The Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock spent two days in the region this week meeting with successful applicants to the Regional Development and Innovation Fund (RDIF) and the Industry-Led Research Sub-Program (IRSP). The success stories have been well covered in the local media and elsewhere in this week’s Murray Pioneer, Loxton News and River News.
He also took the opportunity to visit the former Loxton Research Centre to inspect progress with the redevelopment, a direct outcome of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. After a quick tour of the facility and talks with staff and tenants he said he was impressed to see the transformation that’s already taken place as the older building is refurbished. The new building is due to be completed by this time next year. The Minister said “The new Loxton Centre will provide huge opportunities for primary producers and research agencies serving both the horticultural and the dryland farming groups. “
He officially welcomed the Almond Board of Australia (ABA) whose Riverland management and staff took up residence several weeks ago.
Riverland Wine Executive Officer Chris Byrne said “The transformation of the Loxton Centre in the past six months have been fantastic as more tenants have elected to move in and become part of the community of organisations, forging the new era for primary producers throughout the Riverland and Mallee.”
He added “Besides the producer groups there is great value in having other organisations such as Wisdom Data Mapping (Scott Gillett), GrowSmart (Trevor Noble) and Riverland SA Online (Jason Staben) in our corridors, meeting rooms and staff room – it is fantastic for the exchange of ideas. We can all add value to each other’s organisations.”
From the perspective of grapes and wine it puts us in a very strong position to build stronger relationships with peak industry bodies and agencies such as Wine Australia and the AWRI. Smart move RW to make the move in 2007!