ProNet National Conference – 29th, 30th & 31st August 2018

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The next ProNet National Conference will be held on 29th, 30th & 31st August 2018 at Barnbougle, Bridport, Tasmania.

Please RSVP before the 1st August.


Book Now

We are super excited because this year’s event is being held at Barnbougle in Bridport Tasmania and the Tassie team always look forward to hosting you in their home state.

This program is packed with all the things you have been requesting from us and it is going to be a great event!  The full program is attached and a summary is provided below.

The Tour

We will be completing a loop in the North East of Tassie in the Dorest council region.  Departing Barnbougle we will stop at a new dairy conversion that is being managed along side beef and sheep enterprises.  Then we continue on to the largest Rhubarb producer in Australia, for a look at growing and marketing a niche product.  Next stop is Rhu Bru, where a business has been created from the ‘seconds’ and unwanted parts of rhubarb.

We will also have lunch at this stop.  Then we hope to visit Scottsdale Pork, which is a free range pork producer who recently moved into branding and selling their own products. Our last stop is the Little Rivers Brewing Co, a microbrewery which is kicking big goals, after a tour we can sample some produce before heading back to Barnbougle.


After all that touring we will be hungry, so we have a 3 course dinner planned at The Dunes Clubhouse.

On night 2 we head to The Lost Farm Restaurant for another amazing 3 course dinner, because when you are in Tassie it is ‘all about the food’!

The Conference

This year sees the return of the commodity market updates from Mecardo’s Robert Hermann and the global market trends from Morgans, locals Jon Pitt and Phil Hutton.

Neville Brady is keen for a round of golf and if we can keep him off the course long enough he will provide a workshop on:

  • The four root causes of a team’s/group’s underperformance
  • How to increase morale and commitment through reporting.
  • When recruiting staff why you shouldn’t put much credence on first impressions.
  • How to have a crucial conversation.
  • Ensuring we don’t adopt a ‘Parent/Child’ approach to staff management even when you’re a parent working with a child. (The difference between being a ‘dad’/‘mum’ and being a ‘parent’)
  • An easy (and simple) action to increase motivation, productivity and reduce ‘rework’

Following on from that some of our wonderful clients will participate in a panel to share their experiences in bringing the next generation into the family business and the highs and lows of succession.

On day 2 Dr Darryl Cross will return to share his insights on how to maintain mental healthiness in stressful times.  You will then get to meet the newest member of the ProAdvice team, Ben Leditschke, who will talk all things digital in farming. And finally, Jane Bennett founder of Ashgrove Cheese will cover the secrets to telling and selling a story when it comes to food.

The Venue & Accommodation

As mentioned the venue is Barnbougle, there are several different accommodation options for you to choose from, so please call the venue on 03 6356 0094 or email to book your room, and mention the ProAdvice conference.

And of course if these options don’t suit your needs, you are more them welcome to jump online and search for accommodation options in Bridport.  There are loads of bnb’s to choose from in the costal town.  Do keep in mind that if you choose to stay in town, you will need to find your own way to and from Barnbougle.

Conference Expenses

The attached Conference Registration Form outlines the costs for attendance, please complete the online form and we will issue you an invoice for payment to secure your place.  You are to cover your own accommodation and external catering costs.

After reading all of this we hope you are as excited as we are about this year’s event, please book now by completing the booking form attached or the web form here.

If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to give Jane a call 03 5244 8888.

Look forward to seeing you in Tassie soon.


Capitalising on Rainfall at Cavendish

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Point Vale

Ross & Colleen Lomas will lamb 3700 ewes this year at Point Vale, located east of Cavendish at the bottom of the Victoria Valley.

They operate with a deferred grazing system with approximately 90 paddocks on 1000 ha. Key points of the production system include:

  • Large mobs of sheep grazing small paddocks for a short period of time. Recovery period for the pasture is up to 90 days depending on pasture growth
  • Low input system with the primary supplement being trace elements.
  • Ground cover is left to allow an insulation effect on the soil, and to help increase organic matter and protect seedling pasture at the beginning of the season
  • Merino ewes are joined to a cross bred for a first cross lamb. Replacements are bought in, keeping the farming system very simple
  • Fencing is 3-5 wire electric, with attention to ensuring each grazing cell has excellent watering facilities.
  • Excellent sheep handling facilities, allowing for ease of operation and minimal stress on livestock.

Historically, Ross & Colleen managed a high input, high stocking rate system and made the change to a low input regime in 2008, following the dry years of 2006 and 2007.

They recently expanded their farm beyond the area above and are currently converting that land to cater for deferred grazing.

As the current season gets away to a slow start, they have ceased providing any supplementary feeding with enough paddock feed to support ewes on the point of lambing.


Photo taken one week post 26mm of rain in April 2018, whilst the previous photo was taken at the same location in early April prior to the rainfall event.



Trusts – Generally Discretionary from James Nott

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Many years ago someone said to me …”if you go to a conference and you learn one important facet then the conference was certainly a worthwhile event.”
I recently attended the 2017 Tax Institute “Tax Intensive Conference” and I think I did a little better than this…. on saying that I will outline just one important matter raised regarding Trusts.

Trusts were very rarely created for conducting a business (including primary production) until the 1970’s and 1980’s. They originated in the middle ages in the UK and of course have long existed for investment purposes in many countries.
Australia is one of a very few countries where trusts are permitted to carry on business.

Unlike a company, a Trust must have an end date (the vesting date), except those formed in South Australia, and generally have a life of around 80 years. This rule is to stop the testator effectively “ruling from the grave”. The important point to note is that many early trusts were settled with only a 30 or 40 year life. This means that many of the them are now coming to an end.

Some of them were pre-CGT trusts, (Capital Gains Tax) also some families kept the life of the Trust relatively short as it was thought that generation change should lead to the end of a Trust. As a Trust comes to an end, CGT has to be considered. CGT event E5 means that a capital gain may be made if a beneficiary becomes entitled to an asset and the market value is more than its cost base.

The speaker on this subject mentioned that many trusts are passing the vesting date, without anyone being aware of this important date. It may be possible to extend the vesting date, depending on whether the deed allows it. If it does, action must be taken before the vesting date shown in the deed. This is according to the ATO although the ruling is disputed by some lawyers.

Last point, READ THE DEED.



Claiming your Maserati Expenses from Lachlan Polkinghorne

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Do you wish to purchase a Maserati and claim the expenses as an allowable deduction?

Recently, an optimistic taxpayer set out to make a claim for his expenses incurred as owner of a cool Maserati.  How might this play out in the world of taxation?
It is common ground that there must be a nexus between expenditure, and the gaining or producing of assessable income. It is also common ground that travel between home and work does not have the requisite connection with assessable income.
The good news is that you the taxpayer can claim a deduction for the cost of travel between two places of work, provided that in both locations you the taxpayer engage in activities to gain or produce assessable income.
But, you must also obey the rules for recording of work related motor vehicle expenses. These include keeping a logbook, claiming on a per kilometre basis, estimating business use percentage. Remember that the taxpayer must be able to substantiate car expense claims.

What happened to the Maserati owner?   He missed out, as he misled the Tribunal as to the garaging of the car, was found to have constructed his logbook in hindsight, and tried to claim to and from work as a deduction.

So, it doesn’t matter whether you drive a Maserati, or one of the last Holdens to be made in Australia.  Following the rules is the key!