Home' The River News : November 19th 2014 Contents 6 - The River News, Wednesday, November 19, 2014
WAS IT SUCH A GOOD
On January 25, 2010, the Riverland
Winegrape Growers Association (RWGA)
published a discussion paper entitled
Riverland and Mallee -- Primary Produc-
ers Business Centre.
The paper presented a concept that
envisaged all primary producers across
the region coming together to speak with
a single voice.
It noted that several previous en-
deavours to form effective coalitions
for growers and farmers had not suc-
The region's producers had survived
the worst drought across the basin in
Commodity markets had been cruel.
Many producers were in despair.
The time seemed right for renewal;
for the region's wealth generators to
stop getting older and poorer and pull
together to re-establish priorities and
prosperity for the whole community.
The paper remarked on one of the re-
gion's prized assets, the Loxton Research
Centre and its surrounding farm of trial
crops, and how its resources were being
depleted as an outcome of the overall
decline in regional prosperity.
At that time, in January 2010, the
RWGA offered an opinion that there
seemed to be an opportunity for all ir-
rigators and dryland farmers to unite; to
form a business centre to support each
other; to strengthen research, extension,
education and training capabilities; to lift
productivity and efficiency and to provide
a range of basic services including ad-
ministration, financial and membership
The piece recognised that collec-
tively the producers had so much to
offer, but lacked the ability to advocate
effectively and develop new pathways
The concept caught on. There was
a slow build-up of support from other
groups and government agencies.
In February 2012, the then Fed-
eral Minister for Regional Development,
Simon Crean, came to the region with an
entourage of advisors.
He sat down with a few grape grow-
ers, a winemaker, a dried fruit grower, a
citrus grower, a grain farmer, a horticul-
tural consultant and a keen proponent of
Riverland business clusters.
The assembled producers presented
a compelling argument to the minister
that the region's wealth generators were
poised to move to the next level of pro-
The minister was encouraged and
impressed. He told the group that if the
concept could be developed and imple-
mented in this region it could become
a template for regional development
across the country.
But that was all back in 2010 and
Since then State Government has
announced great plans for the redevel-
opment of the Loxton Research Centre.
Funding has been allocated as one
of the outcomes of the Murray-Darling
Basin Plan, but there has been very little
interest and even less commitment from
the producer groups who it seems had
and still have so much to gain.
Perhaps it was not such a good idea?
GOOD GRAPES MAKE
Any good winemaker will tell you that
the secret to good wine is good vineyard
practice and good grapes.
Barmera-based Ricca Terra Farms is
quickly building a reputation for growing
super premium wine grapes for some of
Australia's leading artisan winemakers.
Named the ABC horticulturists and
ASVO viticulturists of the year in 2013,
the Ricca Terra Farms winemakers have
had a golden period over the past couple
Coonawarra winemaker Sue Bell has
created a nero d'avola rose from grapes
grown by Ricca Terra Farms.
In two wine shows, the Bellwether
nero d'avola rose has won two gold
medals and one trophy.
According to wine writer Huon Hooke,
the Bellwether nero d'avola rose is one
of the best Australian rose wines you
MEL WINS... AGAIN
Local winemaker Mel Kargas from
Salena Estate Wines has had an amazing
outing at the Sydney International Wine
Show with the nero d'avola and vermen-
tino grown by Ricca Terra Farms.
The 2013 Ink Series Nero d'Avola
and 2013 Ink Series vermentino were
both awarded Blue Gold awards.
The 2013 Ink Series nero d'avola
was also awarded a silver medal at the
Adelaide Wine Show and a gold medal
at the Australian Alternative Variety Wine
Show in Mildura.
Congratulations, Ricca Terra Farms
and Mel Kargas.
WHISTLING KITE ALSO
SCORES AT SHOW
Loxton-based Whistling Kite also had
success at the recent Australian Alterna-
tive Variety Wine Show.
The 2012 biodynamic montepulciano
and 2014 biodynamic petit manseng
were both awarded bronze medals, and
their 2013 biodynamic montepulciano
was awarded a gold medal as well as re-
ceiving the trophy for Best Organic Wine.
Congratulations to Tony and Pam
The Riverland Resource Recovery
Facility has opened its doors and is set
to receive eligible, clean, empty agvet
chemical containers under the drum-
The collection site, located on
Hoskins Road in Monash and run by
Transpacific, is open Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm, Saturday 8am to 12 noon
and Sunday 12 noon to 4pm.
For deliveries of 100 drums or more,
phone 8582 2601 to book an appoint-
All containers presented at the col-
lection site must meet the program's
cleanliness standards. Containers must
be free of any chemical residue.
Since 1999, drumMuster has col-
lected more than 24 million drums
Once collected, the containers are
shredded and transformed into practi-
cal items such as plastic cable covers,
wheelie bins, road signs and bollards.
For more details on the drumMuster
program, phone (02) 6230 4799 or visit
the website (www.drummuster.com.au).
FARMERS TO SUBMIT
Primary Producers SA (PPSA) is seek-
ing rural producers who have transport
issues that are costing them more than
they need to.
PPSA is working closely with Primary
Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) and
the Department of Planning, Transport
and Infrastructure (DPTI) to find solutions
to transport issues.
PPSA chair Rob Kerin is urging rural
producers to make the most of this op-
portunity for reform.
"The two government departments
have shown real commitment to working
with us on this project -- a process has
been designed which, over the next three
months, will examine all issues raised
and, where safe and practicable, work
on how we can implement changes,"
Rural producers with issues can com-
plete an online survey (www.ppsa.org.
au/roadtransportsurvey). The survey is
open for public comment until this Friday,
A hard copy of the survey is available
on requested by contacting PPSA on
Free talk to claim
looking to claim
youth allowance will
have the opportunity
to attend a free
about the benefit
at the Waikerie
Community Centre on
Tuesday, November 25.
A centre spokeswom-
an said the session would
also benefit parents of
school leavers who were
considering their options
for work or study next
"Because we are a
Centrelink agency, we
get a lot of inquiries
from school leavers and
parents about claiming
youth allowance," she
"Youth allowance is a
very complicated benefit
in that there are several
different eligibility crite-
ria, and we are trying to
make the process more
transparent and easier
Ian French from Berri
Centrelink will run the
session, discussing the
basics of youth allow-
ance and answering any
centre spokeswoman said
current school leavers or
locals who left school last
year would get the most
out of the session.
"This is an important
time because people are
looking to move away
for work or to study, and
parents need to know
how (their children) can
be financially viable,"
"One of the crite-
ria needs proof of how
many hours of work
have you done to claim
"It pays to know about
this as soon as they leave
school to ensure people
have all their records to
give to Centrelink."
The spokeswoman en-
couraged locals to take
advantage of the benefits
available to them.
Next week's infor-
mation night will begin
at 7.30pm at the Waik-
erie Community Centre, 1
Crush Terrace. To make a
booking, phone 8541 2081.
LOCAL year 12 students will begin their
wait for results after completing their final
examinations this week.
The South Australian Certificate of Education
(SACE) Board estimates more than 400 Riverland stu-
dents undertook at least one Stage 2 subject this year
while working towards their SACE.
Results are scheduled to be released online on
Thursday, December 18, and students will also be
posted their results through the mail.
SACE Board chief executive Neil McGoran said
it was now a mammoth task of marking and moder-
ating student work by more than 2000 SACE Board
"This rigorous quality assurance process ensures
grades are consistent in each subject and comparable
across all schools," he said.
Nervous wait for results
Local year 12 students'
artistic talents on show
LOCALS have until
the end of this month to
see Waikerie High School
(WHS) students' artwork
at the Rain Moth Gallery.
WHS year 12 student Jaye
Bishop, 17, is displaying her
hand-made clothes using silk
and natural materials.
Jaye said she had a strong
interest in fashion, and
hoped to study it at univer-
sity next year.
"I am definitely more into
the fashion side of art," she
"The first dress I made
was all natural materials,
and I really wanted to ex-
periment with silk and silk
"I love making clothes,
and hope to be accepted into
a Bachelor of Creative Arts
next year at university."
Aspiring film-maker Luke
Ormsby is also showcasing
his work at the gallery.
The 17-year-old said he
used double exposure pho-
tography to create one of his
pieces on display.
"With my first piece, I
used two photos and com-
bined them together on the
computer," he said.
"I just saw a lot of this
stuff on the internet and I
really liked it, so I thought I
would give it a go."
WAIKERIE High School year 12 student Jaye Bishop, 17, with her pieces on display at the Rain Moth Gallery until the end of
WAIKERIE High School year 12 art student Luke Ormsby,
17, with a piece he created by sketching the subject into a
computer program. His work is currently on display at the
Rain Moth Gallery.
PHOTOS: Jayme Koch
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