The State Government team that is delivering the South Australian River Murray Sustainability (SARMS) Program received the highest honour at the national public sector awards last night.
Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) was recognised with Gold in the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management at the Institute of Public Administration Australia’s (IPAA’s) Awards Night held in Canberra.
The award recognises the delivery of the $25 million Regional Economic Development (RED) component of the $265 million SARMS Program. Funded by the Australian Government, the program is delivered by PIRSA.
Premier Jay Weatherill and the State Government were a leading force in securing the SARMS program for SA, which is critical to revitalising the Murraylands and Riverland irrigated horticulture sectors, supporting industry, creating jobs and economic growth.
The Premier has pledged to always stand up for the River Murray, with the delivery of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan a top priority for his Government.
The PIRSA team and project received the national recognition for their success in the delivery of the RED component of the program which has driven regional development, research and innovation within the framework of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
This is the second time SARMS has been recognised at the awards. The SARMS Irrigation Industry Improvement Program (3IP) was highly commended in 2015 for Sustainable Excellence in Public Sector Management.
In recognition of the need to support South Australian River Murray communities with the regional socio-economic impacts of the Basin Plan the RED Program was developed.
The Program encompasses the Regional Development and Innovation Fund (RDIF), the redevelopment of the Loxton Research Centre, and the Industry-led Research Sub-Program (IRSP).
A video showing some of the successful grant projects under the RDIF can be viewed here. Other videos on the redevelopment of the Loxton Research Centre are available to view here.
Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill
Congratulations to the team and PIRSA for this well-deserved national recognition. The work that has been undertaken has an immeasurable impact on the personal livelihoods of those within the horticulture sector, the economy more broadly, and the environment.
I fought hard to secure the $265 million SARMS program to support our industries.
We were successful in securing the funding, and now we have been recognised for the delivery of this program which is generating around $1 billion in economic activity to the region over length of program. This is something we should be enormously proud of.
I will always stand up for the Murray, ensuring the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is delivered in full and on time will deliver better outcomes for industries, communities and environments that depend on a healthy and resilient river system.
Quotes attributable to Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock
This award is so very well deserved recognising the PIRSA team who have delivered a program created to make real long-term sustainable and strategic contributions to the River Murray region’s economic development.
The 17 projects funded under the RDIF are delivering economic diversification and other benefits across the region – through projects such as infrastructure works, new and expanded regional services, educational programs and training and research opportunities.
The IRSP has supported nine research projects and other targeted research initiatives, all of them designed to improve regional productivity and innovation and address specific industry research priorities.
And the Loxton Research Centre is moving ahead in leaps and bounds delivering on its mission to attract new business, research and investment into the region and become a wonderful showcase for this important region.