During early April the RDA Southern Inland Committee conducted the first of three scheduled regional visits for 2016.
This first visit was to the Hilltops Region, consisting of the local government areas of Young, Harden and Boorowa.
The area was chosen for its rich agriculture and export potential to markets such as China. Assisting businesses with exporting is currently a major focus for RDA Southern Inland.
Over a two day period the Committee visited Walsh’s Country Kitchen, Hilltop Meats, Australian Mustard Oil, Ambos Stockfeed as well as Grove Estate Wines to learn about the area’s growing food production capability and capacity and challenges being faced. Members stopped to enjoy lunch and visit the Barnes Store Emporium and Cafe in Murrumburrah where we were greeted by owners, Wendy and Stephen and given a tour of the high tech interactive displays of Young and it's cultural history.
A networking dinner was held at the Young Services Club with RDA Southern Inland Committee members hosting the Mayor of Young Shire Council and representatives of the Chamber of Commerce. Special guest for the evening was the President of the Australian Cherry Growers Association, Mr Tom Eastlake, who gave an enlightening after dinner presentation on the challenges faced by the local cherry industry in their attempts to try and export to China.
The visit also consisted of an opportunity for the Committee to hold an ordinary meeting in the Young Shire Council Chambers to report and vote on a number of issues and projects.
The RDA Southern Inland regional visits program is a vital means for the RDA Southern Inland Committee to connect to local government and the local business community in order to gain a greater ‘coal face’ understanding of our area of responsibility.
From this visit our Chairman, Cr Mark Schweikert, has made representations to the Minister for Trade on behalf of Hilltop Meats Abattoir and is in contact with several other local service providers about RDA Southern Inland programs that could help Hilltops businesses into the future.
Committee meeting in Young. L-R: John Vucic, Cr Sue Whelan OAM, Barry McDonald, Chairman Mark Schweikert, Terry Oakes-Ash OAM, Andrew Heath, Ben Maguire, Allan Carpenter, Anthony Goonan.
Visiting Australian Mustard Oil in Young.
Committee being given a guided tour of Hilltop Meats facility.
Commening the regional visit in Boorowa with lunch and a guided tour of Walsh's Country Kitchen by owners, Rowland and Cathy Walsh.