Occupational Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Committee: Barossa Valley Visit

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 16:25 :59 ): I rise to support this motion and to endorse the remarks of the mover and the Hon. John Darley. It was unfortunate that the Hon. Mr Kandelaars was unable to come on the day, although knowing his state of health that day and that the temperature in the Barossa on that May day was predictably reasonably cool, he may well have been wise not to come with us. I would like to briefly put on record my gratitude to the member for Schubert in another place not only for his membership of the committee but also for his ready willingness to host the first regional visit of this committee in his own electorate. It was a widely varying field trip, but one that I think was of great value to all those of us who participated.

I will not repeat the things that the Hon. John Darley, in particular, has expertly summarised about the day, but some highlights for me included the visit to Pernod Ricard at Rowland Flat. I certainly remember being told about the Active Choice Health and Wellbeing Program, which I think the company has placed a very high priority on. I think they have identified that if they keep their workforce in good shape, both physically and mentally, they will certainly have less absenteeism as well as a greater striving within their workforce to build productivity and demonstrate a greater pride in the brand.

That was also exemplified by the work health and safety board that we saw and the staff suggestions board that were located at the entry to the bottling and packaging plant. I think all members of the committee who were on the trip were impressed by the fact that not only is there a staff suggestions board, it is actually something that management takes great notice of and responds to. Those were particular things that I remember about the visit to Rowland Flat.

In the Vinpac visit at Angaston I also noted that Vinpac is a self-insured employer with almost 300 employees across a wide range of activities there. The company has a number of early intervention and prevention programs in place aimed at maintaining a healthy workforce. Once again, I think management demonstrated to us that they are very keen to invest in the health and wellbeing of their staff.

I think the Hon. Mr Darley has highlighted the difference between the first two businesses that we witnessed and then Barossa Enterprises. I have been aware of Barossa Enterprises since it first came into existence, I think in the 1980s. It is a wonderful not-for-profit enterprise, firstly based in the Barossa, but I now understand it has extended also to Clare. It provides excellent services to individuals and families that live with a disability and it is regarded with great pride across the Barossa. There are many businesses that deal with Barossa Enterprises that I think are very proud of the fact that they can support that organisation. Not specifically, but some, are particularly proud of their connections to the WoodWerx program, which the Hon. Mr Darley mentioned, and also the community lifestyle connections program.

Another part of the day which I suppose we do not usually talk about was lunchtime, when the committee went to another of the icons of the Barossa, that is, The South Australian Company Store Kitchen at Angaston. I think it was an important thing for us, obviously, to have something to eat, but I think we also saw some of the ways in which the many hospitality enterprises that make up the Barossa operate. They operate with buses coming in with tourists, with local residents and, of course, with visiting members of parliament. That was also part of the day.

I commend the Hon. Steph Key, as the chair of the committee, for her passion for this regional trip. I know there is one further trip planned to the Riverland and, having a great affection for that part of the state, I look forward to that trip as well. In closing, I thank the committee's only member of staff, Ms Sue Sedivy, for her passion for the work of the committee and the great efficiency in the way she operates as its executive officer. With those words, I support the motion.

Motion carried.