Rural Succession and Continuity Roadshow – Day 3 – Rockhampton and the long march home

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Today was the last day of our roadshow through Central Queensland. I learned a few things while I have been away. These include:

  • horses need to be vaccinated for Hendra virus every six months or vets won’t treat them;
  • you can do a three-point turn in an Embraer E190 Jet;
  • Telstra obviously forgot to roll out any telecommunications infrastructure anywhere near the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s conference centre in Rockhampton; and
  • always read the fine print when checking in online for your flight.

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Our session today in Rockhampton was the smallest of the three sessions we have presented so far. However, in terms of some the questions that were raised by participants, the small-group atmosphere seemed to allow people to open up more than some of the largest sessions.

Today we were joined by Lex and Janet Lawrie, the parents of Peter Lawrie. Lex and Janet had become well known to some of us not only through their work with RCS but also for those of us who had for the last two days seen the DVD presentation with commentary by Simone and Peter.

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Belinda from Entello Group facilitating a discussion with one of the “younger generation” groups

Claudia Power’s facilitated exercise seemed to resonate with the participants. We had an almost equal number of older and younger generations in the room. Again a number of the concerns discussed in the small groups were very similar to those discussed in both Emerald and Biloela. The whiteboard pictures seem to have some common topics. These include financial security, family harmony, and having a vision for the future.

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One of the topics that was discussed in some detail during the panel session was not only financial security but the security of assets in the event of a marriage breakdown occurring. From the discussion, it was clear that the older generation are quite concerned about the consequences that might arise if there is a marriage breakdown and what that might do in terms of putting the assets of both generations at risk.

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Simone and Peter Lawrie helping one of the groups determine their most important concerns.

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Frank Ricci from Entello Group

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience working with RCS, Entello Group, the Lawries, and my colleague Kylie Wilson.

It is quite clear to me that RCS have a passion for facilitating rural succession planning and their tagline of “empowering people” could not be truer.

Frank, Tony, and Belinda from Entello Group also have a passion for ensuring that families consider the importance of building off farm assets to assist in succession planning and to ensure that both generations have a diverse range of options when looking at their future financial security.

As always, Kylie’s knowledge of succession, taxation, and stamp duty laws and the logistics of putting into effect succession plans prior to the death of members of a generation is invaluable. It certainly makes me want to rethink some of the tactical aspects of what I do.

As I mentioned above, I have learned a lot from my interactions with my fellow presenters and also from the participants during the roadshow.

Kylie and I were both having conniptions at one point when we realised that we needed internet access to enable Kylie to display her presentation and yet being in a large provincial city we had no access to 4G broadband. We were all shaking our heads at the fact that we had better Internet access in Biloela then we did in Rockhampton. After much gnashing of teeth, standing on one leg holding up a 4G hotspot, and Tony’s threats to go and find a coat hanger to use as an aerial, we managed to get some limited 3G connectivity via Kylie’s phone.

It was likely that the sugar fix in the form of some fantastic goodies from Simone’s bakery in Rockhampton, Artisan gluten-free bakery saved our sanity.

As Confucius apparently said, “every journey begins with a single step”. My journey home was nothing if not slightly eventful. After having realised that the airport was in the opposite direction of travel to what he first thought, my cab driver finally got me there.

Thankfully the lovely staff at Virgin were able to get me onto my flight even though it had closed.

My ride home was a far bigger jet, an Embraer E190.

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As I mentioned above, it was necessary for the pilots to do a three-point turn to have sufficient runway to take off. The distance required for an E190 to take off at maximum takeoff weight is a shade over 2 km. I have no idea how long the runway at Rockhampton is but it was necessary for the pilots to enter and backtrack on the runway to have enough distance to take off.

Anyway I am home now in Toowoomba after having received a warm welcome from my family and lots of daddy  cuddles. Time for bed and to prepare for what awaits me in terms of my inbox and the Federal Circuit Court sittings tomorrow.

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On the taxi way – looking for more runway

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