Important Consultations

 Brian Walsh wears many hats. As well as his Riverland Wine hat (chair of this organisation) he wears the AGWA hat, as chair of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority.AGWA is the peak industry body reporting directly to Federal Minister Barnaby Joyce on behalf of all growers and winemakers throughout the country.

The Authority released a paper, earlier this week, to promote discussion with grape and wine levy payers ahead of developing AGWA’s ‘Strategic Plan 2015–2020’.


Brian said Australia had the resources and capability to be recognised internationally as the world’s pre-eminent wine producing country. The following is an excerpt from this week’s release:

“We believe our two strategic priorities should be to increase demand and the premium paid for Australian wine and to increase the sector’s competitiveness,” he said.

“AGWA look forward to hearing from levy payers and I encourage them to make their views known to either their peak representative organisations — Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) — or to their state or regional association as we’ll be consulting directly with these bodies.”

Written feedback on the discussion paper can be submitted to AGWA until February 20, 2015. Consultation meetings across Australia will be conducted from early February until late March. The five-year Strategic Plan will be put forward to the Minister for Agriculture by April 30 2015.

The discussion paper, details for submitting feedback and the consultation meeting schedule can be viewed on the AGWA website (

Riverland winegrowers and winemakers have recently had the opportunity to participate in their own strategic planning process. The plan was issued in October. Feedback to date has been very positive. It includes several of the key themes identified in the AGWA discussion document. The first progress report will be issued in a series of meetings throughout the region in April. The industry is facing a number of obstacles and challenges. These must be overcome but it is up to all of us to work together methodically and with a strong sense of collaboration to ensure that all industry plans have a similar thrust or direction. The will happen if those whose livelihoods depend on the success of the industry, speak up share those thoughts that mostly come to mind while sitting in the tractor or leaning over the fence. Don’t let yourself down and don’t let Brian Walsh and his AGWA team down. Get involved.

All thoughtful contributions will be recorded and presented to the AGWA management. As indicated above, written submissions will be received right up until twentieth of February but don’t leave it to last few weeks. You will receive plenty of encouragement via this column. There will also be a chance to meet directly with AGWA management and board representatives in the region. Please send your thoughts to PO Box 444 Loxton or email Riverland Wine or phone 8584 5816. Copies of the discussion paper are also available from the office Of Loxton Research Centre.

The discussion paper, details for submitting feedback and the consultation meeting schedule can be viewed on the AGWA website. People who wish to comment can email Riverland Wine or phone 8584 5816.

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