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Rural Australia must lead the environmental debate

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Media Release Innovation in Economic Research

Canberra ACT 2601 Facsimile (02) 6272 2001

International code 616

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18 March 1999

Rural Australia must lead the environmental debate

‘Rural Australia needs to become far more aggressivlTfiHaking control of and leading the environmental debate’, Professor John Chudleigh, College Principal from the Orange Agricultural College, said at the OUTLOOK 99 conference in Canberra today.

Speaking at the Leadership challenges for primary industries session , Professor Chudleigh warned, ‘unless agricultural leaders encourage agriculturists to take the lead in the environmental debate, agriculture will remain under pressure from society and governments, and the negative image will continue to dominate much of society’s thinking’.

‘Another challenge is to ensure that young people are not discouraged from a future with a significant growth industry because their families have experienced difficulties in the massive adjustment process affecting agriculture’, he added.

Mr Peter Ryan, CEO, Goulbum Ovens Institute of TAPE said, ‘the challenge for our leaders is to create a clear and simple, long term vision for rural and regional Australia’. He added, ‘economic developments need to be balanced by community and environment requirements in regional areas’.

Mr Ryan stated, ‘regional communities need to manage change and take control of their own future by empowering local communities’.

Mr Michael Carroll, Head of Rural and Agribusiness Markets, National Australia Bank, told the conference, ‘for all primary producers access to good information will be of paramount importance to ensure responsiveness to quickly evolving markets’. He added that, ‘successful businesses will anticipate these changes and maintain dynamic business plans

around a number of possible future scenarios’.

‘Successful producers will need to focus on the adoption of technology that enables them to maximise yields relative to their scarcest resource, water and land’, Mr Carroll added.

Speakers at the session, Leadership challenges for primary industries, were: Jjjgyofessor John Chudleigh, College Principal, Orange Agricultural College; Mr Peter Ryan, CEO, Goulbum OveAs Iristitute o f TAPE;

Mr Mike Carroll, Head o f Agribusiness, National Australia Bank.

For further information contact: During the conference, Margaret Day, OUTLOOK Media Centre on (02) 6276 5242 or 018 487 825

ABARE acknowledges the support of its major O utlook conference partner, Cisco Systems.