Grievance Debate - Chaffey

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:49): I rise to speak about some of the iconic events that have been happening in the Riverland and Chaffey over the recent week.

We know that spring is in the air and the Riverland is one of the great horticultural sectors in the state and also one of the great flower regions. I was privileged to go along with Senator Anne Ruston, who is synonymous with Ruston's Rose Garden, the country's largest rose collection, to open the Waikerie garden show and celebrate with Glennis Crawford and her committee, who do an outstanding job in the floral displays right across the board. There were many different varieties of flowers and flower arrangements that won numerous awards. It was an absolute spectacle at the Waikerie Institute.

I was also privileged to attend and speak at the Riverland Rose and Garden Festival. It is a renamed event that previously was the Renmark Rose Festival. It is now celebrating its 27th year as one of the region's largest and most supported festivals. Not only do we have festivities and flower displays, with all the gardens in full flower, but we also have open gardens and those open gardens are absolutely spectacular. There are very proud gardeners and house owners who open up their gardens for the public to have a look at the great dedication and hard work these people put into showing off their gardens.

I was thrilled to have the Premier in Chaffey over the weekend. He was in awe of the spectacular showcasing of what the region had to offer, particularly at the Jarrett Memorial Gardens. A range of events and attractions took place showcasing not only the gardens but local produce as well. I would also like to commend the outstanding job that the committee and volunteers do to plan to be COVID safe and the outstanding job by Sheree Chappel, the chair, and John Chappel, the secretary. Richard Fewster, Priya Tomar, Lorna Taylor, Chris Petersen, Helen Davenport, Jill Knight and Sandy Lloyd make up the dedicated committee.

Also on Saturday night, it was a privilege to take the Premier to Loxton to a dinner/theatre event. It was Kick Off Ya Boots, by Little Town Productions. The Premier did not stop laughing for 2½ hours. It was great theatre, showcasing the challenges faced by a typical farming family, whether it is the isolation, commodity prices or the lack of rain. It really did highlight what those farming families go through.

The Kick Off Ya Boots event was attended by over 500 people over the three performances. I would like to acknowledge some of the great people who were involved: John Gladigau, the producer and playwright, did an outstanding job and put a lot of comedy into that show; director, Aimee Gladigau; assistant director, Aub Mattner; technical coordinator, Paul Kaesler; sound technician, Jayden Gladigau; and light technician, Brady Fulham, who is in year 12, did an outstanding job, as did the website and ticketing volunteer, Chris Fulham. I would also like to have a shoutout to Will, my trainee in the EO. He was one of the cast members and he also did an outstanding job.

The food was great and the catering team needs to be congratulated on good country cooking. It really was an absolute treat. The entire production was one to remember, as are all the Little Town Productions in Loxton.

The Premier and I managed to visit the Berri Rowing Club to celebrate its 100th anniversary. We were joined by South Australia's only gold medal Olympian, Alexander Hill, who was there in attendance as one of the boats was named in his honour. I want to thank the Clark family. In attendance were both Steve and Wyatt Clark for a boat changeover. Steve is now the recipient of his grandfather's four and he in turn swapped for a brand-new four. It was great to see.

I would also like to acknowledge some fantastic Riverland businesses. Banrock Station was named the joint winner of the Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices category. The historic Overland Corner Hotel was voted the Best Country Pub in South Australia in Wotif's Uniquely Aussie Awards. And finally, the Berri Hotel was awarded the Australian Hotels Association (SA) 2021 Award for Excellence and the Community Service and Support Award. It was a great weekend with great festivities and it is always great to have the Premier up in Chaffey.

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