Speech - Schubert Electorate
I rise also to wish the Crows well on the weekend. I have my scarf here ready to go and I look forward to sitting down with my five-year-old nephew as he hosts us and the rest of the family for the Crows game on Saturday afternoon. I hope for all of South Australia's sake, but especially his sake, that the Crows get up on the weekend. We have been trying to counsel him to make sure that he can withstand a potential loss, not that that is what we are considering.
I rise today to talk about some brilliant things that have happened in recent months in the beautiful electorate of Schubert. On 28 August, we had the 14th Marananga Wine Show, which is the greatest little subregional wine show in Australia. It showcased wine from the western area of the Barossa and is an initiative started up by the Gnadenfrei Lutheran Church. Over 340 people attended
the event at Seppeltsfield.
There were 133 wines that were entered and there was a public tasting where guests got to taste the wine and cast their vote for the people's choice, which this year was won by the 2016 Rolf Binder Magpie SF2 Mataro Grenache. I would like to thank all the judges, the committee and those who get behind the awards: Whistler Wines, Hentley Farm Wines and certainly Rolf Binder wines.
There are a lot of great wineries in the western area of the Barossa that do a fantastic job to promotea beautiful part of South Australia, and a part of South Australia that is extremely productive.
We move on to the big show, the big Barossa Wine Show presentation dinner, which I attended on 14 September. Around 400-odd people were crammed into Lambert Estate, which was a new venue for the first time in a few years, and there was much to celebrate on the night. There was certainly a renewed sense of optimism after a few low-yielding years. The Barossa yield was up
32 per cent in 2017, from 2016, to 85,149 tonnes, with an increase in value of Barossa wine grapes up 41 per cent on 2016 to $168 million. That is a lot of money that could be used to retire debt, to buy some new farm machinery to replant and to inject back into the local economy.
There were 722 entries, as well as the Wine of Provenance entries, from 108 exhibitors. There were 53 gold, 93 silver and 227 bronze medals awarded on the night, and I would like to particularly congratulate the most successful exhibitors: in the small producer category, Red Art Rojomoma; in the medium producer, the Sons of Eden, which had an aged Riesling there on the night which I think was from 2002 or 2006 and was a phenomenal old wine that tasted as fresh as the day it was bottled, an absolutely stunning wine that no doubt contributed to their win; and also the large producers, Cellarmasters, which came up with some really good product to enter into the show.
There was a little bit of controversy on the night. The longstanding MC, Matt McCulloch, called me out two years ago. He wears his culturally appropriate dress every year he goes: he wears his kilt. Two years ago I may have suggested, sometime late in the evening, that I join him. Last year, I failed to do it, so in front of 500-odd people he stood up and shamed me as a typical pollie who did not keep his promises. I was not going to make the same mistake this year. I had the lederhosen on in full regalia and, to his credit, he did make mention of it to the entire audience, who seemed to takeit all in good humour. Certainly, there were a few photos of the two of us together, making sure that there was some ethnic diversity to the event.
I thank the judges and the committee. It is a phenomenal effort. People think it would be a lot of good fun to go and taste some wines and taste some beautiful Barossa produce, but 722 entries take a lot of work. There is a whole heap of people who go into the event—a judging panel of somewhere between 15 to 20 people. I would like to specifically thank the crew at BGWA and especially the hardest working operator in the Barossa, Ashleigh Fox, who does a whole heap acrossa whole range of different areas to make these kinds of shows happen.
I cannot go anywhere without mentioning the annual gourmet weekend event, which was another success. I did get out on the Sunday morning for a couple of hours with the father-in-law to Gibson's. Congratulations to Tourism Barossa on a fantastic event that showcases the best of theBarossa. I say a parting thank you to Andrew Dundon, who is finishing up at the end of this festival,
for his service over the past couple of years. He will definitely be missed.
Despite the wintry conditions on the Sunday, following a beautiful day on the Saturday, local participation and ticket sales were up by 31 per cent. It is brilliant that the member for Barker announced that he is putting in $42,000 from the Building Better Regions Fund to help make this a seasonal event.