Legislative Council: Tuesday, September 26, 2023


South Australian Agricultural Town of the Year Award

The Hon. T.T. NGO (14:59): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister tell the chamber about the progress of the 2023 town of the year award?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:59): I thank the honourable member for his question. The AgTown of the Year Award for 2023 is certainly getting to the pointy end of the competition, where the judging panel has the very difficult job of splitting very worthy finalists and determining which will be this year's champion.

The competition is now in its fifth year. The award highlights the vital role that agriculture plays in the regional landscape, recognising towns that are supporting advanced agricultural practices, thriving primary industries and regional development. By promoting the strengths and successes of regional communities and regional industries, the award aims to play a role in attracting and retaining people in regional locations.

I am informed that this year's competition was so close that one town, Wudinna, even mobilised their local radio station to perform a rap battle to promote their involvement in the competition, and the independent judging panel convened for an extra day to select the finalists.

An honourable member interjecting:

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN: And before I have any interjections, no, I am not planning to reproduce the rap from the Wudinna radio station.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN: Thank you for the requests, but I will be declining on this occasion. The three finalists eventually selected are spread from Eyre Peninsula to the Clare Valley and to the Limestone Coast. They are, in no particular order—no priorities here—Wudinna, Eudunda and Bordertown. These towns are in the process of being individually visited by the judging panel, who meet with prominent locals and focus on how the towns have supported the growth of primary industries, how they have invested in leadership development activities, demonstrated resilience and attracted people to their region.

This part of the competition provides a great opportunity for each town's champions and leaders to showcase what is particularly special and significant about their town on the ground in their part of this great state.

I wish all the finalists well in this final stage of the competition. The winner will be announced at the Regional Showcase awards celebration in November. The winning town will receive town signage noting their achievement, a community celebration event and promotion through SALIFE magazine and InDaily.

Once again, I would like to thank all 49 regional towns nominated for the awards, and I commend the other eight towns that were shortlisted as part of this year's top 11, which were Ardrossan, Jamestown, Myponga, Orroroo, Strathalbyn, Waikerie, Crystal Brook and Yunta. I look forward to discovering in November who will be next year's AgTown of the Year.