Brisbane, 26–27 June 2019


Agriculture’s changing risk exposure and management options was the focus for the Australian Farm Institute’s 2019 mid-year conference. The event was held at the Stamford Plaza in Brisbane over Wednesday and Thursday, 26–27 June, with a conference dinner on Wednesday evening.

Farming in Australia has always been a risky proposition. The ability to manage risk well is one of the key attributes of successful farms and agribusinesses. In the absence of significant government support and a limited range of commercial risk mitigation products, risk management continues to threaten the Australian agriculture sector’s profitability and international competitiveness.

Additionally, the nature of risk is constantly changing – and the pace of that change is accelerating. The impacts of climate change are exacerbating the complexity of risk management both directly and indirectly throughout agricultural supply chains.

How will the Australian agricultural industry mitigate the significantly increased range of risks facing the sector? The two-day conference featured sessions discussing:

  • A changing climate – What will the new agricultural environment look like?
  • Adaptable farming systems – Are our systems adapting at the pace of change? 
  • A climate of trust – Is community trust in agriculture a new climate risk?
  • Ag’s sustainable future 
  • Climate risk and farm business – How will a new risk environment impact the business of farming? 
  • Changing biosecurity frontiers – How will climate change alter our biosecurity exposure?
  • Managing water resources – What water management strategies are needed as the climate changes?



A changing climate

– What will the new agricultural environment look like?

Australia is a large country with many different productive environments from the tropical north to the temperate south. Climate change will impact on these environments in different ways with different levels of severity. Which areas will experience the most disruptive change, and are there any where change will be positive for productivity? 

Adaptable farming systems

– Are our systems adapting at the pace of change?

Australian agriculture has always been exposed to highly variable climatic conditions. Farming systems have evolved to deal with this variability, but are they evolving fast enough to remain productive and globally competitive in the face of accelerating change? What farming system changes will be needed to cope with predicted changes to the productive agricultural environment?

A climate of trust

– Is community trust in agriculture a new climate risk?  

The changing climate is introducing new risks to agriculture that are not confined to the productive environment. From ethical investment to community trust issues about sustainable practices and produce, community perceptions of agriculture's impact on climate create potential for disruptive change. What can farm businesses do about this?   

Climate risk and farm business

– How will a new risk environment impact the business of farming?

Climate change will impact agricultural productivity and practices from the farm gate to the global market. How will climate change impact geo-political factors which impact on demand for Australian agricultural exports? What business adaptations are required at the farm level? How will climate change impact agricultural investment?

Changing biosecurity frontiers

– How will climate change alter our biosecurity exposure?

A changing climate exposes crops and animals to new disease and pest risks. These risks are amplified as geographical shifts in production are necessitated by changing climatic zones. Will a changed climate lead to new or increased biosecurity risks and does Australia have the systems in place to anticipate and mitigate these risks? 

Managing water resources

– What water management strategies are needed as the climate changes?

Water policy has for many years been a contentious issue for Australian agriculture. As rainfall becomes more uncertain, the challenge of distributing water resources for the benefit of all Australians becomes more difficult. Do the current policy settings for managing water resources reflect predicted climate impacts and what changes are being made to make Australian agriculture even more water efficient?


Margo Andrae, CEO, Cattle Council

Lucinda Corrigan, Chair, Farmers for Climate Action

Wendy Craik, Senior Associate, Aither

Chantal Donnelly, Unit Head, Water Resources Modelling, Bureau of Meterology

Tony Eyres, Special Advisor, Agriculture and Food, Pottinger

Peter Hayman, Principal Scientist Climate Applications, SARDI

Dr Zvi Hochman, Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO

Dr. Neal Hughes, Senior Economist, ABARES​​​​​​​

Alison Larard, Finance, economics and beef business specialist

Dr Jo Luck, Program Director, Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative

Tony Mahar, CEO, National Farmers Federation 

Ian McConnel, Global Commodity Leader, Beef, World Wildlife Fund

Fiona McCredie, National Policy Manager, GrainGrowers

Claire Osborn Booth, Booth Agriculture

Brigid Price, Founder, Rural Resources Online; organic beef producer

Georgie Somerset, President, AgForce

Karin Stark, Manager Govt Relations & Marketing, ReAqua

Travis Tobin, CEO, Queensland Farmers Federation

Andrew Watson, Brigadoon Pastoral



Venue information

Stamford Plaza Brisbane – Corner of Margaret & Edward Streets, Brisbane, QLD 4000 Australia

How to get there

You can book flights to Brisbane here. The Stamford Plaza Brisbane is located 18.5 kilometres from the airport, taking roughly 25–40 minutes by taxi.

Coachtrans or Con-x-ion Coaches offer regular transfers to and from the Brisbane Domestic, Brisbane International, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast Airports. 

The Air train has stations branching off both the International and Domestic Terminals. The closest stop to the hotel is Central Station which is a 15 minute walk from the hotel. Exit the station onto Edward Street and you will find the Stamford Plaza at the bottom of Edward Street, on the corner of Edward and Margaret Streets.

Where to stay

Stamford Plaza Brisbane – Corner of Margaret & Edward Streets, Brisbane, QLD 4000 Australia – phone: (07) 3221 1999

Discounted rates on accommodation are available for conference attendees, by booking online at (10% off the best available standard rate at the time the booking is made).

The Stamford Plaza Brisbane hotel is known for its unique location and second-to-none hospitality. The hotel boasts a well-equipped modern gymnasium, heated pool, spa and sauna.

While in Brisbane

There is so much to discover in Brisbane. As the capital of the Sunshine State, Brisbane is blessed with idyllic subtropical weather all year round. With award-winning food and wine, a jam-packed events calendar, adventurous activities, scenic getaways and plenty to explore all over the city,

To get more information, go to Visit Brisbane.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact AFI's Events Officer, Kylie Smith.




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