2016 Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI)

This was the official website for the 2016 Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI). Once the conference was finished the site's domain was allowed to expire. The new owner of the site's domain has chosen to recreate some tccrspi2016conference.com's content from its archived pages thus preserving the information for historical use.



The Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI) is holding its 2016 conference between 27 and 28 April.

CCRSPI is a collaboration between organisations investing in climate change research for primary industries, and hopes to help primary industries adapt to the changing climate while promoting environmental sustainability.

Their conference will bring together key players across the agriculture and food sector, academics and government policy-makers to explore:

  • How climate is driving agribusiness (from various business perspectives including agribusinesses, finance, insurance sector and supply chain);
  • R&D achievements across different sectors and ways the primary industry sector as a whole can learn from these achievements;
  • Climate forecasts and how these are shaping on farm current and future decision making;
  • Possible technologies and how they can be used to help primary industries manage climate risks and opportunities; and
  • How climate is influencing market access for primary industries.

The conference promises to be a valuable discussion on how we are currently responding to climate change and how our primary industries can adapt in the future.



It is with great pleasure that we invite you to be a part of the Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI) 2016 Conference.

CCRSPI 2016 focuses attention on climate resilience within Australia's globally competitive primary industries. We will discuss the drivers for primary industries in relation to climate and draw out insights from influencers in business, the value chain and financial service sector.

The conference will discuss research, development and extension (RD&E) actions that are being undertaken in Australia in the areas of climate risk mitigation and climate adaptation – both of which influence the resilience of primary industries production systems.

CCRSPI 2016 will be an incubator to discuss current and future climate resilience challenges facing primary industries.

We hope to see you at the end of next year in Sydney!

Craig Burns
CCRSPI Secretaria



The Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI) is a collaboration between organisations that invest in climate change research for primary industries.

CCRSPI partners fund and manage research according to the specific needs of their industry and region. However, for primary industries to address the challenges and opportunities arising from climate change, a wide range of research, development and extension is needed.

A comprehensive agenda is beyond the capacity of one investor. Taking a collaborative approach across sectors and regions maximises the value of the collective research investment.

While the program does not invest in research directly, it brings partners together to discuss their research activities and to identify priorities for future investment and collaboration.

CCRSPI is governed by a Research, Development and Extension (RDE) Strategy. Guided by the themes and principles in the Strategy partners continue to work together to:

  • prioritise and direct their research funds on priority climate change research
  • identify key research organisations and specific skills and capacity
  • collaborate on research projects and activities
  • communicate with government and policy makers on key climate change issues facing the primary industries sector


Program Schedule


Day 1 | 27 April 2016
  Topic Speaker
8.00am Conference registrations open  
9.00am Conference opening and introduction Session Chair: Leigh Radford - ABC Rural
  Welcome and Address: Primary Industries striving for climate resilience Daryl Quinlivan - Secretary Australian Government, Department Agriculture and Water Resources

9.20am - 10.00am

Session 1- Climate drives agribusiness

Climate is having a growing impact on national and international business decisions. This session asks business leaders to provide insights into how climate and climate risks drive their decision making approaches.

How do they see climate risks are impacting their business? What are they doing to manage them and what they think might happen in the future?

  Adapting to climate - drivers for expanding or relocating agricultural business Brett McClen - Brown Brothers Wines
  Climate change drivers and influencers along the supply chain TBC
10.00am - 10.40am Morning Tea & Networking
10.40am - 12.00pm Session 1 - Climate drives agribusiness (con't)
  The basis for managing climate risk in multi-national business decisions Jack Holden - Fonterra
  Analysing climate risk in the investment banking and finance sector Nick Wood - Climate Policy Research
  Opportunities to climate risk in the insurance sector Karl Sullivan - Insurance Council of Australia
  Session Summary Session Chair: Leigh Radford - ABC Rural
12.00pm - 1.00pm Lunch & Networking

1.00pm - 2.40pm

Session 2 - Climate innovation yields productive results in a carbon constrained world

Innovation that underpins climate resilience is driving productivity advantages for primary industries. CCRSPI 2016 provides insights on how climate innovation is improving management and creating benefits for farmers.

  Innovations to reduce methane emissions and achieve production benefits Dr Tom Davison - Meat & Livestock Australia
  Strategies for reducing nitrous oxide emissions while maintaining productivity Professor Peter Grace - QLD University of Technology
  Land use impacts on soil carbon stores and opportunities to reduce GHG emissions. Dr Ram Dalal - DSITI
  The science in a farming systems context Prof Richard Eckard - The University of Melbourne & Agriculture Victoria
2.40pm - 3.10pm Afternoon Tea & Networking

3.10pm - 5.00pm

Session 3 -Climate resilience in primary industries

Investing in climate resilience through innovation impacts productivity and environmental outcomes. The conference will give delegates an understanding of the breadth of investment aimed at addressing productivity challenges; it gives an overview of activities to reduce impacts of climate; and describes steps being taken to build increasingly resilient primary industries.

    Session Chair: Michael Bullen - Deputy Director General, DPI Agriculture, NSW Department of Primary Industries
  Applying climate tools and information to manage climate risk for on-farm benefits Jon Welsh - Cotton Info
  Understanding climate variables to improve resilience Dr Yvette Everingham – James Cook University
  Climate resilience: On-farm innovation Peter Salleras - Farmer
  Conference Day 1 concludes
6.30pm Conference cocktail receptionMuseum of Contemporary Art Dr Karl Kruszelnicki
Day 2 | 28 April 2016
  Topic Speaker

9.00am - 10.40am

Session 4 - Better climate forecasts make for better decisions

Weather and climate forecasts are critical for resilient primary industries. CCRSPI 2015 will provide insights into how forecasts are developing and how forecasting tools are being used to manage risk within different sectors of primary industries.

  Climate trends, variability and extreme events Professor David Karoly - University of Melbourne
  Managing climate risks: key on-farm decision points Dr Peter Hayman - SARDI
  Climate forecasting - On farm needs and use for decision making Chris Sounness - Birchip Cropping Group
  Applied seasonal forecasting for a cross sectoral agricultural environment Professor Roger Stone - University of Southern Queensland
10.40am - 11.10am Morning Tea & Networking

11.10am - 12.50am

Session 5 - Technology and innovation

Technology has disrupted the way we obtain and use information. CCRSPI 2016 discusses the implications for Australia’s primary industries - what’s available and what might the future look like?

  Technology and Big Data Mick Keogh - Australian Farm Institute
  Future of Australian Forecasting models Neil Plummer - Bureau of Meteorology
  What novel innovations could be possible to manage climate risks for primary industries? Professor David Lamb - University of New England
  How can information technology play a role in primary industries climate resilience? Mark Pawsey - SST Software
12.50pm - 1.50pm Lunch & Networking

1.50pm - 3.20pm

Session 6 - Market access & climate

Climate resilience is business as usual for primary industries but are customers’ decisions influenced by climate change concerns? And if so, how are they acting? CCRSPI 2016 provides insights on the actions of domestic and international customers of Australian produce.

  How does climate risk impact primary industry sector competitiveness - from farm inputs to consumers? Dr Lilly Lim-Camacho - CSIRO
  Demonstrating emissions targets for Australian Canola to access EU markets Assoc/Prof Ross Kingwell – Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre
  Industry benefits in meeting emissions targets to gain market access Chris Griffin - Dairy Farmer
  Conference Closing statements Leigh Radford - ABC Rural
3.20pm - 4.00pm Afternoon Tea & Networking
4.00pm Conference concludes



  • Ram Dalal

    University of Queensland

    Dr Ram Dalal is a Senior Principal Scientist in the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation and Adjunct Professor in the School of Agriculture and Food Science at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He has contributed significantly to create awareness in the farming, scientific and general community to the seriousness and insidious nature of soil degradation. As a consequence, restorative practices for sustainable land management were developed and promoted. The international nature of the program was demonstrated by the fact that it was part of the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Program. It is now nationally recognized by policy makers and politicians that land degradation and sustainable land management are the national and international priorities. These projects have made significant contribution towards these issues.

    In the last 30 years Dr Dalal has worked towards sustainable land management systems, nitrogen management and soil carbon dynamics and has published over 200 papers and book chapters. He was the co-leader of a soil carbon program in the CRC for Greenhouse Accounting (1999-2006), leader of soil carbon changes following land clearing funded by the Australian Greenhouse Office (1998-2002), and reviewer for the IPCC Good Practice Guidance (2006) for the land sector. He has been a consultant and project research contributor to the International Atomic Energy Agency (2004-2009). Recently, Dr Dalal has led a number of projects on estimating soil carbon stock following land use change from native vegetation to croplands, grazing lands, and management of croplands and grazing lands and rangelands (2009-2012) funded by the Department of Environment and Heritage, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Department of Agriculture, Commonwealth of Australia. He also led the National Soil Carbon Program from 2012 to 2015, funded by the Department of Agriculture. In addition, he has also been involved in estimating nitrous oxide and methane emissions/uptake from different ecosystems including agriculture, grassland, plantation forestry and estuarine/mangrove systems (2000 – 2015).

  • Richard Eckard

    Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre

    Richard is Professor and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre, a joint research initiative between the University of Melbourne and Agriculture Victoria. He is a science advisor to the Australian, New Zealand and UK governments, and the UN FAO, on climate change adaptation, mitigation and policy development in agriculture. His research focuses on reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses and improving nitrogen efficiency in grazing systems, and whole farm systems modelling of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in livestock production.

  • Yvette Everingham

    James Cook University

    Dr Everingham completed her PhD in 1998 on statistical analysis methods for near-infrared spectral data and then commenced a four year term with the CSIRO as a climate impacts scientist. Dr Everingham now holds a position as an Associate Professor in the College of Science, Technology and Engineering and is an Expert Team Leader on Weather and Climate Extremes and Agricultural Industry Needs with the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology in the World Meteorological Organisation. Previous roles included the Associate Dean of Graduate Research Studies (JCU) and Statistical Consultant for the Graduate Research School (JCU). Dr Everingham is dedicated to identifying strategies that will deliver better learning and teaching outcomes in interdisciplinary science education and enhancing the sustainability of agricultural systems to benefit the environment, industries and societies in the Tropics.

  • Mick Keogh

    Australian Farm Institute

    Mick Keogh grew up on a farm in southern NSW. He holds Bachelors and Masters’ degrees in agriculture, both obtained at the University of NSW. His career has included periods of employment as a farm manager, a University researcher, an agribusiness consultant and an agricultural lobbyist and policy advisor.

    In late 2003, he was appointed Executive Director of the Australian Farm Institute, an independent policy research institute that conducts research into strategic policy issues of importance to Australian agriculture. Since that time, Mick has been involved in research into a wide range of issues impacting on the agricultural sector both in Australia and internationally, and has authored a large number of papers and reports on these subjects.

    In 2011, Mick was appointed Chairperson of the Australian Government’s panel which reviewed drought support measures. Mick was also Chairman of the Australian Government’s National Rural Advisory Council from 2012 to 2015.

    Mick is also a member of the Australian Government’s Emission Reduction Assurance Committee, the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship Advisory Council, and the Council of the University of Western Sydney Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment.

    Mick was awarded the Rabobank Australian Rural Leadership award in 2014, and the Order of Australia Medal for services to agriculture in 2015. He remains involved in family farming interests in Southern NSW.

  • Ross Kingwell

    Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC)

    Currently Ross is chief economist in AEGIC (Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre) that is a joint initiative of the WA Department of Agriculture & Food (DAFWA) and the Grains R&D Corporation. He is also a professor in the School of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Western Australia (UWA). He serves on a Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (formerly DAFF) Expert Advisory Panel and chairs the Australian Farm Institute’s research advisory committee. He has been a co-editor of the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, president of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society and is a distinguished fellow of that society. In Noel Fitzpatrick’s book on the history of DAFWA Ross is listed as one of its 50 most historically influential people. Ross’s research interests and expertise are principally in farming systems and industry analysis. A current emphasis in his research is grain supply chains in Australia and its competitor nations.

  • Karl Kruszelnicki

    When NASA classified Karl as non-astronaut material in 1981 he walked straight into ABC Radio station Double J and offered to talk about the Space shuttle launch. They said 'Okay' and his radio career took off from there. 'Great Moments In Science' ran on Double J while Karl moonlighted as a medical student. Since then, his media career has exploded from radio, to TV, books, newspapers, magazines, scripting, professional speaking, and of course, the Net. Karl made his TV debut in 1985 as the presenter of the first series of Quantum.

    Since 1986 he has reported science on the Midday Show, Good Morning Australia (including a full-time stint in 1991-2 as the TV Weatherman and science reporter), the Today Show and Sunrise. Alongside his fellow geek Adam Spencer, he has written and co-produced two series of Sleek Geeks for ABC TV. Karl popularises science on ABC radio stations across Australia and, on the BBC, for several hours each week. Many of you will be familiar with the original talk back programme each Thursday on JJJ from 11am to midday. Karl has written (so far) 36 books, beginning with 'Great Moments In Science' in 1984, and includes such titles as 'It Ain't Necessarily So...'Bro' (2006), which was launched, quite literally, via rocket at Sydney's Bondi Beach (a world first).

    Karl has degrees in Physics and Maths, Biomedical Engineering, Medicine and Surgery and has worked as a physicist, tutor, film-maker, car mechanic, labourer, and as a medical doctor at the Kids' Hospital in Sydney. His enthusiasm for science is totally infectious and no one is better able to convey the excitement and wonder of it all than Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.

  • David Lamb

    University of New England Armidale

    David, a physicist, has worked in the area of Precision Agriculture for 20 years. He was part of the original team who introduced precision viticulture to Australia in the late 1990’s and has worked in ‘precision agriculture’ (PA) since the very first forays into yield mapping technology, airborne video and electromagnetic soil surveys on farms. He established the University of New England’s Precision Agriculture Research Group (UNE-PARG;in 2002) a multidisciplinary team of 15 academic, research and technical staff working on PA sensors and applications across rain-fed and irrigated cropping, livestock and horticulture (including viticulture) enterprises. David leads the university’s SMART Farm project, a 2,900 ha sheep farm showcasing contemporary and future precision agriculture and intelligence-gathering technologies supporting land use and production sustainability. He also heads UNE’s Applied Physics department within the School of Science & Technology and is the Science Director (Agriculture, NRM and Climate Change) for the CRC for Spatial Information.

  • Lilly Lim-Camacho


    Dr Lilly Lim-Camacho is a research scientist focused on encouraging communities and organisations to mitigate and adapt to climate change through communication and engagement. Her research involves assisting multiple stakeholders to understand, plan for and adapt to broad and complex pressures, with a particular focus on multi-sectoral approaches. Her expertise lies in the fields of value chain analysis, stakeholder engagement, climate adaptation, science communication and industry development. She is currently involved in a range of national and international projects aimed at facilitating planning and decision making in the agriculture, food and natural resource management sectors. Lilly champions the application of value chain approaches at CSIRO.

  • Neil Plummer

    Bureau of Meteorology

    Neil Plummer has 30 years' experience in the weather, climate and water 'business'. He has a keen interest in helping governments, industries and communities better manage risks and capture opportunities from weather and climate events.

    Neil has always had a keen interest in ensuring that the benefits from climate information and forecasts flow to end users, and particularly the agricultural community. Listening to, and 'workshopping' with, farmers has always stimulated ideas as well as been a career highlight.

    Neil has been head of Climate Information Services with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology for the last five years. From 1997 to 2001 he was the Bureau's Climate Data Manager before leading its National Climate Centre in 2002. In 2008 he shifted into the world of hydrology as Manager Extended Hydrological Prediction. Neil has held positions on various World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expert teams and management committees and has been a coordinating author with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He currently chairs the Bureau's board for the 'Climate and Ocean Support Program in the Pacific'.

  • Peter Salleras

    Fruit Forest Farm

    Peter Salleras has been passionate about commercial tropical exotic tree fruit growing for about 35 years. He served as chairman of the main industry body (Rambutan and Tropical Exotics Growers Association) and marketing group (FNQ Rambutan Marketing Group) when the industry had its peak number of growers. Two big cyclones (category 4 Cyclone Larry 2006 and category 5 Cyclone Yasi 2011) decimated the main tropical exotic production area and there is now no grower representative body or marketing group.

    Peter and wife Alison pioneered trellising tropical tree fruits after Cyclone Larry (2006) and the system proved itself and saved their business when less than 5 years later they were hit by the eye of Cyclone Yasi, which hit far sooner than the next extreme weather event would have historically been expected.

    Peter and Alison’s ‘Fruit Forest Farm’ is renowned for supplying a broad range of tropical exotic tree fruits of consistent quality, which achieve top market prices. Increasing interest in the farm from visitors, media and celebrity chefs over the years, and the opportunity to involve their children, has prompted Peter and Alison to start “Fruit Forest Farm “ tours which showcase cultivated fruits, rainforest and sustainable, resilient land management.

    Peter is very excited and optimistic about the future of tropical exotic tree fruits and continues to innovate with best practice methods and varietal selections on 220 acre ‘Fruit Forest Farm’, situated between Tully and Mission Beach in tropical North Queensland, Australia.

An Update:

Now that the amendments to the Australian Narcotic Drugs Act will allow cannabis to be legally grown for medical and scientific purposes for the first time across the entire country of Australia, one hopes to see an expert in the medical marijuana revolution at the next conference. However, we must remember that while cannabis plants can now be legally grown in Australia, it is unclear when the plants will be ready for use by prescription-carrying patients. Regulations still need to be put into place and production licenses need to be applied for before production can actually begin. Dr. Ralph Hanson briefly mentioned this in his presentation and we spoke with him afterward. Hanson is known for his affinity to Batman and as he did today, he often wears a Batman t shirt when speaking of climate issues. He told us that Batman represents a code of honor and determination in the face of overwhelming odds that is germane to the struggle to address climate change. When asked about his sartorial choice, he said, "This is not about jacket and tie elitism - you can buy Batman apparel online. I happen to have a favorite source, but we want to be accessible to everyone, and when Batman has your back, you really can't complain. And no marijuana plays no role in my decisions." Now you know. We'll try to keep you updated on any new developments in the steps towards  the full legalization of marijuana.


  • Chris Sounness

    Birchip Cropping Group

    Chris Sounness is CEO of BCG. He has spent twenty years at the development and extension end of getting innovation and research on farm. He grew up on a family farm in WA. Since 1992 he has worked in the Wimmera Mallee. Firstly in Private Breeding Canola research and then a long stint in the Government Agricultural department working with farmers and their advisers to increase uptake of agricultural research particularly through building farmers’ knowledge and skills in agronomy and seasonal climate risk. The underpinning of Chris’s communication is always tying back to the principal that the family farm is business and to be successful needs to ensure that in season decision making is about cash flow management, land purchasing is about capital management but underpinning all of this is the realisation that the family component of the family farm is time management and ensuring expectations are shared. In the next few years of precision agriculture, the data it creates and the utilisation in decision making both on farm and all along the supply chain is going to lead to many exciting changes. What they are and how disruptive they will be is in our hands.

  • Jon Welsh

    Cotton Info

    Jon Welsh is currently a technical specialist at Cotton Info based in Narrabri. Jon is the project lead of the cotton industry’s participation in the Australian Government’s extension and outreach grant under the Emissions Reduction Fund. Prior to this, Jon completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics at the University of New England and worked in a family farming business specialising in livestock and cereal production in central-west NSW. Jon’s area of expertise in the cotton industry covers economic feasibility of practices changes on farm leading to both improved environmental and economic outcomes. These include a number of case studies involving renewable energy, ground water irrigation technologies and nitrogen fertiliser use. Extension on climate forecasting and grower risk management, overall crop nutrition and natural resource management also feature in Jon’s cotton industry project portfolio.

  • Nick Wood

    Climate Policy Research

    Nick Wood is the Director of the consultancy Climate Policy Research and is a self-confessed “problem hound”. After completing a Doctorate in Nuclear Reactor Technology and Post-Doctoral Research in Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Leeds, Nick went on to work on some of the most complex and rewarding aspects of climate policy, both mitigation and adaptation for UK companies and Government.

    Nick joined the Sydney based Sustainability team of a big four global accountancy firm in 2008 and initially worked on assisting Australian business prepare for the (eventual) introduction of the carbon price mechanism in 2012. Subsequently, Nick worked on highly complex audits of the greenhouse gas emission data, developed carbon strategies and carried out analysis of the financial risks from a changing climate. Nick established Climate Policy Research in September 2014 to explore the great business opportunities emerging as Australian companies start to develop their capabilities to identify and manage the financial risks associated with a changing climate.

    Nick is currently working on a range of projects focused on climate policy including the development of a short course on climate change and corporate governance for company directors, and the analysis of the financial impacts from climate events in property investment funds. Nick is also still actively involved in the auditing of the greenhouse gas emission data as an external member of the Clean Energy Regulator’s Auditor Performance Advisory Committee.