Award 2012 winner for Queensland, Annette Smith from Taylor Byrne, speaking on Building capacity to avoid land use conflict. The session concludes with Ruth Armstrong from Yanco Farms, on Two industries, one place – can agriculture and CSG co-exist? 

The closing panel discussion will explore Innovation, design and invention in regional Australia and is facilitated by agricultural scientist and judge from ABC TV’s New Inventors, Chris Russell.

Panellists will explore topics such as the current context for innovation, national broadband network, role of science, experimentation and design, future producers, regional development, future industries, new technologies, the digital economy and social media.

Panellists include Stephanie Sinclair, EnviroAg Australia; Ed Evans, Safer Gate Group; Matt Schultz, Ipswich City Council; Jonathan Roberts, CSIRO Autonomous Systems Laboratory and Jane Weatherley from Meat & Livestock Australia.

For more information, download the conference program and registration form at Regional Outlook conferences.