grapes on vine

Nearly $70 million of investment in regional South Australia will be unlocked, creating more than 1,000 jobs, thanks to $12 million from the Marshall Liberal Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

The funding will see the delivery of 16 projects across the state worth tens of millions of dollars including a state-of-the-art potato washing and packing facility in the Murray Mallee and an innovative project to help future-proof South Australia’s wine industry.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham, who announced the successful projects at Yalumba Nursery at the Barossa Valley, said this stimulus funding will help South Australia’s economy bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.

“2020 has been a tough year for South Australians and our regions have been hit particularly hard firstly with drought, then bushfires and now the coronavirus pandemic,” said Minister Basham.

“This $12 million from the Regional Growth Fund will unlock nearly $70 million of investment in South Australia’s economy – creating more than 1,000 jobs across the state.

“Our regions are a key driver for the South Australian economy and this will provide a much-needed shot in the arm to help business bounce back as quickly as possible.

“We had more than 200 applications for the Strategic Business Round and the successful projects are shovel-ready and will have lasting, widespread benefits for South Australia’s regions.

“In good news for other applicants there is still more funding available from the Regional Growth Fund and some of the remaining projects from this round are still being considered.”

Yalumba Family Winemakers were one of the successful grant recipients and they will deliver a $2 million project which has the potential to future proof South Australia’s wine industry.

Chief Viticulturist Robin Nettelbeck said Yalumba Family Winemakers would establish an extensive and intensively managed high health grapevine germplasm collection, quarantined nuclear collection and a large-scale grapevine production field nursery.

“This project will establish the highest health and most genetically diverse commercial collection of grapevine material in Australia, while establishing the most hygienic and productive field nursery site to propagate best performing vines for the Australian viticultural industry,” said Mr Nettelbeck.

“Australia and in particular South Australia has some of the oldest vines in the world and during last summer’s bushfires it was devastating to see how quickly some of these were destroyed.

“Our project can effectively act as a seed bank and contribute to the future proofing of the $45 billion Australian wine industry and provide valuable support to the growing domestic table grape industry.”

The Marshall Liberal Government has committed $150 million over 10 years through the Regional Growth Fund to support regional South Australia as part of the Recharging Our Regions policy.

The 16 successful projects are a combination of 13 projects from a once-off stimulus round of the Regional Growth Fund and three projects from Round Three.

Applicants to the Regional Growth Fund were eligible to seek grants from $50,000 up to $2 million, with projects given preference if they can demonstrate a greater private-to-government funding ratio and demonstrable strong economic outcomes.

The applications were assessed by an independently chaired panel, and advice was recommended based on how well they aligned to the criteria of this Fund. There is still $7.7 million in funding available in the Regional Growth Fund with further applicants from the stimulus round being considered from the Strategic Business Round.

For more information and to view recipients, visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/regionalgrowthfund

Originally published on the Premier of South Australia’s website: $70m of investment to boost South Australia’s regions