Chaffey Electorate Events

Chaffey Electorate
The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (15:44): I have great pride in rising to talk about some great local events in Chaffey that I have recently attended.

The Loxton Museum of Agriculture and Technology Open Days are in their third year. The event ran over two days in the Riverland in August. The agriculture museum is a primary economic generator in the Riverland and in the region. The evolution of agriculture chronicled in a museum focused on the local region and what it has meant to the Riverland region, in particular the dryland farming sector that associates with its neighbouring horticulture sector, and is second to none.

The range of events and exhibitions showcase the region's agriculture history and the local produce. More than 1,000 people attended from all over the state, despite the weather conditions in the Riverland. It was great to see so many diverse sectors of people. The museum is located at the historic Kaesler's Landing on the outskirts of Loxton. The Kaesler family's farm lies adjacent to the River Murray and was an important trading location in the paddle steamer days. The PS industry provided cruises along the beautiful Murray River, as well as having a large range of market stalls and variety food stalls.

Well done to the Loxton Museum of Agriculture and Technology chairman, Paul Kaesler; vice chairman, Tom Fielke; secretary, Raelene Harvey; treasurer, Merv Gladigau; publicity and stall coordinator, Leanne Kaesler; and committee members, Allan and Tony Hucks, Lance Pech, Rodney Schubert, Ian Nitschke, the renowned Peter and Carla Magarey—for the tireless work that they do for the history of the Riverland and particularly Loxton—Nathan Jericho, Melvin Fielke, Jo Oldman and Raelene Gladigau. The event plays a crucial role in passing on this information to our future generations.

I also attended a great event, a fantastic event, at the Chaffey Theatre—the Riverland Primary Schools Music Festival, now in its 22nd year, where hundreds of people attended performances over three nights. Four hundred students from across the Riverland combined to sing to their hearts' content in a series of three concerts for the annual Riverland Primary Schools Music Festival, and I want to commend the organising committee behind it. Well done to all the primary school children. Not only were they great singers but they were accompanied by a really accomplished 13-piece student band and supported by various assisting artists.

I also attended the St Joseph's School Parents and Friends Father's Day Breakfast, which was a really great morning, and there were many young fathers there. The morning was to acknowledge the great work fathers do in parenting, alongside the mothers, and the event showcased the 120 students who participated, along with 100 adults. They were not all fathers. Some were grandparents, but they came along to support an event that was just an outstanding local community event at St Joseph's School. The aim of the breakfast was not only to emphasise the importance of the role of fathers in their children's lives but to showcase what parenting is as a shared responsibility. Thank you to Don DePalma, the principal, and a special thanks to the staff and volunteers who coordinated the event.

It has been a busy month, but what I would say is that the Riverland continues to showcase some of the great country events in the state. This coming Friday and Saturday, along with the Premier I will be attending the much-anticipated Riverland Field Days. Coming up, we also have the 99th Loxton Annual Spring Show. I am sure I am going to get some of my jam into that show because it certainly is one of the great country shows in the state.

The Barmera Mainstreet Markets and the Waikerie Street Festival are also great events, and further into the month we have the Riverland Wine and Food Festival and the Riverland Rose Festival. People come from all over the globe to visit Renmark for its now world-renowned rose festival. The Waikerie and Districts Community Flower Show is always a great event because, with its beautiful dry and warm climate, the Riverland is one of the premier rose and flower growing regions in the country. There are also the Loveday 350 and Relay for Life events, just to name a few.

Well done to the Riverland and the Mallee. Well done to the communities and volunteers who make most of these shows possible. They are absolutely wonderful calendar events, and I look forward to spring coming. We all know that when spring is in the air, the flowers and the vines are out, all horticulture is in full bloom. It is great to see that the Riverland, its people, its volunteers and its communities are wonderfully on show.