Legislative Council: Thursday, July 07, 2022


Agricultural Town of the Year Award

The Hon. J.E. HANSON (14:34): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Will the minister inform the chamber about the Ag Town of the Year Award for 2022, and how the South Australian public can be involved?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:34): I thank the honourable member for his ongoing interest in our regional areas. Regional communities are, of course, the economic backbone of South Australia, contributing $29 billion to the state's economy each year—but their importance cannot be measured just by dollars and cents.

The communities that make up our regions provide so much of the social, environmental and cultural fabric of our state. I think it is fair to say that almost every South Australian would have some connection to regional South Australia, whether it is a particular region you live in, you holiday there, you work there or you have family there. I would like to think that regional South Australia is part of all of us.

The Agricultural Town of the Year Award, now in its fourth year, highlights the vital role that agriculture plays in the regional landscape. It recognises the synergy that exists between agriculture and the benefits that flow from it for communities in so many parts of our state, and that is why I was so pleased recently to be able to offer my congratulations to all 54 regional towns which were nominated for this year's Agricultural Town of the Year Award.

Each of the towns which were nominated can now showcase themselves and vie for the support of the public through the online voting system at agtown.com.au. Voting closes on Monday, 25 July, after which five finalists will be announced in early August to move through to the next round, and an independent judging process to determine who will be crowned this year's winner will follow.

The overall winner will be announced in November at the regional showcase celebration and they will receive not only the esteemed title of Ag Town of the Year but also a community event and a sign unveiling recognising their achievement, a certificate and trophy to be presented, a double-page feature spread in SALIFE magazine, and promotional stories and videos produced by Solstice Media.

Last year's winner, Kimba, won the award for its fantastic community spirit and its sense of pride in its role as an agricultural town that is willing to invest in developing skills in younger generations so that agriculture remains at its core for generations to come. Kimba also has a wonderful sense of community. The Kimba Mayor, Dean Johnson, said at the recent award ceremony celebrating their win, that more than 50 per cent of the residents in Kimba are regularly involved with volunteering and community projects that assist with the town's continued growth and development.

While Kimba took the 2021 prize, the other four finalists from last year—Mypolonga, Kapunda, Orroroo and Booleroo—all did an outstanding job, and I note that three of those, namely, Mypolonga, Kapunda and Orroroo, are in the running again this year. I pass on my best wishes to them to maybe go one better this year. I also use this opportunity to congratulate previous winners of Ag Town of the Year, Cleve and Pinnaroo. They won their respective awards in 2019 and 2020. I note that they continue to do outstanding things in their communities.

Once again, I encourage the South Australian public to get online and vote at agtown.com.au before 25 July, to recognise the outstanding contributions that each of these towns and regions make to our state.