FORMER federal Opposition leader, Dr John Hewson, will be one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Australian Grains Industry Conference in Melbourne.

Dr Hewson, who famously made the case for a goods and services tax in the early 1990s, will be speaking in his capacity as chair of Bioenergy Australia and will also discuss the politics of climate change.

With the theme “Navigating the Future: Roadmap to 2025” AGIC 2019 is hosted by Grain Trade Australia.

 “We will explore the exciting future of the grains industry, and address some of challenges that will inevitably be faced along the way,” said Grain Trade Australia chief executive Pat O’Shannassy.

“We have an exceptionally innovative program this year, and will cover issues across the grains supply chain, all guided by our strong list of local speakers and international experts who hail from as far afield as China, Indonesia, the United States and the Ukraine.”

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National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson also will be at AGIC to share the organisation’s roadmap to industry growth in her keynote conversation.

“Australian grain growers are amongst the world’s most innovative farmers,” Ms Simson said.

“They are early adopters of technologies that not only boost productivity but protect our environment.

“With grain exports contributing about $17.3bn to our economy each year, the continued success and growth of the grains sector is crucial to agriculture reaching its overall goal of becoming a $100bn industry by 2030.”

Other speakers at the event include Sergey Feofilov (UkrAgro Consult, Ukraine), Shayne Elliott (CEO, ANZ), Franciscus Welirang (chairman, Indonesian Flour Mills Association), Brendan Bourke (CEO, Port of Melbourne), Erik Norland (senior economist, CME Group).

Television and radio presenter Virginia Trioli will also lead a panel discussion on global trade politics with a line-up including Philippa Jones (China Policy), Melissa Conley Tyler (AsiaLink), Ken Eriksen (Agribusiness Intelligence) and Dan Cekander (DC Analysis).

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