Home' The River News : December 3rd 2014 Contents 12 - The River News, Wednesday, December 3, 2014
THE Riverland – in
particular its wine industry
is a “massive winner” from
the recent free trade agreement
(FTA) with China.
The historic deal has sparked
hope of spectacular market growth
for Riverland wine, and a return
to prosperous times for struggling
Under the agreement, tariffs on
wine exports to China will be cut
by 14-20 per cent over the next four
years, making Australian wines
price-competitive with product
from New Zealand and Chile,
which already enjoy FTA deals
Australia’s FTA was welcomed
by Member for Barker Tony Pasin,
who said Chile was seeing the
benefits of increased access to
China, with a “seven-fold increase
in (wine) exports since concluding
its free trade agreement”.
“The China free trade agree-
ment is the biggest thing to happen
to Australian agriculture since
Federation,” Mr Pasin said.
Riverland Winegrape Growers’
Association chief executive Chris
Byrne said the FTA was “great
news for many of this region’s
“Certainly it is good news for
our winegrowers and winemak-
ers,” he said.
“We are confident these new
trading arrangements will gener-
ate sustainable and substantial
pull through for our wines.”
Mr Byrne said the FTA follows
years of work from Riverland
growers to make their industry
more sustainable, including im-
proving farm management practic-
es, rehabilitating irrigation infra-
structure, improving processing,
and working closer with industry
bodies and government.
“We have excellent access to
markets and a strategic plan that
identifies market growth for Riv-
erland wine as one of the key path-
ways back to prosperity,” he said.
Mr Pasin said the FTA would
add billions of dollars to the Aus-
tralian economy and create “tens
of thousands of jobs in coming
“Barker is a massive winner
from the China FTA with beef,
sheep meat, dairy, wine, horticul-
ture and seafood all set to enjoy the
substantial benefits of this deal,”
“More than 85 per cent of Aus-
tralian goods exports (by value)
will be tariff free upon commence-
ment of the agreement, rising to 93
per cent within four years.”
Winemakers’ Federation of
Australia president Tony D’Aloisio
said the agreement was a signifi-
cant and welcome breakthrough.
Growers who lodged ex-
pressions of interest (EOIs)
in October for funding under
the SARMS Program Round 2
should have received advice
of their success or otherwise
Those deemed to comply
with the guidelines and to have
made competitive bids have
been invited to proceed to
Stage 2 and to prepare detailed
applications by 5pm on Friday,
January 9, 2015.
This closing date has been
extended from Friday, Decem-
ber 19, in response to requests
from applicants and service
providers assisting with the
details, and to ensure adequate
due diligence has been under-
taken to mitigate against future
The SARMS regional support
officers (RSOs) are very aware
that applicants whose EOIs
have been deemed unsuccess-
ful may be disappointed.
The outcomes of these as-
sessments are outlined in let-
ters to applicants from Primary
Industries and Regions SA.
An RSO will contact each of
the unsuccessful applicants to
provide further clarification on
the EOI process.
However, the RSOs’ inde-
pendence from the assessment
process means they will be
unable to provide any additional
specific information relating
to individual assessment deci-
In other SARMS develop-
ments the project management
team has also advised that, as
a result of the withdrawal of a
number of Round 1 applicants,
some of the (disappointed)
applicants on the Round 1
reserves list were called up
and offers have been extended
with funding from the Round 1
As a footnote, the Commu-
nity and Industry Engagement
Reference Group (CIERG) con-
vened for the first time yester-
This group will provide in-
sight and intelligence on com-
munity and industry reaction to
the delivery of strategic direc-
tion of SARMS programs.
Riverland Wine members
are urged to provide SARMS
feedback to this organisation
regarding any aspect of the
SARMS program to ensure
CIERG and PIRSA management
are well positioned to assess
progress and make adjust-
ments to this once-in-a-lifetime
funding opportunity for the
Water Allocation Plans
(WAPs) are a dry topic.
Most of the community roll their
eyes, look the other way and
hope someone else will give
the plan the third degree, iron
out the wrinkles and declare it
is good to go and everyone’s a
Unfortunately, that is not
quite the way it goes or flows.
It is difficult to find winners.
Water is a diminishing resource
in this part of the planet, where
populations are sneaking up,
environments are demanding
protection and food, wine, and
fibre production are considered
(by most) to be the essential
elements of a good life.
Following months of prepa-
ration with key stakeholder
groups and the River Murray
Advisory Committee, and fol-
lowing an internal departmental
review, the SAMDB NRM Board
released the draft WAP for the
River Murray Prescribed Water-
course for community consulta-
tion on Tuesday, November 25.
The consultation period will
extend until February 27.
The board is urging all stake-
holders to familiarise them-
selves with the WAP and pro-
vide feedback in the form of
For those who are unaware,
the River Murray Prescribed
Watercourse is the River Murray
from the Victorian border, en-
compassing Lakes Alexandrina
and Albert, portions of Currency
Creek and the Finniss, Angas
and Bremer rivers.
If you are still awake and
reading this, you will likely
agree that it is a dry topic.
So, who is going to read the
WAP, do the analysis and write
a submission to the board?
To make it easy, the board is
taking the WAP on a roadshow.
If you are keen to see it, be
at the Berri Bowling Club on
Riverview Drive on Tuesday,
December 9, at 12.30pm.
The roadshow will kick off
with a barbecue. Riverland
Wine members are key stake-
holders, so make a date to be
The presentation will be
repeated the following day at
Murray Bridge and again at
Goolwa on Thursday, Decem-
For those who are keen, do
some homework before the
event. Drum up on the WAP and
check the fact sheets.
QUAD BIKE RESEARCH
Do you work in agriculture in
South Australia and ride a quad
bike for work purposes?
If the answer is ‘yes’, the
Centre for Automotive Safety
Research (CARS) at the Univer-
sity of Adelaide will appreciate
your assistance, and your input
may save a life or crippling
Quad bikes play an impor-
tant role in agriculture, but in
recent years the number of
deaths and injuries associated
with their use has increased.
CARS is conducting a re-
search project into the use of
quad bikes in South Australia,
and would like to talk to you
about your experiences riding a
quad bike as part of the study.
This will involve a short in-
terview at a place that is conve-
nient for you.
CARS is happy to visit your
property for the interview.
For more details, download
the information sheet (http://
If you would like to partici-
pate in this important study
or would like further details,
contact the Centre for Automo-
tive Safety Research at the
University of Adelaide via phone
(1800 043678, toll free) or
Free trade win
OPINION BY STUART ANDREW, MEMBER OF
THE RIVER MURRAY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
AND WINE GRAPE COUNCIL OF SA
SINCE the drought broke in 2007/08,
Riverlanders would have been aware of the
fact that, in addition to enormous sums on
an unused desalination plant (over $2 billion),
our State Government (and our media) has
been preoccupied with salinity levels in the
That preoccupation has culminated in a pro-
posal to further reduce the salinity in Lake Albert
by a process called ‘lake cycling’.
It means using a significant quantity of water
to raise and lower the levels between Lake Alexan-
drina and Lake Albert.
When choices have to be made in dry times
between ‘lake cycling’ and making water available
for upstream irrigators, I suspect that we will not
get a look in.
Above Lock 1 there are approximately 35,000ha
of irrigated land, and the Riverland is where the
majority of irrigators live.
The great ethicist Jeremy Bentham said that
government was about “doing the greatest good for
the greatest number”.
There are five irrigators using Lake Albert.
I have long sensed a level of aggression directed
at Riverland irrigators and a rather cavalier ap-
proach to the water rights they purchased.
The State Government seems terribly troubled
about the environment of the lower lakes and
other curiosities such as ‘cultural water’, but there
is little concern for the ongoing security of River-
land towns. I know this from my own experience
as a member of a ministerial advisory committee.
Irrigators in the Riverland know that half of the
state’s water entitlement is lost to evaporation off
Lakes Alexandrina and Albert. The price we pay for
that is maintaining those lakes as freshwater lakes.
‘Lake cycling’ is certain to threaten the liveli-
hoods of Riverland irrigators.
There has long been an engineering solution –
a weir at Wellington – but not the political will to
embrace it. Our rulers, terrified of offending the
‘green religion’ that has gripped the land, have
opted for touchy-feely cant and prevarication. It’s
time for some balance and ethical government.
Why so obsessed
with lower lakes?
WITH herbicide resistance
an increasing problem across
the southern cropping region,
grain growers are being
urged to get on top of the
issue at harvest as part of a
sustainable approach to weed
University of Adelaide weed
management expert Chris Pres-
ton said herbicide resistance had
eroded many of farmers’ chemi-
cal in-crop weed control options,
placing more emphasis on what
they do before and after plants
are in the ground.
With that in mind, Dr Preston
said starting to tackle seed set
at harvest was a good way of
leading into a long-term strategy
of methodically tackling weeds
through pre-emergent herbicides
and depleting seed banks.
“If you don’t stop seed set,
you don’t make any headway,”
“Managing seed set is crucial
for managing herbicide resistant
In 2014/15, Dr Preston and his
team are investigating a range
of emerging herbicide resistance
issues in the southern cropping
region with support from the
Grains Research and Develop-
The GRDC’s comprehensive
Summer Fallow Weed Manage-
ment manual is available for
viewing and downloading via the
GRDC website (www.grdc.com.
lowWeedManagement) or hard
copies can be ordered through
the GRDC’s Ground Cover Direct
(free phone 1800 11 00 44 or email
The GRDC has also produced
an updated Pre-Harvest Herbi-
cide Use factsheet which is now
available online (www.grdc.com.
Further information on effec-
tive weed control is available at
the GRDC’s new Integrated Weed
Management Hub (www.grdc.
com.au/IWMhub), and grow-
ers can find the latest weed re-
search and management advice
on the WeedSmart website (www.
The GRDC website (www.grdc.
com.au) also has more informa-
tion on herbicide resistance and
management options, along with
guidance on pre-emergent herbi-
cide application, via online fact
To view a video interview
with Dr Preston on herbicide re-
sistance measures, visit: http://
expert Dr Chris
harvest can be
an ideal time
Links Archive November 26th 2014 December 10th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page