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Christmas Time

It’s already Christmas so it’s time to dig deep, put aside worries and woes and celebrate all the good things we have to be grateful for in the Riverland, especially family and friends.

For many it’s been a troubling year.

Water has been the constant cause of anxiety. For some it’s been to do with the crippling costs associated with securing enough water to produce a crop in what seems set to be one of the warmest, driest years on record. Others have had causrules

e to question whether or not they should have scaled-up to be more competitive following the last drought, ostensibly to shift the balance of risk from water ownership to water market that seem to be distorted.

Plenty have questioned the wisdom of the MDB Plan and the legislation they see as being weighted in favour of the environment rather than primary producers. The myriad of water policies and the disunity among the state and federal authorities is perplexing for all whose focus is growing grapes, making wine and building jobs, exports and regional wealth. Riverland Wine will continue to lobby for the Plan to be given every chance to be fulfilled.

The November 4 hailstorm made things tough for at least 30 winegrowing families and wiped an estimated $8M off the expected farmgate income from the 2020 vintage. Most recently the ‘indicative prices’ released by major national companies has caused some to revise their future winegrowing plans and consider becoming water traders instead. The last thing this industry can afford is to reduce production levels and expose remaining growers, wineries, irrigation and transport services to higher infrastructure operating costs.

Despite these challenges, the Riverland remains a bloody good place to live and work. The underlying strength of unity across our communities is something to be proud of. We continue to urge more industry bodies to actively listen and learn through collaborating and sharing burdens. This business of supporting one another is in the blood of Riverlanders. They have a way of surviving and going on to be stronger and better.

In the new year Riverland Wine will continue to encourage all of our communities to be bold, to be ambitious and to be generous. We will also be strong in challenging any who seek to diminish our reasonable share of the wealth we generate.

Best wishes to all members and supporters throughout our region and our industry. The Riverland is proud of being the home of Australia’s most popular wine and we plan to keep it that way through 2020 and for many more decades.

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