Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:28): I rise to talk about some activity happening in the Riverland in recent times. Yes, the trophy cabinet continues to fill in the Riverland. The Premier's Food and Beverage Industry Awards saw some great South Australian businesses, individuals and exporters recognised for their dedication to our premium food and beverage industry—none more so than Almondco, the winner of the Export Award for businesses with more than 15 FTEs.
Brenton Woolston, the managing director, was a finalist in the Leaders Award. Last month they were the winner of the Agribusiness, Food and Beverages Exporter Award at the Premier's Business and Export Awards. It is an incredible achievement for a Riverland business to be recognised as a leading exporter not only amongst South Australian businesses but nationally—and they have done it twice, a testament to Chaffey's contribution to the export industry. Also, a big shout-out to Sue Heward and Singing Magpie Produce. They were finalists in the business excellence award category for businesses up to 15 FTEs and demonstrated business excellence and set benchmarks for industry. Congratulations to all 24 winners and all the finalists.
The South Australian Tourism Awards earlier in the month saw Chaffey businesses recognised for their excellence and outstanding achievements in the tourism industry. We saw the 23rd Street Distillery winning gold in the tourism distilleries and breweries category. I want to thank the Bickford's Group, particularly Angelo and George Kotses, for the great work that they do, not only in beverage and distillery but also in the tourism sector.
The BIG4 Renmark Riverfront Holiday Park again has taken out the Voters' Choice Award for Accommodation, and a bronze in the excellence in accessible tourism category. I want to thank the Watts family for their great dedication to tourism, particularly in the Riverland. Karoonda Tourist Park took out bronze and the Berri Riverside Holiday Park was a finalist in the caravan and holiday parks category, and all credit goes to the Karoonda East Murray Council and the war memorial community board. I want to congratulate all 31 winners and the four hall of fame entrants, as well as the silver and bronze medallists. I also want to commend all of the tourism operators in the Riverland who continually remain positive considering the floods in the most recent peak season.
In late October, we also saw the Riverland Rose and Garden Festival in absolute blossom. Over the 10 days of the festival, thousands of visitors flocked to the region for fairs, open gardens, floral showcases and events right across the Riverland. I attended the opening event at Calperum Station for the fundraising bush ball, and it was great to have John Schumann and the Swingin' Willies there. They are quite an entertaining band, I must say, and 150 people enjoyed the evening with all proceeds going to Calperum Station. I want to congratulate the committee: the chair, Michelle Dominic, the secretary, Rebecca Kennedy, the treasurer, Frankie Dunhill, and members, Richard Fewster, John Chappel, Murray Harvey, Graham and Glenys Matthews, Nola Schultz and Glenda Cass.
The Regional Showcase Awards at the beginning of November saw Riverland Wine take out a resilience award, along with commissioned photographer Matt Wilson. Through his lens, we saw photography of the wine industry's resilience, the challenges that have been, the China tariffs, transport and logistics costs, and lower tourism numbers due to the floods. There were six award winners and 20 finalists right across South Australia. It was a great month for the Riverland.
I also want to throw out a thank you to Rustons Distillery for The Rustons Fest, a music festival. Sheree and James Chappel are the owners of Rustons Distillery, and the festival saw quite a young crowd come to the distillery and really let their hair down and have a great time. Also to Brad and Nicole Flowers, the proprietors of the Overland Corner Hotel and the Sounds in the Quarry. We saw 20 local artists up in the quarry behind the historic Overland Corner Hotel. It is an absolute destination, and for anyone who is travelling to the Riverland, make sure you get to the Overland Corner Hotel and experience great hospitality.
We continue to see great hospitality up at the Woolshed Brewery and those events continue to be such a drawcard not only to the tourism sector, but bringing people into the region, boosting the economy and making sure that we have such a diverse array of attractions for people to come and visit and view what a great region the Riverland is. It is great news for Chaffey, and it is great news for all of the businesses up there as we come into peak tourism season after such a trying season last year.