The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is boosting its presence and outreach to growers in the southern cropping region through the opening of a dedicated regional office.
The office, located at the National Wine Centre of Australia building in Adelaide, will service the three states that comprise the GRDC’s southern region – South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
The office houses five staff, with more positions likely to be added over time.
GRDC Chairman Richard Clark says the establishment of the southern regional office enables the organisation to enhance its existing relationships with growers and other grains industry personnel, including grower groups, advisers and researchers.
“The GRDC is complementing operations at its central office in Canberra by setting up regional offices across the country. These offices will foster a stronger connection to our growers and allow us to improve the delivery of outcomes from research and development that are of most benefit to local growers,” Mr Clark says.
The transfer of some of the GRDC’s functions and roles out of Canberra and into the regions (there will be four regional offices) is in recognition of the increasing diversity in environmental factors, farming systems and grower profiles across the nation.
Mr Clark says this “hub and spoke” model is most appropriate for an organisation like the GRDC which has a mandate to work closely with growers and industry at a regional level but to also maintain and grow strategic relationships with research partners from across Australia and the globe, which can be done most effectively from a national head office.
The GRDC’s Adelaide office was officially opened by Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, who also opened the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) office within the National Wine Centre of Australia building, which also houses Wine Australia.
Minister Ruston was delighted to formally open the offices, and said that the move would boost the prosperity of local economies and communities.
“This is a positive move, relocating agencies with a strong rural focus closer to the industries that they serve,” Minister Ruston said.
“The move to South Australia to increase regional presence will certainly go a long way in boosting jobs and growth in areas connected to rural and regional Australia.”
South Australian Minister for Agriculture Minister Bignell said the new GRDC office reinforced South Australia’s position as a major centre for grain research.
“GRDC is a key partner of the South Australian Government and this move will allow us to work even closer on a number of important initiatives, including the $50 million bilateral agreement with GRDC.
“This agreement through the South Australian Research and Development Institute will help to deliver high quality, locally relevant grains research over the next five years.”
The establishment of the GRDC’s southern regional office will complement the network of 11 Southern Regional Panel members spread across the region and the 40 members of the Regional Cropping Solutions Networks that support the Panel in identifying GRDC-funded research priorities.
In 2014-15 the GRDC invested more than $196 million in grains related research – much of which supports researchers, advisers and grower groups based in regional locations in delivering positive outcomes for the benefit of levy-paying growers.
Sharon Watt, Porter Novelli
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