Newsletter of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Inc.

Volume 16, Number 3, December 2004



President’s Column
AARES 2005 Annual Conference
AARES 2005 Pre-Conference Workshop
Contact Details for Office Bearers and Central Office
Deadline and Advertising


By Jeff Bennett


The AARES Annual Symposium, held in Auckland in October was a first rate event. The presentations, focused on the theme of Frontiers in Resource Management, were excellent, the venue overlooking Auckland Harbour was inspiring and the organization was flawless. I’d like to extend a vote of thanks on behalf of AARES to Frank Scrimgeour, Geoff Kerr and Pamela Kaval for making the event such a success and maintaining the strong record of AARES events and to Waikato University, Lincoln University and the New Zealand Treasury for their sponsorship.

Whilst in New Zealand for the Symposium, I took the opportunity to talk with New Zealand members both in Auckland and Christchurch about the prospects for closer ties across the Tasman. A number of positive outcomes have emerged from those talks. Most significantly, there is now a better understanding of the structural relationships between AARES and NZARES. Whilst NZARES is registered as a separate entity in New Zealand, it constitutes the New Zealand Branch of AARES. Its separate registration apparently came about due to requirements under New Zealand law. However, as a separate entity, the NZARES has evolved to having members who are not AARES members. There are also members of AARES who have also joined NZARES. Frank Scrimgeour, who is currently President of the NZARES, will shortly be writing to his members to inform them of this state of play. My hope is that given the extra benefits that are provided for AARES members, those who are currently members of the NZARES alone will decide that the extra costs of joining AARES are worth bearing.

There is significant goodwill around the table when these matters are being discussed and it is my view that the potential for mutual benefits arising from a closer integration of the profession across Australia and New Zealand are certainly worth pursuing. The Auckland Symposium provided ample evidence of that assertion!

The Federal Council met on the day prior to the Symposium. In what was a long day, a number of key developments for the Society were debated and I am pleased to say that important headway was made.

First, I’m pleased to report that the contract between AARES and Blackwells for the publication of the Journal for the next three years has been signed. The agreement with Blackwells includes the introduction of web-based management of papers. It is expected that this will significantly streamline the tasks involved in editing the Journal and to provide authors with a speedier and more responsive system.

Federal Council was also very pleased with the progress being made by Gary Griffith and Bob Farquharson on delivering the 49th Annual AARES Conference. A strong programme of speakers is being assembled by President-elect, Deb Peterson, and I’m sure that everyone is looking forward to visiting the venue in Coffs Harbour. It was certainly difficult to keep the minds of Federal Council members on the job once Gary had distributed some promotional material from the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort.

Much of the Federal Council meeting was devoted to matters pertaining to the Society’s schedule of activities in 2006 – primarily the organization of the International Association of Agricultural Economists Conference. Members will recall that AARES is in the final stages of negotiating with the International Association to host this event. Whilst the official Memorandum of Understanding covering the event is yet to be signed by either party, Federal Council decided to establish formally an Australian Local Organising Committee in order to make sure we stay ahead of the game. I’m delighted to inform you that Julian Alston and Phil Pardy have agreed to jointly chair that committee. Mal Wegener, who has made such a valuable contribution to the formulation of this event has agreed to take on the role of Deputy Chair with responsibilities for those tasks that require “on the spot” attention. I have also written letters of invitation to other prospective members of the ALOC and am confident that we can assemble a mix of people who are well equipped to put together a Conference that will be a showcase of the profession “down under”. Should you wish to take an active role in the preparations for the IAAE conference, please let me know at Jeff.Bennett.

The last few months have seen more positive developments for the Society. I believe we can look forward with confidence to the AARES continuing to provide a focal point in the region for our profession. That positive outlook grows from the hard work of members who are willing to step forward to offer their services to the collective of their fellow members. One person who has done just that is Tracy Henderson, the editor of News and Views. However, Tracy has found that other demands on her time mean that she will have to step down from that role at the 2005 Annual General Meeting. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Tracy for her terrific efforts in putting together this publication.

Tracy’s departure means its time for someone else to step forward to take her place. I’m hoping that we receive lots of expressions of interest in response to the advertisement for News and Views Editor. It’s a great way to establish a professional network!

Liz Petersen, our erstwhile Society Secretary, has also indicated her desire to step down from that position at the up-coming February Annual General Meeting. Liz has been extremely generous in giving of her time to the Society over the last few years. Her services in keeping the Federal Council on track have been highly valued and we will miss her inputs. The Society will need to find a replacement Federal Secretary so, again, if there are any volunteers, please let me know.

Best wishes
Jeff Bennett


9-11 February 2005, Coffs Harbour NSW


Information about the AARES 2005 Annual Conference and Pre-Conference Workshops is available on the AARES website - Simply click on the link to “AARES 2005 Conference” for the latest information.



Trade Policy Reform and Agriculture: Prospects, Strategies, Implications

8 February 2005, Coffs Harbour NSW

International trade policy at home and abroad is crucial to the future prosperity of Australia’s resources based industries, and the rural sector. Trade and trade policy are the subjects of recent and ongoing bilateral and multilateral negotiations in which Australia has vital interests.

Agricultural trade is disproportionately important in trade disputes and trade agreements among nations. Issues with respect to agricultural trade were central to the recent controversial Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the United States, and in other bilateral and multilateral agreements to which Australia or her trading partners are signatories. And agriculture will be critically important in the current Doha round of WTO negotiations, in particular given the enhanced engagement of developing countries in the WTO for the current round.

Given the importance and timing of these issues, the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) is conducting a workshop entitled Trade Policy Reform and Agriculture: Prospects, Strategies, Implications, to be held at the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort, Coffs Harbour, 8.15am-5.30pm Tuesday 8 February 2005. The workshop is being held in conjunction with the 2005 AARES Annual Conference, 9-11 February at the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort.

At the workshop, leading agricultural trade economists from Australia and around the world will provide their perspectives on the multilateral World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations on the Agreement on Agriculture, and related issues, as they will affect Australian agriculture. In the first session, three speakers Tim Josling, Kym Anderson and Brian Fisher will provide their perspectives on the prospects for the round, and the agricultural component of the round in particular. The second session will address some specific agricultural issues, including market access, domestic support and export subsidies. Speakers will be Harry de Gorter (Cornell), John Beghin (Iowa State) and Chris Phillips (Dairy Australia).  The third session will be concerned with bilateral and multilateral agreements with speakers from Australia, China, and Europe who will provide different perspectives from their experiences in trade agreements.  The final session will address the links between trade policy and farm adjustment, and policies that might be used within countries to facilitate trade reform.

Copies of the registration form can be obtained from the AARES website:

The fee for the workshop is A$200 for AARES members and A$250 for non-members (includes registration for the workshop, lunch, morning & afternoon tea). Student discounts are also available.

Further information on registration can be obtained by contacting All Occasions Management on phone +61 8 8354 2285 or fax +61 8 8354 1456 or email AARES



AJARE Call for Papers – Special Issue on “The Economics of Water”

The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics is calling for papers for a special issue on “The Economics of Water”.

The editors call for submission of papers on aspects of the economics of water with relevance to Australia and New Zealand for potential inclusion in a special issue of the Journal.

Any aspect of the economics of water is potentially relevant, including:

·        Developments and innovations in water policy

·        Pricing of water

·        Water conservation

·        Changes in water quality

·        Use and management of water, including water for irrigation, domestic and industrial use

·        Environmental water allocation and other allocation issues

·        Implications of climate change and variability for water resources

·        Economics of additional dams, diversion of rivers, water recycling

·        Valuation of alternative water uses

·        Reviews of water issues

All papers will be subject to double blind refereeing. See authors guidelines on the Journal’s home page at Manuscripts should be submitted in electronic form to Georgina Nunn, ajare.

Submissions to the Journal on these topics are welcomed at all times, but papers for inclusion in the Special Issue should be received by 30 June 2005.


Call for expressions of interest – Editor, AARES News and Views

AARES are calling for expressions of interest in the position of Editor, AARES News and Views, commencing February 2005.  AARES News and Views is the national electronic newsletter for the Society and is currently published on the AARES website three times per annum.  The purpose of AARES News and Views is to disseminate information from AARES to over 700 AARES members and other interested individuals and institutions.  The key duties of Editor, AARES News and Views are to source and edit articles of interest to the AARES membership, and coordinate with the AARES Web Manager to ensure AARES News and Views is published in a timely manner on the AARES website.  Tracy Henderson has held the position of Editor of AARES News and Views since 2001, and she is happy to discuss the key duties and benefits of the position with interested persons.  Please direct any queries about the position to Tracy Henderson, ph 07 3210 0495, email thenderson.  Please direct your expression of interest in the position to the AARES Secretary, Liz Petersen, ph (08) 9332 8310, email: liz.petersen.  All expressions of interest should include (1) the name and contact details of the nominator, (2) the name and contact details of the nominee, and (3) a statement by the nominee indicating he/she accepts the nomination.


New Book – What’s Economics Worth? Valuing Policy Research

The book What's Economics Worth? Valuing Policy Research, published by Johns Hopkins University Press for IFPRI, examines what economists do and how to think about valuing their work. The authors believe that careful and thorough economics research focusing on growth and the needs of the poor has tremendous potential to impact the policy process and benefit the lives of people throughout the global community. It is an excellent collection of papers for academics, policymakers, research institutions, and others interested in the value of economics research and analysis. For more information, visit




Jeff Bennett
Phone: (02) 6125 0154
Fax: (02) 6125 8448

Email:  jeff.bennett


Liz Petersen
Phone/Fax: (08) 9332 8310
Email: liz.petersen

Mal Wegener
Phone: (07) 3365 2939
Fax: (07) 3365 9016 
Email: malcolm.wegener

Manager: Promotion and Development 
Lili Pechey
Phone: (02) 6272 2046

Fax: (02) 6272 2318

Email: LPechey


Web Manager
Felicity Flugge
Phone: (08) 9368 3134
Fax: (08) 9367 4265
Email: fflugge

Editor: AARES News & Views
Tracy Henderson
Phone: (07) 3210 0495
Fax: (07) 3210 0506
Email: thenderson


Editors: AJARE
Chris O’Donnell
Phone: (02) 6773 2815
Fax: (02) 6773 3607
Email: codonnel

John Mullen
Phone: (02) 6391 3608
Fax: (02) 6391 3650
Email: john.mullen

Manager: AARES Central Office 

Annie Hurst

AARES Central Office

Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government

JG Crawford Building


Canberra  ACT  0200

Phone: (02) 6125 6564

Fax: (02) 6125 8448

Email: aares





The deadline for receipt of any items for inclusion in the next edition of AARES News & Views is Friday 25 February 2005. Please send items to Annie Hurst at the Central Office: aares.


Advertisements in AARES News and Views are welcomed. The mailing list for News & Views exceeds 700. Advertising cost is $55 (including GST). Enquiries to LPechey.