PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE FOR THE 2015 CONFERENCE
The 37th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists will be held in Bundaberg next year, from the 28th to 30th April 2015. The conference venues (Moncrieff Theatre, Anglican Parish Hall and the Bundaberg Regional Council Civic Centre) are centrally located and adjacent to each other. Some motels are within walking distance and a bus pick up will also be available along Bourbong and Takalvan Streets. This year we will also run a bus to Bargara for any delegates who may choose to stay there.
The Conference theme is “Promoting Australian innovation and technology”. The Australian sugar industry has a long history of innovation and for many years Australia was regarded as the technology leader of the global sugar industry. In more recent years sugar production in Australia has declined while there has been rapid development of some Asian and South American sugar producers. So where does Australia stand now? Are we still innovators? Do we still have a technology edge?
Our keynote speakers will be Professor Peter Rein and Mr. Chris Norris. Peter is the author of the latest “Cane Sugar Engineering” handbook and has extensive experience in the African sugar industry and internationally as a consultant. He was Professor and Head of the Audubon Sugar Institute, Louisiana State University, USA from 2000 to 2007. Chris Norris has over 35 years’ experience in improving agricultural mechanisation systems, as well as an extensive understanding of agricultural processes which has been developed over decades of involvement in R&D projects.
Peter will present a brief history of sugar processing technology and review the current status of sugar technology development across the world’s sugar industries. He will give us some insights into where Australia is positioned and where he sees that sugar technology development is headed.
Chris’ presentation will have a similar theme. He will review the history and the state of the art of cane growing, harvesting and agricultural engineering of sugar producers around the world. He will discuss how Australia ranks compared to other producers and where he sees the industry going from here.
The annual ASSCT conference is Australia’s premier sugar technology forum and great opportunity for sugar producers, farmers, millers and researchers to discover the latest developments and innovations in sugar technology. The primary objectives of the ASSCT have always been:
• to promote discussions of sugar cane and cane sugar technology of interest to the Australian Sugar Industry by means of annual conferences, and
• to promote the investigations of problems concerning the production of cane sugar.
Authors and presenters will benefit from the recognition and professional development that come with publishing a paper in the ASSCT proceedings. For researchers, the conference provides a most effective means of disseminating R&D results out to the sugar industry on the ground. The Industry Equipment Exhibition provides an avenue for suppliers to the sugar industry to display their latest developments and to network with their customers and clients.
The Bundaberg region is located in the heart of a rich sugar and horticultural belt supported by a growing manufacturing sector centred on the picturesque Burnett River. The Bundaberg region has much to offer visitors, the area lays claim to the internationally renowned Mon Repos Turtle Rookery, Bundaberg Rum, and the famous aviator Bert Hinkler. Visitors can also relax at the beachside town of Bargara which boasts a thriving foreshore recreational business district, combining retail and service outlets and numerous restaurants and cafes.
An excellent Partner’s Program is being arranged by my wife, Kim, and her Committee. Partners will tour many of Bundaberg’s local attractions including a cruise of the Burnett River on-board the historic Bundy Belle. They will enjoy the gourmet offering of local produce at some of Bundy’s finest restaurants and of course there will be plenty of time for some retail therapy.
My Executive and I look forward to welcoming members, Conference visitors, Industry Equipment Exhibition participants, and accompanying partners to Bundaberg for what we expect will be a stimulating and informative 37th ASSCT Conference. Hope to see you there.