Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia conference cancelled

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Adam PoulsenThe West Australian
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The Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia announced it had no choice but to postpone its Towards 2030 conference.
Camera IconThe Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia announced it had no choice but to postpone its Towards 2030 conference. Credit: John Deere

Australia’s biggest machinery conference has been cancelled after Victoria was plunged into another snap lockdown this morning.

The Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia announced it had no choice but to postpone its Towards 2030 conference, which was scheduled to be held in Melbourne on July 20.

Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia executive director Gary Northover said an update was expected in the “next few days”.

“This is of course extremely disappointing given the efforts made by our speakers, sponsors and delegates to try and get this event to happen, but hopefully we can arrive at a date in the not too distant future that will allow people from all states to participate,” Mr Northover said.

The news comes just over a week after the national machinery body announced it would proceed with the event, which was to be livestreamed for those who were stranded in other lockdown-affected states.

Among the key speakers who had signed up were Australian Competitor and Consumer Commission deputy chair Mick Keogh, Victorian Farmers Federation president Emma Germano, Westpac senior economist Justin Smirk, Agriview managing director Alan Kirsten, Costa AgTech and Innovation commercial manager Jesse Reader, and Grain Producers Association chairman Andrew Weidemann.

The Victorian Government announced the lockdown — which took affect at midnight and is the State’s fifth so far — yesterday to curb growing COVID-19 clusters linked to the Sydney outbreak of the Delta variant.

It is expected to last between three and five days.

The fast-moving situation means WA is on the brink of a hard border with the entire eastern seaboard for the first time since January after reimposing travel restrictions on Victoria on Wednesday afternoon.

Victoria was upgraded from “very low risk” to “low risk”, allowing travellers to enter WA provided they are immediately tested, self-isolate for two weeks and then get swabbed again on day 11.

It is anticipated Victoria could be escalated to “medium risk”, in-line with NSW and Queensland, which would effectively reinstate a hard border with 80 per cent of Australia’s population.

There are now more than 120 exposure sites listed in Victoria.

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