It’s tempting and sometimes comforting to point out the failings of others when things are not working. Interesting too, how the opposite is not so true when times are better. Thankfully there are those, bold enough to put their hands up and say “I’ll stick my neck out… I’ll have a go and help to change things”. There is little doubt, the challenges we face as an industry can be traced back to poor policy settings in most cases. Those who “stick their necks out” are having a crack at convincing each other and then other industry leaders and sometimes politicians, that those policy settings must be altered for the common good. Policy can be at the regional, state or Federal level.
By way of example, the policy that provided for accelerated depreciation of new vineyards was the single policy most responsible for the sustained structural imbalance that has plagued all of us for the best part of a decade. Its repeal took five years too long because industry did not work together to measure plantings growth, relative to sales demand and develop a more coherent approach. But that’s water under the bridge. There are new challenges for those prepared to stick their necks out. Uncertainty around tax policy is threatening similar long-term impacts. Policy around water buyback in this region is troubling for many.
Over the next few months, this column will profile some of those who stuck their necks out to make a difference. If you have an idea that you think will make a difference, stick your neck out and say so. Contact Riverland Wine by phone 8584 6399 or email. These profiles will not simply feature well-known regional identities but many of those who work solidly in the background to make a difference. You could be one of them.