• Header


It is 87 years since Australian sugarcane technologists first gathered in 1929 in Mackay, to share their findings on the sugarcane crop and sugar manufacture. Since then, Australia has been a leading country in the development and delivery of valued information and methodologies.

The 39th ASSCT conference will be held in Cairns 3-5 May 2017 at the Pullman Cairns International Hotel - continuing the tradition of providing a valuable industry technology forum. A difference for 2017 will be the initiation of ‘Sugar week’ – a week of sugarcane-related activities. In 2017 this will comprise a single industry information day (Tuesday 2 May; devoted to training, demonstration of new technologies and sharing of useful information) plus the conference (3-5 May) which will remain the pinnacle of the week. It is hoped that Sugar week will continue to develop, providing greater opportunity for industry technologists and industry personnel to interact in areas not directly related to the reporting of research results. An information day exploits the opportunity provided by the gathering of leading technologists from around the country - and promises to provide an even better value proposition for those attending the conference.

There are many threats facing our industry; accordingly, sessions in the 39th conference will be themed to reflect these; topics included are: YCS, water quality, soil quality (health) and productivity. Each session will feature keynote speakers, plus papers from invited key researchers and extension staff. The presentations promise to be stimulating, solid, engaging and relevant.

The conference theme is ‘Our vision, our future’. So many aspects of research and development rely on industry possessing a clear vision for the future – goalposts for researchers to aim for. What are our long-term industry goalposts? The keynote paper will be presented by Alistair Mowat, who has provided leadership to the kiwifruit industry in New Zealand – leading to breakthroughs in production and marketing. A follow-up paper on areas where vision is needed in our industry will be presented by Dr Peter Allsopp. A visit to Cairns in May next year will not only get you thinking, but offers a thoroughly enjoyable time. With many tourist activities on offer, plus a spectacular environment, it only remains for visitors to find something that whets their appetite.

An excellent Partner’s Program is being arranged by Catherine Guernieri and her team. Participants will enjoy great tourist experiences, plus Cairns lovely restaurants, cafes and shopping facilities.

We warmly invite you to share the Cairns ASSCT experience in May 2017 – with ASSCT members, visitors, sponsors, industry equipment exhibitors, and accompanying partners contributing to what promises to be a great ‘Sugar’ week.


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

For the bes possible chance of obtaining a Visa to travel to Australia to attend our conference, you should:

1. Determine which visa you should apply for, more information available here.

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.  More information available here.

4. If you are not from a eVisior 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.

Lodge paper-based Visa applications at the Australian Visa Office nearest to your current country of residence.