Supporting Regional South Australia

Regional Development Fund 

Regional South Australia is vital to the State’s economy, and supporting regional economic growth through job creation is key to making South Australia a place where people and business thrive.

The State Government’s Regional Development Fund (RDF) provides grant support to businesses and communities for projects that deliver expansion, diversification and innovation, create jobs and invest in better infrastructure facilities and services around the State. The Fund is managed through Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).

The 2014-15 round of the RDF resulted in a total of 40 projects awarded funding, which will lead to the creation of a projected 653 jobs in regional South Australia and generate total investment of more than $334 million.

These projects are not only creating jobs, new opportunities and infrastructure developments in regional South Australia, but they are driving economic growth, increasing exports and building community confidence across the State. They are supporting South Australia to achieve its social and economic priorities.

The following case studies showcase a sample of the diverse RDF projects from across the State that are contributing to a vibrant and sustainable future for South Australia.

Download the Supporting Regional South Australia: Regional Development Fund booklet (PDF 2.2 MB).


 

Aerial picture of the Sundrop Farm

Sundrop Farms

Global agribusiness Sundrop Farms uses solar energy and desalinated seawater to grow high quality produce in arid climates. In most cases, the regions in which Sundrop Farms locates would otherwise be unsuitable for traditional horticulture production.

Sundrop Farms uses established technologies, but brings them together in an innovative way. This innovation is bringing opportunities to South Australia’s Far North in the form of a greenhouse facility at Port Augusta.

A $6 million RDF grant is assisting this unique business to expand its facility by 20 hectares, in a $150 million project which will create around 200 jobs, in addition to an estimated 100 jobs during construction.

Supporting the expansion is an unprecedented 10 year contract with Coles for the supply of truss tomatoes for sale across Australia. Sundrop Farms has also received investment from global private equity firm KKR and primary lender Commonwealth Bank.

"Sundrop Farms is a unique ‘triple bottom line’ business: we benefit profits by reducing input costs, we benefit the planet by using sustainable technologies, and we benefit people by bringing a new industry to areas where traditional farming is difficult or impossible. We are very grateful for the support we have received in South Australia, and we look forward to making Port Augusta a centre of excellence for arid horticulture." — John Phinney, Managing Director Australia, Sundrop Farms

This project supports the State Government economic priorities of ‘Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world’ and ‘Growth through innovation’.


Picture of a freight train

Bowmans Intermodal

Approximately 100km north of Adelaide, Bowmans Intermodal is Australia’s largest inland port and is critical to transport productivity for regional industries and exporters, particularly South Australia’s mining and agriculture.

With the support of an $840,000 RDF grant, an expansion project to duplicate the rail line will increase the capacity and value-adding activities of the site. The project will see the Bowmans Intermodal’s capacity doubling, from 25,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) shipping containers per year to 50,000 through its road/rail operations. The expansion will create 15 full time jobs plus an additional 20 jobs during construction.

"The RDF grant means we have been able to fast-track the extension. We’ll see a reduction in regional freight costs realised through the increased terminal and rail line capacities, lowering supply chain costs and improving the competitiveness of industries supported through the facility." — Malcolm May, Chair, Bowmans Intermodal.

This project supports the State Government economic priorities of ‘Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world’ and ‘Unlocking the full potential of South Australia’s resources, energy and renewable assets’.


Thomas Foods International

Thomas Foods International is Australia’s largest 100% family-owned meatprocessing company. The company is recognised as one of South Australia’s most successful and innovative exporters to over 80 countries and is the nation’s largest exporter of lamb. A $2.5 million RDF grant has supported the company’s development of a new state-of-the-art beef boning facility, placing it in prime position to capitalise on emerging international markets. The $25.4 million upgrade of its Murray Bridge mixed species abattoir is expected to lift the company’s beef processing capacity by a quarter and create 200 new jobs.

"The new boning facility is building on the company’s capacity to produce meat products of the highest industry standard for local and international markets, and ensures continued support of local producers." — David McKay, Chief Operating Officer, Thomas Foods International

This project supports the State Government economic priority of ‘Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world’.


A lady picking mushrooms at the SA mushrooms facility

SA Mushrooms

Owned and operated by the Femia family, SA Mushrooms is one of the largest privately owned mushroom farms in South Australia, and Sam, Nick and Nat strive for premium quality. The company’s climate-controlled mushroom growing farm and compost facility at Waterloo Corner in the Light area produce mushrooms and mushroom compost for domestic and interstate markets. With the support of a $200,000 RDF grant, the company is undergoing a $1.9 million expansion project which will create 13 full time jobs. The expansion will allow the company to increase its compost production capacity by at least 36%, leading to greater mushroom production and generating new employment opportunities in the Barossa, Light and Lower North region.

"The expansion will allow us to create jobs and income in South Australia by marketing, promoting and selling the State’s product interstate and overseas." — Nick Femia, Managing Director, SA Mushrooms.

This project supports the State Government economic priority of ‘Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world’.


Apples floating in water at the Ceravolo facility

Ceravolo Orchards

A new apple grading system for Adelaide Hills business Ceravolo Orchards will significantly improve the company’s operations.

The new equipment will double Ceravolo Orchards’ processing capacity, creating 16 new jobs and providing job security for another 32 existing employees as well as seasonal workers over the next five years.

A critical part of the system, the blemish grader, digitally detects blemishes and imperfections on fruit with a high degree of sensitivity and accuracy. This has previously been done by the more time consuming and less accurate method of visual inspection.

The upgrade – which received support of $200,000 through the RDF – also includes a new mezzanine floor above the grading hall to hold cartons and packaging, reducing health and safety risks and improving carton hygiene standards.

"With our current grading system operating at full capacity, the new grading equipment will increase our output in terms of quantity and quality, allowing us to grow our business and better meet customer requirements." — Tony Ceravolo, Director, Ceravolo Orchards.

This project supports the State Government economic priority of ‘Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world’.


Wilson Pastoral

Mid North farmers Brian and Jill Wilson saw the potential in the saltbush growing abundantly on their properties in the State’s Mid and Far North. Combining their skills as grain producers and sheep farmers, they fed their sheep a trial batch of pellets made of the high protein saltbush mixed with energy-rich barley and hay. With the support of a $200,000 RDF grant, the Wilson’s innovative idea is now being established as a commercial enterprise on their property. The $1.2 million project will create 13 new jobs in the first three years, with additional job opportunities in areas such as transport and engineering – creating a flow-on effect to the local community.

"Saltbush is a drought resistant and sustainable plant growing in Australia’s arid lands. We have capitalised on these qualities and value-added to create a high quality, organic product that can be used locally, nationally and internationally." — Brian Wilson, Director, Wilson Pastoral International

This project supports the State Government economic priority of ‘Growth through innovation’.


Barossa Valley Cheese Company

The Barossa Valley Cheese Company is an artisan producer based in Angaston. The small team sources milk from local dairies and is intent on creating cheese imbued with the character of the locale and the passion of the maker. The company’s range includes cow and goat milk cheeses; its washed rind cheese has become a speciality, receiving a number of top awards in artisan cheese competitions. A $200,000 RDF grant supported the company to begin an expansion that will see the creation of four jobs and an anticipated threefold production increase. The expansion includes more storage plus a larger shop space that will allow the company to increase its tourism offering, including allowing visitors to watch the cheese being made.

"We currently produce 25 different styles of cheese; this development will increase our production cellar threefold, allowing for the expansion of our cheese making into hard cheese and other varieties. By expanding our retail space we will be able to increase visitor numbers and capitalise on the existing tourist base visiting Angaston, which has the potential to achieve immediate, tangible results." — Victoria McClurg, Director, Barossa Valley Cheese Company.

This project supports the State Government economic priorities of ‘Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world’ and ‘South Australia - a growing destination choice for international and domestic travellers’.


Picture of the main street in the town of Laura

Northern Areas Council

The area covered by the Northern Areas Council is a strategic link for visitors commuting to or from the popular Flinders Ranges, lying 200km north of Adelaide and 60km east of Port Pirie.

The attractive town of Laura draws many visitors, including to the iconic Golden North ice cream factory. However, flooding in the town has been an issue for many years due to the low lying areas in the main street. A $333,869 RDF grant has supported the Council in the construction of a flood mitigation system designed to divert a significant portion of floodwater from the town. The construction project will reduce the risk of flooding in Laura’s CBD over the long term, saving the council and businesses considerable future expense in damage repair and cleanup costs, and providing confidence to investors and operators – from the caravan park to main street retailers.

"The RDF grant meant that Council could confidently begin work on the project in good time. This project will bring a renewed confidence to Laura in the future." — Denis Clark, Mayor, Northern Areas Council.

This project supports the State Government economic priority of  ‘South Australia - a growing destination choice for international and domestic travellers’.


Picture of tomatoes growing inside the glass houses at dvine ripe

D'VineRipe

D’VineRipe’s mission is to produce high volumes of consistently good quality fruit in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. A $2 million RDF grant towards the expansion of their greenhouse facility at Two Wells, on the northern Adelaide plains, will see it become the largest glasshouse in Australia. With this expansion, the company is opening up greater market opportunities through its improved capability to produce high quality premium tomatoes on a mass scale. The project is set to create 80 new jobs and an anticipated 25% increase in tomato production, which will lead to further employment opportunities for seasonal workers.

"The consumption of glasshouse-grown product is increasing in Australia; supermarkets and consumers are demanding a premium grade product with strong visual appeal. The new glasshouse will be equal to the most technologically advanced glasshouses in the world, using the latest in computerised climate control systems and technology. Our new facility will place us in a leading position to supply hydroponic truss tomatoes to major domestic retailers." — Peter Edwards, Managing Director, Victor Smorgon Group.

This project supports the State Government economic priority of ‘Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world’.


picture of the Quorn & District War Memorial Pool

Flinders Ranges Council

The Flinders Ranges Council area covers 4,198km2, including the western flank of the majestic Flinders Ranges themselves and the townships of Quorn and Hawker. The Quorn & District War Memorial Pool opened in 1962 and had served the community well for five decades. However, the ageing infrastructure was increasing operational costs, including pool maintenance and ongoing repairs. A $300,000 RDF grant ensured the completion of upgrades in time for the 2014-15 swimming season, with the regional community the real winner, as well as the many travellers who come through Quorn visiting the Flinders Ranges.

"The State Government’s regional grant support meant this ambitious project could be completed in good time. The pool refurbishment was around a $2 million project and that is simply beyond the means of our small rural Council without the support of grant funding from other levels of government." — Peter Slattery, Mayor, Flinders Ranges Council.

This project supports the State Government economic priority of ‘South Australia - a growing destination choice for international and domestic travellers’.


A plate of food and a glass of wine.

Paulett Wines

Family owned and operated, Paulett Wines in the Clare Valley is diversifying its business operations to provide a unique food and wine experience for visitors to the region.

Operating for over 30 years and well known worldwide for their award-winning wines, Paulett Wines has established a Bush Devine Café alongside its cellar door with assistance from a $115,608 RDF grant. The café’s menu focuses on using indigenous ingredients sourced from their already established bush garden, and will also offer packaged goods from the garden for purchase. As well as creating three ongoing jobs, the project provides economic flow-on effects to the region’s local contractors, businesses and local community.

"Thanks to the Regional Development Fund we have been able to realise our vision of a café offering a unique menu with bush flavours matched to our wines." — Ali Paulett, Paulett Wines.

This project supports the State Government economic priorities of ‘Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world’ and ‘South Australia - a growing destination choice for international and domestic travellers’.


Cows standing in a field with wind turbines in the background

Limestone Coast Collaborative

Agriculture, wine and food producers, as well as tourism operators in the Limestone Coast, are working to create a regional brand, marketing and development program to rival other Australian regions.

Awarded an $80,000 RDF grant, this project is an initiative of the Limestone Coast Collaborative. Through the new program the Collaborative aims to help the Limestone Coast realise its full potential for producing premium food and wine  and as being a priority holiday destination.

By taking a coordinated approach to regional branding and encouraging capacity building among both large commercial enterprises and farm gate food, wine and agricultural producers, the project will foster product development innovation and create opportunities in tourism for the Limestone Coast area.

"We have a real opportunity to put the Limestone Coast on the map, by collaboratively promoting what the region has to offer. Integrating the food, wine, tourism and agricultural sectors will create a unique visitor experience and ultimately increase employment opportunities in the region." — Daniel Newson, Chair, Limestone Coast Collaborative.

This project supports the State Government economic priorities of ‘Premium food and wine produced in our clean environment and exported to the world’ and ‘South Australia - a growing destination choice for international and domestic travellers’. 


Page Last Reviewed: 21 Dec 2017
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