Home' The River News : February 4th 2015 Contents 10 - The River News, Wednesday, February 4, 2015
opportunities for students
in primary production
Riverland Wine is a proud sup-
porter of the Primary Industry Centre
for Science Education (PICSE).
This is a national program that focuses
on connecting science teachers and
students with science based primary
industries and career paths.
GrowSmart's Trevor Noble man-
ages the local branch of PICSE
from the Loxton Research Centre.
Science education officers, all science
teachers, deliver the program at activ-
ity centres in Darwin, Brisbane, Sydney,
Canberra, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and
The program has an annual cycle
consisting of six phases, all of which are
1. An illustrated presentation is made
to year 11/12 science classes, showing
cutting-edge research and the impor-
tance of science to primary industry. This
presentation was given at all Riverland
high schools in 2014 to 250 senior sci-
2. Selected senior students partici-
pate in a five-day camp which highlights
the career and research opportunities
for university science students in the
primary industry sector. This year the
camp was held from November 24
to 28 and included two days in the
Riverland, visiting Century Orchards,
AgriExchange, Calperum Station, Bio-
logical Services and Banrock Station.
There were 51 applicants from across
the state for the program (a record), from
which 21 participants were selected.
3. Year 11/12 students are
placed with an individual industry for
five days, under an Industry Place-
ment Scholarship program. This will
take place in the first part of 2015.
Selected teachers work with industry
scientists and university researchers
to provide an annual national science
4. Phase 4 consists of a two-day
program of professional development for
teachers, exposing current research and
highlighting the relevance of classroom
science to industry. This was held on
December 8-9 in 2014.
5. Science and Engineering Investiga-
tion Awards (SEIAs) presentation days
are convened, in which members of the
scientific and local communities judge
the students' investigations. In 2014 over
100 students from four Riverland primary
schools and three Riverland high schools
entered the SEIAs. The Riverland judging
day was held in August at the Peace Hall
The top entries from each school
were selected as finalists and were
judged at the Royal Adelaide Show.
PICSE acknowledges the generous spon-
sorship of the program by Riverland Wine
in 2014. "We have been very grateful for
this support, which has enabled us to
continue with the program in the River-
land region," Trevor said.
If you or a student you know is in-
terested in science log on to the PICSE
website and find out more or call Trevor
on (08) 8584 5147.
Are you getting value for
your R&D levy?
Would you pay for a meal at the pub,
but then walk out without eating it?
Would you buy a heap of fertiliser, but
then leave it in the shed and not use it?
The above scenarios are simi-
lar to what is happening with much
of the effort being directed through
the Riverland Viticulture Technical
Group (RVTG) in the investment of
regional research and development
(R&D) funds that come to the region.
$2 from every tonne of wine grapes
produced by growers across the nation
is collected as a compulsory R&D levy,
which is in turn matched by the federal
A wise man once pointed out: "There
is nothing that a grower does in their
vineyard -- whether it is spraying, fertilis-
ing, pruning or whatever -- that has not
been improved through R&D."
The RVTG has been active in the past
months, finalising the current submission
for another round of projects that will re-
invest part of this R&D levy into projects
that benefit and help growers across the
Some may be familiar with these
activities in the form of spray field
days such as those held in recent
times at Kingston Estate's vineyards.
Others may be aware of Know Your Num-
bers, a web-based business tool.
This, in particular, has had rave
reviews from growers who have used it.
Yet it seems that the uptake of many
of these tools, as helpful as they can be,
is low; attendance at field days has been
okay, but not what would be possible in
a region with over 1000 grape growers.
This is despite the continued hard
times in the industry and ongoing chal-
lenges for all industry participants to
make a dollar. This is confusing. After all,
it is your grower levies that pay for the
organising of field days and the trialling
of different management techniques,
the development of grower tools and fact
sheets through the compulsory R&D levy.
You may as well use them to see if they
give you a benefit.
WET rebate debate
The Wine Equalisation Tax (WET)
rebate has become a very hot potato in
The rebate's original purpose was
to assist small/medium winemakers to
stay in business, thereby encouraging
diversity in wine styles and helping to
generate employment in regional com-
munities, primarily through tourism
through increased cellar doors.
Its purpose was not to reward New
Zealand producers who export wine to
Australia or foreign entities that trade
from Australian stock, nor was it intended
to apply to bulk wine transactions.
The WET was first introduced as part
of negotiations to get GST through the
Senate in July 2000. It provided for a
rebate on tax paid of up to $300,000
on cellar door and mail order sales.
Since then the rebate has been ex-
panded several times, including to
New Zealand producers who export to
Australia!The threshold has also been
raised to $500,000. There has been
much debate among the industry peak
bodies as to whether the rebate is good
or bad for the industry.
Riverland Wine is present-
ly developing a position paper to be
clear about what this region's grow-
ers and winemakers think and
what form any reform should take.
Member for Barker, in eastern South
Australia, Tony Pasin has entered the
debate saying the rebate is more like a
subsidy, and scrapping it would save the
government millions of dollars, as well as
helping Australian winemakers.
He said recently, under the current
system, some New Zealand winemakers
selling wine in Australia are eligible for
a rebate on the Wine Equalisation Tax.
He says this is hurting the local industry,
especially in warm inland regions like the
Riverland in South Australia, Sunraysia
in north-west Victoria and the Riverina
"The subsidy is inherently unfair,"
Mr Pasin said. "It's akin to playing the
All Blacks or the Silver Ferns with one
hand tied behind our backs. We wouldn't
put up with it on the sporting field, and
we shouldn't have to put up with it in
LOCALS in the
fishing sectors are
encouraged to apply
for a grants program
Applications for the
South Australian Mur-
ray-Darling Basin Natu-
ral Resources Manage-
ment Board (SAMDB
NRM) Agricultural and
Fishing Innovation Small
Grants program close
The program aims to
help the agricultural and
fishing sectors adopt in-
novative practises, and
is jointly funded through
the SAMDB NRM Levy
and the Australian
al Landcare Program
The grants are open to
primary producers, fish-
ers, groups, non-govern-
ment and non-for-profit
institutions and busi-
nesses working in the
agricultural or fishing
Applications close on
February 19 at 5pm.
The River News would
like to wish this week's Little
Nipper, Ethan Schmidt, a
very happy birthday.
Ethan turned three
Other Little Nippers celebrat-
ing birthdays this week are
Will Hawke, Lukas Gelston,
Chelsea and Brayden Helbig
and Gurveer Kaur.
once in each
To solve a sudoku puzzle, ﬁll the
empty cells with the numbers 1 to 9
Solution No. 337
Level of Difﬁculty:
FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY
February 2015 --- Week 1
you down a new
path. Tread with
There will be
obstacles. A glimmer
of hope keeps a
friend going. Be
there for them.
Once broken, trust is
hard to regain. Make
sure what you are
about to do will be
worth it, Aquarius.
begins. Look to a
pro for advice.
Poor Pisces. You did
all that you could,
but it did not work
out. Better luck next
time. A senior's
recovery is nothing
short of a miracle.
Celebrate the good
Get ready to shine,
Aries. The spotlight
will soon be on you.
at home do not
go unnoticed. The
mood lifts, and all is
right with the world
Hang in there,
Taurus. Help is
on the way. Party
by the handful.
Accept them all.
You deserve a little
fun now and then. A
date draws near.
You're a generous
soul. People take
note and will bless
you time and time
are questioned at a
meeting. Stand firm.
Look out, Cancer.
Trouble is brewing
at home, and if you
aren't careful, you
could be pulled into
the thick of things. A
breach in confidence
is no reason to
Believe in the
for the stars and that
which you hope for
will come true, Leo.
There is more to an
inquiry than meets
Hopes are dashed
with a cut in funding,
but there is no
reason to despair,
Virgo. A new source
of revenue will soon
be made available.
an addition. Take
everyone out to
celebrate, Libra. A
Could have, would
have, should have.
Time to let go of
regrets and focus on
what's ahead. You
know better now,
Scorpio. It will not
you are not, but it
might be in your
best interest to
become one this
The answer to that
nagging problem is
Solution to No. 631
4. Shoots; twigs
7. Splinter group
9. Sweep with a
14. Australian diva
15. Duty registers
16. Wispy clouds
17. Cricket e.g.
23. Liquid measure
28. Type of comedy
3. Limbless reptile
7. Writing implement
8. Beatles song
12. Rack for
17. Actress, ... Loren
19. Perish from hunger
24. Biblical you
PESTO H BUSTS
ELITE V SPOON
THESE C SASSY
MENSA S SHIES
PARED B FLAIR
POSER E SETUP
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