Meet 5 Agribusiness experts sharing their best tax tips

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Despite natural disasters, variability in commodity prices and markets and general economic challenges, Australia’s primary producers are keeping the country running. The financial, tax and legal practitioners who back them up need to stay on top of news and updates, developing legislation and changing guidance, in order to give the best possible advice.

That’s where the 2021 Agribusiness Intensive comes in. This two-day event delves into the key tax issues arising from ongoing primary production business transactions. This year’s program includes a line-up of some of the leading voices from around the space, offering insights and analysis that helps you get better client outcomes.

We’ve caught up with two stand-alone session presenters and three expert panel members to bring you a sneak peak of what the event has in store.

AmandaAmanda Tolson, Clifford Gouldson Lawyers

Session 10: Primary production land and improvements

Thursday 10 June 2021, 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am a lawyer and director/owner at Clifford Gouldson Lawyers, heading up our firm’s Commercial + Property team. Since starting my legal practice in McCullough Robertson’s Property team, I have almost 15 years’ experience in the property and commercial space, with a large part of my work in the agribusiness sector.

What will readers learn from your session?

Attendees can get a refresher on the legal concepts that underpin a number of important tax issues relevant to landowners and primary production businesses, including the nature of land tenure in Queensland, why choosing carefully between leases and licences is important and overall, why documenting arrangements in creation to the use of primary production land is important. Tom will particularly focus on capital improvements.

While Tom will provide technical insights into the tax issues, I hope that delegates will find the ‘back to basics’ legal principles I will cover generally useful in their own business or advising their clients.

What do you do on your days off?

Ironically enough, despite living inland, my husband and I are keen (but still beginner) scuba divers and otherwise, I enjoy running which is a useful skill to help me keep up with my three young children!


3-Jun-01-2021-01-42-01-43-AMTroy Whelan, ATO

Session 6: Primary production and tax governance – Engagement with the ATO

Thursday 10 June 2021, 9:00am – 10:00am

Tell us a bit about yourself

I have been the Queensland Regional Director of Private Group Engagements for the Australian Tax Office since 2018. My past roles include leading the National Criminal Investigation capability which led to several well-known national tax prosecutions and Aggressive Tax Planning. I was also the ATO National Property and Construction Risk manager prior to this current position. My passion in these roles is creating partnerships and focusing on prevention and awareness to bring about systemic change in the community and tax profession, such as developing the Head Contractors profiles for the property and construction industry.

I enjoy time with my family, caravanning and camping throughout Queensland as well as cycling and trekking when possible.

Give us a snapshot of your session

My session will provide insight into the ATO’s approach to the Private Wealth Segment reflecting on engagement programs, advice processes and other Agribusiness issues to the advisors and delegates present.

Given a large number of agricultural-connected businesses fall within the Private Wealth and small business segment, it will provide some insight into the approaches we adopt in engaging with clients.

Attendees will also be made aware of the kind of risks we look at in Private wealth and the help that is available for drought, bushfire and COVID-19 impacted taxpayers.


Meet the expert panel

Session 5: Natural disasters and financial challenges of being a primary producer

Wednesday 9 June 2021, 2:15pm – 4:45pm

In this illuminating panel session, gain resources to assist your primary production clients to manage the many financial and climate influenced challenges that they face. Meet three of our expert panellists below.


SelenaSelena Gomersall, Outback Futures

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am a psychologist who has been working with rural and remote communities for ten years now, and have loved the richness it has added to my perspectives on life, people and who we are as ‘Australia. My professional career has covered many contexts and opportunities, but working to shift long term health and wellbeing outcomes alongside our rural and remote populations has been a highlight time of challenge and reward.

What insights will you be sharing?

Attendees can expect to get a glimpse into three areas:

  1. The impact of drought, flood and disaster on primary producers
  2. What is mental health and how is it relevant to financial stability and capability
  3. Who is Outback Futures, what do they offer in this space and why?

My presentation will hopefully give attendees an insight into the pivotal role mental health plays in their clients’ abilities to engage with financial discussion, planning and strategy. They will also take away a few key pointers around what they can be looking for in their clients if things aren’t going well, and where to point them for help.


1-Jun-01-2021-01-42-01-40-AMVern Ezzy, Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA)

Tell us about your background and experience with agribusiness

I have extensive agribusiness lending and operational experience across a wide geographic area and several industries including beef, broadacre farming, irrigation, grain, horticulture, diary, pork, poultry, sugar cane, sheep and wool production.

I am passionate about rural and regional communities and how I can continue to meet their needs in an ever-changing business environment.

What insights will you be sharing?

How the current QRIDA Programs can assist Primary Producers to enter the Rural sector, improve sustainability and recover from Natural Disasters.

What do you do on your days off?

Explore this wonderful country we live in.


2-Jun-01-2021-01-42-01-47-AMDaniel Elder, Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA)

Who is Daniel Elder?

Daniel is the Manager of QRIDA’s Farm Debt Restructure Office, a scheme the State Government established in 2018 to proactively address farm debt issues. Daniel’s background is in rural and commercial lending having worked in commercial and public sectors over the past 14 years. His passion for rural business was developed growing up on a small beef property near Chinchilla and working in the local horticultural industries.

What key questions will you aim to answer?

  1. What do the Farm Debt Restructure Office and Farm Business Debt Mediation programs do, and what are they trying to achieve?
  2. What has been going on in this space since legislation in 2017?
  3. How do these programs support your clients and your relationship?
  4. What ongoing support can you offer to a client that has gone through the program?

What benefits does the session have for primary producers?

It will:

  1. Help them come to a realisation of their situation and assist them to articulate what they do and how they do it.
  2. Bring an independent voice, opinion, and strategy to address issues of financial difficulty.

Interested? Find out more about the 2021 Agribusiness Intensive today.

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