Legislative Council: Thursday, February 08, 2024


Riverland Wine Industry Blueprint

The Hon. F. PANGALLO (14:54): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development a question about Riverland grapegrowers.

Leave granted.

The Hon. F. PANGALLO: As mentioned on Tuesday, last week I met with about 100 Riverland grapegrowers at Loveday to hear their concerns about the economic sustainability of their industry and the fears they have about their long-term futures. The minister and her department were one of the major funding sources of a report, the Riverland Wine Industry Blueprint, which outlined a 10-year pathway for the Riverland wine industry.

Releasing the report, the minister revealed the government has committed $200,000 over two years to support the industry to implement the blueprint's recommendations. This is in addition to the $100,000 provided to Riverland Wine, the local grapegrowers peak lobby group, to develop the blueprint. In the report's foreword, the minister states:

…the result of collective wisdom, drawing on contributions of regional and industry stakeholders...

On ABC radio on 1 February, the minister said she and her department had 'spoken to growers over the last year' in the development of the 10-year plan.

My question to the minister is: who exactly did the minister and/or her department consult with in the development of the report, which was largely funded by the taxpayer and the industry?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:56): I thank the honourable member for his question. I think I did mention earlier in the week, but am happy to mention again, that we have been having meetings over close to two years now. Certainly, a key meeting was in November 2022 where we had a round table with the industry. I am afraid I can't remember off the top of my head who was at that. It was a room of about 20 or 25 people and included various growers, the industry association and winemakers, but I'm afraid I don't recall all of them to hand.

Since then, I have had multiple meetings in the Riverland, as well as meetings with associations here in Adelaide. There was a group set up to develop the plan and, as I understand it, that consultation was broad.