Media Releases

Marketing opens world of opportunity

November 12, 2019

Workshops help businesses expand reach

A fantastic opportunity is coming up for business owners and operators looking to improve and develop their interstate and/or overseas markets. The Adelaide Business Hub and Food South Australia are combining forces to present two half day workshops specifically for local businesses in Naracoorte, Thursday 21 November and Mount Gambier, Friday 22 November.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Patrick Baker of Baker Marketing coming down to deliver a fit for purpose session on digital marketing and cost-effective marketing tools,” said David Wheaton, Chief Executive Officer, Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast. “Patrick will offer business owners great insight into developing your content and creating a Digital Action Plan that will best reach your customers and increase your sales conversions,” he said.

Key topics that will be covered at the workshop include understanding where customers turn to for information regarding your products or services, which tools will most effectively reach your target customers and how to capitalise on low-cost digital tools to improve success.

 “Many business owners are already comfortable with targeting the local markets with their online content but are unsure on the best methods for accessing markets further abroad,” said Mr Wheaton. “Patrick will help you decide which is the best approach and what are the most effective marketing activities and tools for your business to utilise,” he said.

In conjunction with this latest digital training from ASBAS, Annabel Mugford from the Food SA SME Export Hub will be in region to meet one on one with food and beverage (excluding wine) businesses around export.

The recently launched Hub focuses on supporting food and beverage businesses to become export ready and fast track their export growth.

“Annabel is excited to have the opportunity to personally introduce the Food SA Export Hub at the Digital training workshops and then offer some one-on-one time to discuss export with individual businesses,” said Mr Wheaton. “You may be already exporting or only just thinking about exporting and the Hub can help to support your growth in export,” he said.

For those not able to attend the workshops, appointments can be made directly with Annabel to discuss the Hub outside of the workshops. Whether you can attend the training or not, contact Annabel to start discussing the SME Export Hub via email:

Full details and registrations for these workshops can be found at the Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast Facebook page @rdalimestonecoast or calling 8723 1057. 

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South Australia Food and Beverage Export Hub – helping food and beverage businesses fast track their export growth

October 10, 2019

A new export hub has recently been established to help South Australian small to medium food and beverage businesses become export ready and fast track their export growth. The South Australia Food and Beverage Export Hub is a one-stop-export-shop specifically focused on food and beverage manufacturers, processes and producers with fewer than 200 full-time employees.

The South Australian Food and Beverage Export Hub focuses on eight key export markets: China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, UAE, USA and Vietnam.

“Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast is excited to be one of eight organizations partnering with Food SA in this program,” said Peter Gandolfi, Chair of RDALC “We’ll be working closely with Food SA to assist the delivery of the Hub services to our local businesses and maximise the potential economic benefits for our region.”

“The Export Hub program is conveniently divided into three modules tailored to food and beverage business needs at each stage of their export development process,” explained Catherine Sayer, Food South Australia Chief Executive Officer.

“Informed through previous industry research, Food South Australia has identified common issues for businesses considering exporting and growing their export markets. By working with the eight Export Hub partner organisations, we have designed this program to assist businesses overcome these issues,” Ms Sayer said.

The eight Export Hub partners are: SARDI, The University of Adelaide, TradeStart, AUSVEG-SA and four Regional Development Australia organisations. Combining the partners knowledge and experience with key Food South Australia staff based at the Food South Australia offices and in China and Japan, gives the business participants an unprecedented level of access to exporting skills and support.

“The Hub program is specifically designed to complement the existing Austrade programs and expands on current support – not duplicate it – by including support for businesses that aren’t yet export-ready,” said Mr Gandolfi. “The Hub can assist businesses to bridge the initial stages and grow into the export-ready phase.”

Participation in the Export Hub is fee-based and all South Australian food and beverage businesses are invited to apply.

Limestone Coast food and beverage businesses interested in finding out more about the program are encouraged to attend one of the local upcoming information sessions in late November. Further information on these sessions can be sought from RDALC on (08) 87231057 or emailing

Food South Australia is an independent, industry-led and membership-based organisation, representing small, medium and large companies across the food and beverage sector in South Australia. Food South Australia is the peak body for the food and beverage industry in South Australia.

The South Australia Food and Beverage Export Hub is delivered by Food South Australia, with grant funding from the Australian Government’s SME Export Hubs and FTA-ME grant opportunities and funding support from the Government of South Australia.

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Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast boosting the capability of our local building industry

September 30, 2019

Local construction and trade businesses can enhance their chances of securing work on a range of South Australian projects by positioning their business as a credible supplier in the supply chain – and ultimately win work. 

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast has secured a fantastic opportunity to host the Industry Capability Network (ICN) for a three-hour business specific workshop in October.

The Construction Industry in the Limestone Coast accounts for more than 770 businesses, employs over 2,000 people and contributes more than $540 million to our economy every year. New opportunities for this sector will contribute to the growth of the region and boost other related industries.

The ICN connects suppliers with project proponents and procurement managers across Australia and New Zealand. The ICN’s services are easy to use and can help support local businesses to make the right connections to maximise these new opportunities.

“This workshop offers local industry the ability to learn the techniques and skills needed to participate in major projects and operations by increasing the visibility of local suppliers to buyers,” said RDALC CEO David Wheaton. “This training can open up new market opportunities not only for contracts in South Australia but more broadly Australia,” he said.

“RDALC want to support Limestone Coast businesses to be leaders in the pack when it comes to securing tenders and large contracts.”

The workshop is facilitated by the Industry Capability Network (ICN) and Quisk Design and will help participants:

  • Understand the ICN Expression of Interest process
  • Collate an appropriate response to EOI criteria
  • Identify your Unique Value Proposition
  • Develop a Capability Statement
  • Increase your chances of being shortlisted
  • Develop your branding and business development activities across multiple platforms

“One of the key barriers to accessing larger contracts can be tackling the time consuming and complex procurement processes,” Mr Wheaton said.  “By attending this workshop participants will have a better understanding of the processes behind these operations and be empowered to seek new business opportunities and break into new and expanding supply chains to give their business the advantage heading forward.”

This workshop titled “Building Credibility for Major Projects” will be a once-off – so businesses are encouraged to book in without delay. Further details and registration information can be found via the RDALC facebook page @rdalimestonecoast 

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Is bioenergy for your business?

August 8, 2019

Bioenergy is energy or power produced from organic matter derived from plants, animals and organic by-products. Referred to as ‘biomass feedstocks’, this organic matter can be used to produce electricity, heat, fuel and other bio-based products.

Many are familiar with the term’s biomass and bioenergy, but few have probably ever considered what opportunity the production of bioenergy has for their business – and how much money it can potentially save. Biomass resources have major potential in diversifying energy sources and supplying additional energy during peak demand, thus reducing business costs.

It also reduces carbon emissions, diverts waste from landfill and produces valuable by-products such as biochar to provide secondary income streams.

In 2015 the South Australian Government undertook a study exploring the states bioenergy potential. The resulting Bioenergy Roadmap identified several hotspots, showing that South Australia has significant potential in commercially available bioenergy.

At the time of the study, the bioenergy industry was worth $0.5B to Australia with high potential for significant growth. To underpin this study and accelerate the development of bioenergy projects, the Bioenergy Roadmap Program was formed, consisting of a prefeasibility fund (the Bioenergy Connect Program) and a second stage full feasibility fund (the Bioenergy Feasibility Fund).

This Program is currently open to businesses operating in South Australia and is aimed at building the capacity of businesses to better understand their bioenergy potential and ultimately increase development of bioenergy infrastructure projects across the state.

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast is the lead organisation managing and delivering the Bioenergy Roadmap Program and has been doing so since 2016. To date 21 businesses have accessed the Bioenergy Connect Program (BEC) with 4 continuing through to the Bioenergy Feasibility Fund.

This has included olive producers, equestrian centres, food processors, piggeries, poultry and dairy producers, timber processors, councils and even zoos.

In a horticultural context, Holla Fresh at Tantanoola is the shining light of innovation in bioenergy on an international scale. The business replaces purchased electricity and waste-oil-fired hot water with a low emissions, low cost innovative alternative. Called “ECHO2” the bioenergy system supplies hot water for the glasshouse along with electricity and horticultural CO2. They exchange clean recycled wood biomass to run the process with the high value biochar by-product as a secondary product. This system is carbon negative via carbon capture and storage and produces huge financial savings to the business.

The Mount Gambier Aquatic Centre is another simpler bioenergy success story. They have used locally sourced wood chip to run biomass boilers to heat the pool since 2014 – winning the 2014 SA Aquatic Innovation Award from Recreation SA in recognition of this initiative.

RDALC is now calling for other interested businesses to take up the opportunity to enter into the BEC with 10 places still available for pre-feasibility projects. As part of the BEC, successful applicants engage with an approved bioenergy mentor. The mentors guide them through the conceptual stages of developing a bioenergy project and then develop a high-level estimation of the financial benefits of applying bioenergy technology to their business. This prefeasibility report often outlines multiple bioenergy options for the applicant’s business.

To find out more visit the bioenergy roadmap page here or call 87231057.

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Building for Our Future

July 11, 2019

The quality of a society’s infrastructure is critical to its economic performance and social capital. Building schools, hospitals and roads, protecting our environment and enhancing our cultural and sporting facilities are all part of planning and providing for the long term.

Sound investment in infrastructure can boost the productive potential of the economy and growth of exports through improved transport networks, communication infrastructure or facilities. The recent injection of funds for the airport upgrade, the racecourse redevelopment and the soon to be constructed sport and recreation centre in Mt Gambier are great assets to our regional economy.

This week Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast invited Mr Jeremy Conway, CEO of the newly established Infrastructure SA to present to the Board regarding the discussion paper on the 20-Year State Infrastructure Strategy. A new initiative of the State Liberal Government, Infrastructure SA was established in November 2018 under the Infrastructure SA Act 2018. The Infrastructure SA Board reports directly to the Premier and is an independent governing body combining expertise from public and private sectors.

In his presentation, Mr Conway spoke about the proposed Infrastructure Strategy. A first for South Australia the strategy will encapsulate the State’s challenges and opportunities, it will identify the infrastructure needs for industries, businesses and communities to thrive into the future.

Infrastructure SA recognise the importance regions play in our state’s economy and are keen to gather input into the future direction of investment into our infrastructure needs. The 20-Year strategy will enable the Government to plan and make decisions to ensure that South Australia has the infrastructure required to grow the economy, create jobs and improve the liveability of all South Australians.

The Discussion Paper provides an overview of the purpose of the Strategy, its relationship to other relevant government initiatives and strategies, details a South Australian context to future global challenges and opportunities, and introduces potential cross-sectoral issues and specific sector considerations.

Importantly the Discussion Paper provides an opportunity for local stakeholders to provide insights and perspectives about the most pressing infrastructure needs in the Limestone Coast such as road upgrades and bridge and drainage network maintenance.

As a leader in regional infrastructure and investment attraction, RDALC will continue to collaborate closely with Infrastructure SA along with other government departments to ensure the Limestone Coast gets the investment and support it needs.

RDALC encourages businesses and community groups to submit their perspective’s on our regions infrastructure requirements via the discussion paper before July 31 to Infrastructure SA. For further information visit 

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Free Disability services drop-in Café in Mount Gambier

June 20, 2019

The Disability Workforce Hub (DWFH) is hosting an NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) Café at the Mt Gambier City Hall, Thursday 27 June from 10-2pm.

People with a disability and their carers are invited to come along and catch up with local disability service providers about what services they can access. “The NDIS Café will be set up as a relaxed event whereby everyone can come along at their own leisure, enjoy a chat and free morning tea and hopefully make some new connections with local service providers,” said DWFH Coordinator Melissa Hunter. “It’s an opportunity to find out what services these providers offer and perhaps how you can tailor their supports for your own needs”.

People looking for work, wanting to get back into the workforce or looking for a career change are also encouraged to come along on the day. “The disability sector offers a variety of rewarding roles, and there are many employment opportunities available all across the Limestone Coast,” said Ms Hunter. “Many of the service providers attending are interested in joining forces to promote employment opportunities and their services in the region, so if you’re looking for work in the disability sector come and find out about the opportunities available.”

If you have a disability or health/injury related barrier to obtaining work, a number of disability employment services are also attending. They will be able to talk to you about the support they can provide in connecting you with employers.

On the day there will be representatives from the following organisations: Disability Workforce Hub, WDEA, Cara, Miroma, Comrec, Mission Australia, Carers SA, Skylight, Axis Employment, Job Prospects, Baptist Care, Boandik, People First Community Care, Homecare +, Limestone Coast Volunteer Service, Country Health Connect, Community Living Australia, Total Therapy Solutions, Limestone Coast Training.

Event information can be found on the RDALC facebook page (@rdalimestonecoast) or by contacting Melissa Hunter on 8723 1057.

For further Information contact:
Ms Melissa Hunter,
Disability Workforce Hub Coordinator
M: 0438 169 098

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New DAMA information now available for local businesses

June 13, 2019

Businesses across the Limestone Coast can begin preparing for the commencement of the recently announced Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) for South Australia. Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) will assist in driving awareness locally by providing information on the new visa program. In the first of a series of publications, RDALC have produced a frequently asked questions document to assist business operators to understand how this agreement will work.

“With the imminent rollout of the DAMA, we want to be on the front foot and offer as much support and assistance to local businesses as possible,” said Rachael Ashman, Manager Business and Workforce Development, RDALC. “Commencing on 1 July 2019, employers across all of South Australia who are experiencing skills and labour shortages can sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers,” she said.

The DAMA will enable South Australian employers to sponsor skilled overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill with local workers. Employers who can demonstrate that they are experiencing skills and labour shortages will apply for endorsement from the South Australian government to enter into a DAMA labour agreement. This will enable local businesses to sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers with more flexible requirements than are available via the standard skilled visa programs.

Local businesses can access one of the agreements that the South Australian government have entered into with the Department of Home Affairs. The South Australian Regional Agreement comprises of 114 occupations and is accessible to all South Australian businesses.

“These occupations were determined through consultation with industry associations and key employers throughout the state, alongside data on skills shortages in our key industries,” said Ms Ashman. “For our region, employers can nominate occupations included on two lists, which include skilled occupations across a wide range of industries including in the meat industry, agriculture and forestry, hospitality and healthcare,” she said.

Some eligible occupations included in the lists for the Limestone Coast are cooks, diesel mechanics, forestry workers, meat boner and slicer, sawmilling operator and waiters.

“It’s important to acknowledge that these lists comprehensively address state wide skills shortages, so while some occupations listed may seem unrelated to our region, they will address needs across other parts of the state,” said Ms Ashman. “Some of the most significant skills shortages we are experiencing locally are in the meat processing industry and in the agri-business and forestry sector so we are pleased to see that key occupations in these areas have been included for our region,” she said.

“The Agreement recognises the needs of regional Australia and provides our employers with an opportunity to respond to our unique circumstances when it comes to finding skilled workers” said Ms Ashman. “RDALC want to best support the needs of our local industries and will continue to consult with local businesses to identify future demands and how these can be met through the DAMA process.” she said.

RDALC will provide a more detailed guide in coming weeks. Information is also available through Immigration SA. To discuss the DAMA, local businesses can contact Rachael Ashman, Manager Business and Workforce Development on 87231057 or email

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RDALC Welcomes New Manager Business and Workforce Development

May 20, 2019

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) welcomes Rachael Ashman to the position of Manager Business and Workforce Development. Rachael and her family recently relocated to the Limestone Coast from Melbourne, and she brings with her a wealth of expertise and skills.

“With the departure of Paul Mullen who recently relocated to a new business opportunity in Brisbane, we were very excited to secure someone of Rachael’s professional calibre for our organisation – she is a fantastic gain for our region,” said RDALC Chair, Peter Gandolfi.

Having worked both in Commonwealth Departments and the private sector, Rachael has a depth of experience focusing on program delivery and people management. Her most recent position was with the Department of Home Affairs in Victoria.

In her new role, Rachael will provide key support and advice to local businesses wishing to explore their options in employing skilled migrants. Her understanding and experience in the Department will be invaluable given the recent Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) announcement for South Australia.

“Rachael brings a comprehensive skill set in stakeholder engagement, programme development and delivery and strategic operations,” said Mr Gandolfi “as an experienced mentor and workforce planner she is a welcome addition to our leadership team.”

Rachael will be responsible for RDALC’s regional strategy to grow businesses by building human capital and connections with services and government programs. A key responsibility is to focus on supporting small business development, which will in turn, boost local employment and growth for our region.

Rachael is excited about bringing her skills and experience to this role and is looking forward to assisting what she has already seen as a vibrant and dynamic business community across the Limestone Coast. “Having grown up in rural Tasmania, I’m enjoying the move away from the city and am keen to work with the wide range of businesses found throughout our region,” she said.

To contact Rachael, please call 87231057 or email

For further Information contact:
Mr Peter Gandolfi
Chair, RDALC
M: 0419 155 947

Mr David Wheaton,
Chief Executive Officer
T: 87231057
M: 0417 885 920
Date: 21/5/19

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Achieve Organisational Success with Governance Masterclass

April 5, 2019

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) is excited to announce it will be offering a Governance Masterclass to be held on Thursday 6th June in Mt Gambier.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone who is currently serving on or working for a board, or thinking about joining a Board,” said RDALC Chair Peter Gandolfi.

Most people join a board with the aim of making a positive contribution to its operation and outcomes. It’s an opportunity for people to offer their abilities and skills, but once they are serving on a board it’s also important for them to continue to expand their skills and knowledge.

“The structure, responsibilities and strategies of boards are becoming more complicated, and a high performing board is critical to an organisation’s success,” Mr Gandolfi said.

The masterclass will delve into the finer details of roles and responsibilities of a board member, by offering specific training around the legal requirements of a board member, directors’ duties and handling conflict.

“Understanding the characteristics of effective directors and practices for good governance are all key to effective board operation and the masterclass will cover these details and more,” said Mr Gandolfi.
The participation cost is $132 (including GST), but there are also five free positions up for grabs for volunteers on boards of registered charities.

“We recognise the importance of supporting people volunteering for charity and not-for-profits in our community and wanted to assist them in their professional development,” said Mr Gandolfi.

Those interested in participating in the Governance Masterclass can find out more by visiting the Eventbrite page: or by contact Renee at RDALC on 87231057.

For further Information contact:
Mr Peter Gandolfi
Chair, RDALC
M: 0419 155 947

Mr David Wheaton,
Chief Executive Officer
T: 87231057
M: 0417 885 920
Date: Thursday 4 April 2019

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Population, Business Confidence to Benefit From Regional DAMA

March 22, 2019

The regional Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) will boost population and improve business confidence in the South Australia regions, according the state’s peak regional economic development agency.

Regional Development South Australia chairman Rob Kerin said the DAMA would help the state’s regions to secure up to $20 billion of investment and support the creation of 9500 jobs.

“The announcement of a regional DAMA will help South Australia’s regions overcome declining and static populations with the settling of migrants state-wide,” he said.

Mr Kerin said the DAMA would help ensure expansions, upgrades and planned investment by local, national and international businesses in regional South Australia were not restrained by access to skilled workers.

“South Australia’s regions are currently experiencing significant capital investment across many industries,” he said.

“However, the number of employees needed to maintain and grow regional business operations outweighs the current locally-based workforce, requiring businesses to supplement their workforce with migrants.

“The DAMA will underpin regional business growth and provide much-needed flexibility for a region to respond to local economic and labour market demands.

“Some of regional South Australia’s most significant and emerging industries are those with the greatest skill and labour needs, including agribusiness, food manufacturing and processing, mining, renewable energy, aged and disability care, tourism and accommodation.

“Migrant workers will not replace the local workforce, with training and upskilling continuing to be an area of focus for South Australian RDAs and businesses.

“South Australia’s regional townships have a long history of welcoming migrant settlement, recognising the value of the import of much needed skills but also the strength of a multicultural community.”

Regional Development Australia boards are formed as a partnership between the Commonwealth of Australia, Government of South Australia, and regional local government authorities.

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