Legislative Council: Wednesday, May 18, 2022


Clare Valley Gourmet Week

The Hon. R.B. MARTIN (14:29): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Will the minister inform the chamber about the significance of the Clare Valley SCA Gourmet Week 2022 to our state?

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! I call the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:29): I thank the member for this question and note his extremely high interest in quality South Australian food and wine, in fact one might say his passion for South Australian food and wine, his ongoing interest. I am sure I look forward to further questions about excellent South Australian food and wine.

The Hon. K.J. Maher: Ridgie questions, we call them.

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN: Reggie, I think you mean. Not Ridgie, Reggie.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Please don't besmirch the character of a previous member, Attorney-General.

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN: Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the opening of the Clare Valley SCA Gourmet Week. South Australia, of course, is loved for its eating and drinking experiences and for its produce and its producers, known around the world for their quality. Our food and wine help tell our story, our story as a state and in this case our story as a region, in regard to the Clare Valley.

Our food and wine drives visitation and creates jobs and exports, and it brings communities together. Audiences have embraced the Clare Valley SCA Gourmet Week since it began as a weekend celebration in 1985, and last year the weekend celebration expanded to a 10-day festival, and its program continues to highlight this beautiful region and its magnificent produce. A longer event boosts the benefits to the region. More than 1,300 interstate visitors are expected here over this week, with 6,300 visitors set to come from across South Australia. Certainly, I attended two events on Friday night in the Clare Valley and they were both very well attended.

We know that events and festivals entice visitors, and we know that when they are centred around food and wine they boost business for local producers. It was wonderful to see, I think it is called, Burton Lane next to Seed bistro, actually transformed into a hub of fine food and wine, and it really did show how strong the region's offering is.

I heard firsthand from producers and winemakers about the strong relationships that have been built with the event's organisers backing their vision, and this means better outcomes for regional businesses. Indeed, latest figures show that visitors spent $172 million in the Clare Valley last year. Events like this will keep driving that figure forward and building the region's tourism and primary industry sectors.

The Malinauskas state government is proud to continue to support important events. When we were in opposition, we committed an extra $20 million towards marketing our great state and $40 million towards new events and growing existing events in South Australia. Of course, it is no understatement to say that tourism has been an industry that has very much struggled during the pandemic, so we are more determined than ever to help grow this economy back to the $8.1 billion that it was before COVID and we want to grow it even further.

I would like to once again congratulate everyone who has shaped this event and give a particular mention to the Clare Valley Wine and Grape Association, whose hard work has truly paid off yet again. It was a pleasure to meet with Anna Baum, Ali Paulett, Hilary Mitchell, Penny Lion and Wayne Butcher, representing the Clare Valley Wine and Grape Association. I met them together with my federal colleague Senator Don Farrell.

The Clare Valley SCA Gourmet Week is now celebrating its 38th year. This event runs from 13 to 22 May and can now officially be touted as Australia's longest running wine and food festival. Indeed, there is still time, perhaps this weekend I might even suggest, for honourable members to make their way to the Clare Valley and enjoy this wonderful experience, with so many events held at wineries and restaurants across the region.