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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE FOR THE 2014 CONFERENCE

The 36th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists will be held at Jupiters Hotel on Broadbeach Island in the heart of the Gold Coast from the 29 April to 1 May 2014. Jupiters has one of the largest convention spaces of any hotel in Australia and is ideally suited a conference the size of ASSCT. The convention space is sufficiently large to accommodate our technical sessions along with the Industry Equipment Exhibition that is a valued part of ASSCT. In addition, Jupiters Hotel is large enough to house all of our conference delegates.

The Conference theme is "Delivering knowledge, skills and technology". We aim to define ASSCT’s place in the Australian and global sugar industry and to reflect on the benefits that attendance at ASSCT can bring. ASSCT provides a once-a-year capacity-building opportunity for our industry participants to reconnect with the rest of the industry, to build contacts within the industry and to immerse ourselves in the latest developments and innovations. It is one of the few occasions when our growers, harvesters and millers can interact with our suppliers, research organisations and universities, when the end-users can provide feedback to the goods and service providers and provide focus to research, development and extension efforts.

This year, we want to remind delegates that ASSCT’s value comes from each delegate sharing their ideas and innovations. If 300 delegates each share one idea, each delegate gets 299 ideas back for their idea investment. I’d be surprised if each delegate could not get value from at least one of the 299 ideas to justify their participation. This year, we are providing extra avenues and encouragement for presentation of ideas. We are offering a $50 discount on registration fees for first authors of papers. We are also changing the way poster papers are presented to give poster authors more attention and a greater audience. In addition to the traditional papers and posters, we are offering Exhibitors an opportunity to give short presentations in break-out rooms during the breaks between sessions.

Defined by its spectacular beaches, hinterland ranges, forests, waterways and vibrant communities, the Gold Coast is the sixth largest city in Australia and one of the fastest growing regions in our country. This is the first ASSCT conference since the Tweed Heads conference of 1989 to be held in the Gold Coast region.

An excellent Partner’s Program is being arranged by my wife, Karen, and her Committee. The Gold Coast offers an abundance of attractions and plans are in place to sample what the Coast’s waterways and hinterland have to offer. Jupiters sits within easy reach of a large array of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues, available to all delegates.

My Executive and I look forward to welcoming members, Conference visitors, Industry Equipment Exhibition participants, and accompanying partners to the Gold Coast for what we know will be a stimulating and exciting 36th ASSCT Conference. Hope to see you there.

INTERNATIONAL VISITORS TO AUSTRALIA

All visitors to Australia must have a valid visa before boarding their plane regardless of the length of stay.

For the best possible chance of obtaining a visa to travel to Australia to attend an event, you should:

1/ Determine which visa you should apply for.
2/ Apply for your visa at least 6–8 weeks before your intended date of travel to Australia (or 2 weeks for online applications) as visa processing times may vary.
3/ Consider Australia's health and character requirements, which you will have to meet as part of the visa application process.
4/ If you are not from an eVisitor or ETA eligible country, ensure you obtain a confirmation of your registration, or a letter of invitation, to attach to your paper-based visa application.
5/ Lodge paper-based visa applications at the Australian visa office nearest to your current country of residence.

For information on how and where to apply for a visa to Australia, please click here to go to the Australian Government, Department of Immigration website.



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