Flying Finish – Clare Valley flying Group

Regional Development Australia Y&MN Chairman Bill Vandepeer, Clare & Gilbert Valleys Mayor Allan Aughey and Clare Valley Flying Group chairman Peter Roberts with Geoff

Regional Development Australia Y&MN Chairman Bill Vandepeer, Clare & Gilbert Valleys Mayor Allan Aughey  and Clare Valley Flying Group chairman Peter Roberts with Geoff

A grant windfall for the Clare Valley Flying Group from both Federal and State Governments will provide the region with an all-weather, 24-hour landing facility.

Member for Frome Geoff Brock congratulated the State Liberal Government for honouring a commitment to contribute $395,629 towards this important project, which was more than matched by an Australian Government grant of $469,191 under the Building Better Regions Funding round announced this week.

“I received confirmation from State Treasurer Rob Lucas of the previous Government’s funding commitment to support the Clare Valley Flying Club’s application and am pleased the Flying Club can add to their excellent development.

“The project will enable commercial expansion and additional business, freight and tourism opportunities,” Mr Brock said.

“This has been a great journey for the dedicated committee. I was pleased to support them in 2010 with an initial State Government grant of $153,000 for the first stage of the aerodrome, which was so enthusiastically backed by the people and businesses of the Clare Valley with financial and in-kind contributions.”

Mr Brock paid tribute to founding Flying Group president Adrian Smith whose vision and dedication got the ball rolling and to the committee for their continual hard work in developing the aerodrome to its current high standard.

Mayor Allan Aughey OAM said every upgrade in the aerodrome’s facilities was a positive when it came to community safety.

As well as the obvious commercial outcomes resulting from improving the 1,220 metre long runway with compaction, resheeting and line marking together with the upgrade of lighting, Mayor Aughey said the availability for emergency use was of enormous community benefit.

“This will have implications during bushfires, floods or any unthinkable catastrophe and the upgrades will be of benefit to the whole Mid North of South Australia,” he said.




New accommodation for adventurous backpackers in the Mid North Town of Blyth

BDH Bites30th January 2018

A $100,000 Regional Development Fund grant will support BDH Hostelry’s $410,000 project to transform the hospital site into a 46-bed backpacker hostel, complete with camp kitchen, bar and bike hire service.

Geoff is pleased to see investment in a 46-bed backpacker hostel, a new venture that will create new jobs, revitalise the vacant Blyth Hospital and attract backpackers to the Mid North is being backed by a State Government grant.

The new facility will offer short-stay accommodation for backpackers and visitors and provide longer-term accommodation options for vintage and other seasonal workers.

Major upgrades to be funded through the grant, to make the building suitable for accommodation, will include upgrades to the plumbing and electrical systems and the fire and smoke detection systems. The facility will house a 30kw solar system and solar hot water.

Both Nicole and joint owner Anthon Haitana have stated they feel privileged to receive the support of the Regional Development Fund.

“The grant will help us to realise our vision, which is to support tourists who want to explore the Mid North region by offering an affordable and relaxed experience.

There isn’t a backpacker hostel currently within 100km of Blyth, including the Clare Valley, so it’s going to be very exciting to explore this market” they said.

The BDH Hostelry will also provide much-needed service to local businesses by offering accommodation for domestic and international workers who come to the Mid North for employment at vintage and harvest.

A range of quality accommodation options is crucial to entice visitors to any region which is why it makes economic sense for the Mid North to diversify into the backpacker market.

“I know visitors will enjoy a unique experience in Blyth, setting the scene for their continued travels throughout the Mid North.” Said Geoff


Pilot Program to safeguard crops from spray drift

Hart 13Feb2018-1Hart 13Feb2018










Tuesday 13th February 2018

Weather Stations pilot funded for Mid North – with $1.46m State Government funded grant.

The network will give growers unprecedented access to the vital weather data needed to minimise the risk of spray drift.

After meeting with stakeholders and advocating for this pilot project to be supported I am pleased to see The Ag Excellence Alliance receive funding which will see 40 solar-powered weather stations installed at selected sites throughout the Mid North, Clare Valley, and including some stations in the northern Adelaide Plains and northern Yorke Peninsula.

The weather stations will provide farmers with highly accurate and localised data about atmospheric stability. This information will allow farmers to avoid spraying pesticides when weather conditions indicate spray drift is likely.

Locations have been identified for 37 of the stations so far, with 14 in the Mid North area, 10 in the Adelaide Plains, nine in the Clare Valley, and four in the northern Yorke Peninsula.

Estimates put the potential loss in production value from spray drift in the Mid North to be around $178 million a year if not addressed. The first four stations are expected to be installed by the middle of this year with the network scheduled to be in place by September 2019. A functional website for growers to access weather data from the stations is anticipated to be operational by July 2019.

The Ag Excellence Alliance was established in 2005 to help increase the viability of South Australian farmers through providing leadership and effective linkages between grower groups and key stakeholders.

Ag Ex Excellence Alliance manages a range of projects that contribute to the sustainability of farm businesses across South Australia. Projects are supported by a diversity of funders and delivered in collaboration with grower groups.

The project will be jointly funded from the State Government’s Economic Sustainability Program and the Regional Development Fund.

Geoff said: “The food most of us put on our tables each night comes from our regions – including the Mid North.

This pilot network of automatic weather stations is a critical investment to ensure our producers will have the necessary data to make informed decisions in managing their properties into the future.

$200,000 Grant for Child Care places in Balaklava

Geoff Brock with Dale Gatherole and the children at the Balaklava Child Care CentreDSC_0178

Wednesday 31st January 2018

Geoff is extremely pleased that after years of lobbying and consistently working with all stakeholders that the Balaklava Community Children’s Centre has now been offered a $200,000 State Government grant this week, to support a much-needed redevelopment giving families increased access to the local service.

The existing childcare centre is at capacity with an established waitlist for places and a need for flexible spaces to support early intervention and playgroup activities.

The Regional Development Fund grant has been offered to help finance construction of a brand new, purpose-built extension and the redevelopment of the current facility at Scotland Street to increase places from 59 to 90.

Balaklava Community Children’s Centre currently provides services for 125 families and is the only childcare facility in the Wakefield Regional Council area.

Plans for the $550,000 project include an extra room for childcare including a sleep area and a strengthened Out of School Hours program, age-appropriate toilets and amenities for people with disabilities, staff room, laundry with secure chemical store, verandah extension and a space to enable families to access early intervention advice.

Playgroup and parent/carer workshops will serve as an outreach resource for the community. It also provides two outreach playgroups to the community.

It is a rural, integrated, vertically-grouped and not-for-profit organisation that provides learning and care for children aged between six weeks and 12 years.

Having childcare available is a critical part of attracting workers to the regions. This project has the support of three regional businesses that have indicated expanded childcare services in the region would offer greater flexibility for their workforce.

Dale Gathercole director of the Balaklava Community Children’s Centre said “Our vision is to make a real difference to the children living in the region, continuing to provide learning and care which exceed the National Quality Standards, whilst strengthening partnerships with local families.

Being offered a Regional Development Fund grant puts us in a strong position to help address not only the current waiting list, but also to expand services, while providing much needed early intervention within our new and improved facilities.”

I congratulate Dale, the staff and Governing Council for continuing to focus on the needs of children in the community and maintain drive for a project that will benefit many families in the future.


Understanding Mental Illness & Substance Use Forum

Monday 4th December, Phil Barry chambers, Scotland Place Balaklava, 11am to 12.30pm
Mental Illness and Substance Use disorders very commonly co-exist, and people with a diagnosis of mental illness are highly vulnerable to developing a substance use disorder.

At this forum you will have a unique opportunity to hear the ‘lived Experience’ perspective from a Skylight Recovery Advocate who through their own experience will provide a basis for understanding this complex and mostly misunderstood diagnosis.
Bookings Essential see poster below.
Clare Valley Forum

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Shop C Ellen Centre Port Pirie
PO Box 519 Port Pirie SA 5540
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