Inaugural Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board members appointed

News article |

The inaugural Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board members have been appointed, joining Chair Di Davidson, in leading a back-to-basics approach on managing natural resources in the region.

Posted 08 July 2020.

The new board members provide a diverse range of skills and expertise.

The six new board members include:

Andrew Biele

Andrew is the Farm/ Operations Manager for the collaborative farming Business “Bulla Burra which is based at Loxton. He is an experienced large scale property and personnel manager with extensive practical experience, and holds an advanced Diploma of Rural Business Management, and Diploma of Viticultural Management and Oenology. Andrew has also worked for SARDI in broad acre crop evaluations and breeding programs, and for Boars Rock Winery where he managed fruit purchasing and intake from all wine regions nationally as well as co-ordination and management of more than 200 growers.

Andrew has extensive experience in managing people and developing their skills and knowledge. Andrew is an active member of numerous grower and farming groups including Mallee Sustainable Farming and Grain Growers SA, and he is a past member of the Mallee and Coorong Natural Resources Management Group.

Greg Cock

Greg has an agricultural science degree with a focus on soil science. He has had a long career in the agriculture portfolio of the South Australian Government, working on statewide and national projects and programs, with roles in sustainable development and community engagement. Greg has a thorough understanding of agricultural systems, broader environmental matters and has a strong commitment for engaging regional communities. His extensive network and sound understanding of the financial, social and environmental challenges of the region motivated his nomination to the Board.

Greg has a desire to utilise his strategic focus and his knowledge of working with government, rural communities, farmers and the environment sector to the Board’s program. Greg is motivated by advocacy for balancing production and conservation perspectives as per the charter of the Landscapes program.

Greg is a partner in Paiwalla Pty Ltd, the Trustee of the Wetlands Habitat Trust (Paiwalla) based near Mypolonga. He has been an employee of Primary Industries and Regions SA having worked on soil and water management research, extension and policy across the state and particularly in our region. He had a lead role in the State’s 2006 to 2011 Drought Response Program and held the position of Executive Officer for the Agricultural Bureau SA for some years. He is currently employed by Livestock SA under a contract with the Department for Environment and Water on its Flows for the Future program.

Barb Cowey

Barb is the Regional Coordinator Riverland and Murraylands for PIRSA and a highly respected member of the Riverland community. She has strong relationships within government and with the private sector, with extensive experience in market research and development, strategic and business planning, and regional development. Barb has previously been involved in policy development and planning for management and recovery from natural disasters such as drought and the hailstorms of 2017 and 2019.

Barb has been involved in numerous clubs, businesses and governing councils, and is currently on the Renmark Paringa Network commute and a member of the KESAB Board. Her work in regional development has ensured a strong connection with the community. Barb believes the natural and built environments thrive when they are in unison. She is looking forward to assisting the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board to raise the importance of the relationship between the natural environment and sustainable primary production while protecting biodiversity and adapting to climate variability. Barb holds a Diploma of Education, a Diploma of Management, and Certificate VI in Training and Assessment.

Jim Godden

Jim is the General Manager of Angove Family Winemakers in Renmark, in the Riverland, where he manages the operational business functions of the winery facility. Jim has a strong business background with expertise in legislative frameworks including occupational health and safety, injury management, environment licence and food safety as well as skills in financial management. He helps manage the company’s water assets and water leasing.

A personal passion of Jim’s is wetland restoration and management, and he has a strong links with the Loveday Wetlands and its management. He is a member of various community organisations as well as being the director and current chair of the Independent Winemakers Group Pty Ltd.

Lisa Rowntree

Lisa is an elected member of the Coorong District Council and has a strong connection to the horticultural industry through her family’s olive growing and processing business, Longridge Olives. Lisa fills the role of Sales, Marketing and Finance Manager for Longridge Olives and she was formerly the president of the industry group Olives South Australia and CEO of the Australian Olive Industry. She is also a member of the Murraylands Food Alliance.

In 2005 Lisa was awarded the RIRDC Rural Women of the Year Award for South Australia. Lisa has skills in critical thinking and strategic planning, policy development and public speaking. She is experienced in working with government at local, state and federal levels. Lisa holds an Advanced Diploma in Horticulture and a Graduate Diploma for the Company Directors course from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is well connected to her local community through her involvement with the netball and football clubs, the community pool committee and the Coomandook Area School governing council.

Jason Size

Jason is a Nuffield Scholar from the Riverland who is the owner/ manager of Bookpurnong Fruits, a stone fruit growing enterprise. Jason is a grower and Director for Quality Fruit marketing which involves growers with similar interests marketing their products together. He has an Advanced Diploma of Horticulture and a Master of Business Administration, and an interest in research and development of fruit varietal evaluation. He is currently chair of the Loxton District Landcare group and has previously been the Chair for the South Australian Fresh Fruit Growers Association (now known as Summerfruit SA).

Jason wants to ensure he can have a positive impact on this region physically and within a policy framework as landscapes are not just about the environment but how everything fits together to enable future generations to thrive. Jason is a quiet and independent thinker and wants to make a difference in whatever he does.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the new landscape boards will be partnering with community groups, local government and industry to ensure our state’s regional landscapes and farming industries are thriving, resilient and sustainable.

“The Marshall Liberal Government promised a stronger, back-to-basics system with an emphasis on effective water management, pest plant and animal control, and soil and land management,” said Minister Speirs.

“The successful passing of Landscape South Australia Act 2019 means we can get on with delivering this and the creation of new landscape regions are crucial to giving local communities a greater say in natural resources management and in particular how levies are spent."

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development and Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone welcomed the new Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board members.

“I would like to congratulate the new board members on their appointment. It’s great to see that there is good representation, as well some really unique experience and knowledge” said Minister Whetstone.

“The new Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board will help deliver our government’s back-to-basics approach to natural resources management in South Australia.”

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board Chair Di Davidson said she was looking forward to working with the new board members.

“We were extremely happy with the range and calibre of applications that we received from the community, which made the selection process more challenging than ever. I would like to thank all of those that applied, and congratulate the successful applicants,” said Ms Davidson.

“With the knowledge and skills that these new board members bring, I think we are well placed to provide the leadership needed to manage our regional landscape, which we will do in close collaboration with our community and many partners.”

The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board is one of nine new regional landscape boards, which from 1 July will administer the new Landscape South Australia Act 2019, including a new metropolitan landscape board, Green Adelaide.

Initially all board members will be appointed by the Minister, but from 2022 three out of seven members will be elected by the community (except for the specialist board Green Adelaide and the Alinytjara Wiluṟara board, which is already represented by select regional leaders).

To ensure a smooth transition for regional communities, NRM services will continue to be delivered under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 until the new Act 2019 is fully operational on 1 July 2020.

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