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NORTH QLD REGISTER | Ambitious plan for new Beef style conference for grains industry

THE GRAINS sector would hold an industry-wide super-conference each year to bring all components of the industry together in a form similar to the Beef event in Rockhampton under an ambitious new Grain Producers Australia plan.

GPA chief executive Colin Bettles called for the Federal Government to support the establishment of a marquee event for the industry similar to the huge Beef event, which he said attracted a whopper crowd of 115,866 people last year, as well as generating an estimated $92 million for the greater Rockhampton region.

"We want to set up an event which is globally recognised that showcases all that is great about our industry," Mr Bettles said.

He said attracting growers would be a key focus in creating a new event.

"We're really keen to attract growers from across the country to a really big event, there isn't anything in that space at present, we have lots of smaller events but nothing that brings growers across the country together."

Mr Bettles said he was open to working with the organisers of current grain conferences such as the Australian Grains Industry Conference, which caters primarily to the trade, to see if they could work together.

He said he would expect to see government support given there was an ongoing commitment to fund the Beef event.

"The grains industry generates billions for the national economy and we see this as a great way of promoting our sector."

Mr Bettles said a good starting point could be funding for a scoping study looking at the number of current events within the grains industry which could be consolidated into one major, national forum.

He said at present GPA did not have a preferred location for the event saying that was something that could be worked through if it was decided to pursue the idea of a national conference further.


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