A $19 million state-of-the-art Riverland Wine and Food Centre would be a focal point in attracting tourists as a destination experience, according to an independent business case released today.
Agribusiness consultancy Ernst and Young was engaged by the Marshall Liberal Government to fulfil an election commitment to undertake a business case into a Riverland Wine and Food Centre.
The business case found a $19 million six-star Wine and Food Centre would create up to 117 direct and indirect jobs and value-add $14.5 million to the state's economy.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said extensive consultation was undertaken with key stakeholders during the process.
"The feedback from stakeholders was the Riverland needs more recognition and reputation for the quality of food and beverages being produced, a greater focal point to attract visitors and a more co-ordinated approach. A Wine and Food Centre would play a strong role in solving these challenges," said Minister Whetstone.
"The business case shows a Wine and Food Centre would be financially viable and stand on its own feet.
"Despite accounting for over a quarter of Australia's wine grape production, the business case found visiting a winery is only the 10th most popular activity for domestic visitors to the Riverland.
"As a stakeholder said during workshops, 'there is no focal point that defines, promotes, and demonstrates the diversity of food and wine in the Riverland'."
"Not only would the Centre be a tourism drawcard, it would also be an economic boost. Construction of the Centre would create up to 117 jobs for the Riverland, with up to 28 additional ongoing jobs.
"When we return to normality from the impact of the coronavirus, it is important every avenue is explored in attracting investment and visitors to the Riverland.
"We have seen what the D'arenberg Cube has done for McLaren Vale visitor numbers and a destination experience like the Wine and Food Centre would not only attract tourists but provide spin-offs to the many other wonderful attractions in the region.
"A project like this would profile the best of the Riverland's food and beverages and also spotlight the history of our wine sector in a unique way.
"I'm pleased to be able to make this exciting business case publically available and I will now work closely with potential investors, stakeholders and the broader community on the next steps."
To view the business case for the Riverland Wine and Food Centre visit: pir.sa.gov.au/riverlandcentre