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The River News, Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 5
Hard copies of the Riverland Wine
Strategic Plan were mailed to all
members last week.
At the same time, the association
has received advice from two large
wine grapegrowers that they will not be
continuing in the industry. Bulldozers
are being organised.
Despite their own best efforts and
those of this organisation to address
the challenges of being profitable,
sustainable growers, they have made
the call against continuing.
Their collective contribution to the
regional economy and community over
the past decade has amounted to more
than $12 million at the farm gate.
They have invested heavily to
become highly productive and efﬁcient
Both have expressed strong regrets,
but have also commented that they
cannot continue to manage the risks
and uncertainties. It is time to consider
As indicated at the AGM when the
plan was released, the document itself
does not offer solutions.
The plan says: "Strategic planning
is a disciplined effort that produces
fundamental decisions and actions
that shape and guide what an
organisation is, who it serves, what
it does and why it does it with a focus
on the future."
The two growers who made the
tough calls last week have done just
that at the enterprise level.
It takes discipline and courage to
make such fundamental decisions.
As many others who have left the
industry in recent years will attest, the
decision to change directions has in
most cases served as a turning point
and an opportunity for new beginnings
--- but it is not easy.
Riverland Wine regrets the loss of
two of the region's most committed
producers, but applauds them for their
The management committees of
the RWGA and RWIDC are hopeful that
all members will take the time to read
the new plan in detail, to offer feedback
via phone calls, emails and regional
meetings and at the same time to
reﬂect on their own business planning
and decision making.
The association will convene the
next round of regional meetings early in
2015, and progress reports of activities
identiﬁed in the plan will be issued at
UNSOLD GRAPES REGISTER
A number of the more proactive
growers have been in touch with the
association requesting contact details
of wineries that may be interested in
purchasing uncontracted fruit.
These calls have prompted the
association to open the unsold grapes
register and to begin circulating details
on behalf of growers much earlier than
For growers who have not used
the register previously, the routine
is quite simple. If you expect to have
uncontracted grapes available for sale
in 2015, you should call 8584 5816 or
A simple form will be emailed to
be completed and returned to the
ofﬁce. This will include your contact
details and details of the varieties and
estimated tonnes you expect to have
available for sale.
Riverland Wine will compile a
summary of varieties and tonnes
expected to be available. This summary
will be updated and be emailed to all
South Australian wineries that crush
more than 500 tonnes per annum
Growers on the register will also be
emailed regularly requesting updates
of listings as the season progresses.
Interested wineries will be invited
to make contact directly and to make
arrangements for the purchase of fruit
with the growers on the register.
It will be each grower's responsibility
to ensure a binding contract is in place
to protect the interests of all concerned.
Riverland Wine will provide a 'spot
purchase' contract for growers to use
at the time of registering their grapes.
The ﬁrst summary of fruit listed on
the register will be emailed this Friday,
Growers are asked to notify this
ofﬁce with their details as a priority
if they have fruit to be listed on the
WGGA AGM, SEMINAR
As mentioned previously, the annual
general meeting of the Wine Grape
Growers Australia (WGGA) will be held
on Wednesday, November 12, at the
North Adelaide Football Club.
Riverland Wine chairman and
Australian Grape and Wine Authority
(AGWA) acting chairman Brian Walsh
will present an AGWA update and
discuss any questions following the
merger of Wine Australia and the Grape
and Wine Research Development
Corporation (GWRDC) earlier this year.
Lunch will be provided at the
conclusion of the AGM.
All in attendance will be invited to
stay for an afternoon seminar: Surviving
the present -- Innovate for the future.
Four speakers will explore changes
required in the short term to adapt to
low proﬁtability in the industry, as well
as the reasons to be positive about mid-
to-longer-term prospects for Australian
The speakers will then form a panel
for a Q&A. Speakers include:
Louisa Rose (AWRI chair)
Jeff McDonald (collaborative
Shane Tremble (Woolworths
Rob Hunt (agricultural consultant)
More information, including a
program of both events, is available on
the WGGA website (www.wgga.com.au).
People wishing to attend can RSVP
by phone (8133 4400) or email (info@
So far this year three CropWatch
messages have been issued by
The great majority of recipients now
receive these messages by email.
Given the critical nature of the
CropWatch messages, Riverland
Wine attributes high priority to the
dissemination of the information.
Email is the most effective and
efﬁcient way of delivering this service.
Some growers continue to receive
the messages via fax, but it appears
this may be a double up in many cases.
The fax service will continue for
the remaining messages this year, but
those growers will be requested to notify
this ofﬁce if they do not have an email
address and if they require an extension
of the fax service beyond the 2014/15
If you no longer require the
CropWatch message by fax, it will be
appreciated if you take the time to notify
Kate by phone (8584 5816) or email
THE Almond Board of Australia
wants to build two almond centres
of excellence -- one in the Riverland
and one in Sunraysia -- and the State
Government needs to throw its
support behind the plan, according
to a local MP.
The Almond Board of Australia has
put forward a business case to the South
Australian and Victorian governments
to build two state-of-the-art facilities,
each expected to attract researchers
from across the world.
The Victorian Government this
week announced it would commit $12
million to build an almond centre of
excellence, solely in Sunraysia, should
it win this month's state election.
However, Liberal Member for
Chaffey Tim Whetstone said the South
Australian Government was yet to
commit any funding.
"The Almond Centre of Excellence
is a unique opportunity for South
Australia to invest in research and
development and to cement its place as
a leader in the nut industry," he said.
State Minister for Agriculture Leon
Bignell said it would be sensible to wait
for the outcome of the November 29
election before the future of the Almond
Centre of Excellence was clear.
"It's apparent that no contracts
for the Victorian proposal have been
signed," he said.
"The (SA) Government continues
to work with the Almond Board of
Australia on an offer to host the
Australian Almond Centre of Excellence
in South Australia."
A MEETING to form a steering
committee for the Mark 'Roo' Ricciuto
statue project will be held at the Waikerie
council chambers next week.
Mildura man and football enthusiast Bob
Utber has been driving the project so far, but
is seeking local involvement to take things
His proposal is to erect a life-sized bronze
statue of Ricciuto, who was born in Waikerie
and played for the local football club before
joining the Adelaide Crows.
Mr Utber has been liaising with sculptor Ken
Martin, who created the Makybe Diva statue in
his hometown of Port Lincoln.
Mr Martin has already donated a model --
valued at $4000 -- of what the sculpture could
Now Mr Utber is seeking locals to get on
board to help attract financial and/or in-kind
support from federal, state and local government
-- along with philanthropists and national
and state organisations, including Ricciuto's
Mr Utber said a life-sized bronze statue of
Ricciuto was estimated to cost $110,000 -- plus up
to $30,000 for works including landscaping and
mounting the plinth. However, he said he was
"very confident" that the local council would not
have to contribute to the project cost.
"There's plenty of interest, even from further
afield than Waikerie," Mr Utber said.
The steering committee meeting will be held
at the Waikerie council chambers on Thursday,
November 13, at 7pm. For more information,
phone Bob Utber on 0407 513 357.
Cadell man up for third state award of the year
Danny McGurgan's done it again
CADELL man Danny
McGurgan is among 16
finalists in the 2015 South
Australia's Australian of
the Year Awards.
Mr McGurgan is up for the
2015 South Australia's Local
Hero award, which will be
announced at a ceremony in
Adelaide next week.
The recognition caps off a
successful year for the local
community leader, who was
announced as an Order of
Australia Medal recipient
in January and received the
South Australian Police Officer
of the Year award in May.
Mr McGurgan said he was
nevertheless surprised to hear
that he had been nominated
for the Australian of the Year
"I only came back from
holidays a couple of weeks
ago," he said.
"(When I heard the news)
I thought 'someone's done it
As chairman of the Cadell
Community and Tourist
Association, Mr McGurgan
oversees a wide range of
local events, including the
Halloween activities enjoyed
by local children last weekend.
Mr McGurgan said he
appreciated the support of
fellow locals in carrying out
"I'm lucky with Cadell
because there's lots of people
in the community that always
pitch in and you can always
rely on," he said.
Mr McGurgan will find
out if he has won the Local
Hero award next Wednesday,
"I have no great
expectations," he said.
"I'm just happy that I've
got to the final four of that
South Australian awardees
will join recipients from all
other states and territories
as finalists for the national
awards, which will be held in
Canberra in January.
National Australia Day
Council chief executive
officer Jeremy Lasek said the
South Australian finalists
were among 137 Australians
being recognised in the 2015
Australian of the Year Awards.
"These great South
Australians are to be admired
for their achievements, many
in the face of adversity, and
their common interest in
making a difference," he said.
For more information, visit:
PAGE 9 CADELL HARVEST
CADELL'S Danny McGurgan is among four finalists up for the 2015 South Australia's Local Hero
award, which will be announced in Adelaide next week.
PHOTO: Ryneisha Bollard
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