Young Riverland entrepreneur, Matt Major first mentioned his plans to relocate the River Murray Queen (RMQ) from its moorings at Waikerie, upstream to the Renmark Town Wharf almost 12 months ago. Working through the process of planning approval, securing support from industry and community, obtaining various licences, jumping through hoops and maintaining focus and enthusiasm have all been part of the challenge for Matt.
Riverland Wine sees much merit in the proposal and has offered solid support. It seems at long last, the end is nigh!
Readers will notice in this week’s Murray Pioneer – Public Notices, that Major Ventures Pty Ltd has given notice of an application for consent to use the Renmark Town Wharf for the permanent mooring of the River Murray Queen for the purposes of tourism accommodation (26 cabins), a cafe/restaurant, a food and wine experience, (in the form of a cellar door operation) and casual recreational areas. If the application is successful, the iconic paddle steamer will be renovated and refitted before being moored at the Renmark Wharf, 30 metres to the south of the existing boat ramp.
Chris Byrne, Riverland Wine EO, said that the cellar door operation will be a great boon for all Riverland wine producers, tourists and for the community. He said “Right from the outset, Matt has been keen to establish the cellar door operation as part of the venture, providing an outlet for a wide range of fine wines from this region and a selection of recognised wines from other regions”. He added, “The cabin accommodation will offer an excellent option for many visitors to the region. In recent years, many of international tour groups of wine writers, educators, sommeliers and buyers who have travelled to the region as part of the Wine Australia Immersion Program, have been thrilled to be accommodated on houseboats rather than the conventional hotel or motel rooms”.
If you are keen to see the River Murray Queen in her new guise, creating a major tourism draw-card for Renmark, add your support by making a brief submission in response to the notice. It needn’t be a long piece, just a couple of lines of support.