Media Releases

Free Disability services drop-in Café in Naracoorte

November 19, 2018

The Disability Workforce Hub (DWFH) is hosting an NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) Café at “Gather on Gordon” in Naracoorte November 29th, anytime 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 a free coffee 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 I regularly work with are interested in joining forces to promote employment opportunities and their services in Naracoorte, so if you’re looking for work in the disability sector come and find out about the opportunities in your local area.”

On the day there will be representatives from the following organisations: MINDA, Homecare Plus, Country Health Connect, WDEA Works, People First Community Care, Limestone Coast Training, Skylight, Uniting SA, Mission Australia and the Disability Workforce Hub.

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


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Registrations now open for 2018 Bioenergy Seminar

November 8, 2018

An exciting opportunity exists for industry, business and primary producers in the region to transform waste products into energy and reduce business costs. Registrations are now open for the Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast Bioenergy Seminar to be held on December 6th at the Mt Gambier city hall.

“We have been working hard to arrange a fantastic day that incorporates high calibre presenters, current information, hands on learning and facilitated workshops” said organiser Elizabeth Perkins, Manager of Investment Attraction and Infrastructure at RDALC. “Guest Speaker Mark Glover from EcoWaste and Renewed Carbon will be presenting on the economic benefits of regions entering the emerging bioeconomy. Mark will also lead a discussion around large scale biomass projects occurring in other regions and what the opportunities might look like for our region.” She said.

Shahana Mckenzie from Bioenergy Australia will provide insights into international investment in bioenergy in Australia and present findings from Bioenergy Australia’s State of the Nation Report which ranks the States and Territories regarding their Bioenergy performance.

Local biomass projects will also take centre stage as part of the seminar. “For the past few years a number of local bioenergy initiatives have been developing in the region and some of these projects are applying world firsts in innovation” said RDALC Chair Peter Gandolfi. “From anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis, or gasification of wood residue, local businesses have been engaging with bioenergy technology to solve their energy needs and save money”.

Rachel Brdanovic, Sustainability Speacialist with Tandem Energy will give participants a hands-on opportunity to work on understanding their energy requirements and usage. By analysing current energy consumption and site operations, participants can identify fluctuating requirements, predict future demands, and identify relevant and achievable energy solutions.

To register visit the RDALC website or call (08) 8723 1057.

For further Information contact:
Ms Elizabeth Perkins
Manager, Investment Attraction and Infrastructure
M: 0438 449 539

Mr Peter Gandolfi
Chair, RDALC
M: 0419 155 447

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Regional Development Board welcomes new Federal Initiative supporting local apprentices

November 7, 2018

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast has welcomed the recent Federal Government announcement supporting local apprenticeships through its $60 million Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy.

“This is a fantastic financial incentive for local businesses who are looking to put on a new apprentice” said RDALC Chair Peter Gandolfi, “This support will assist our regional businesses to give local students new employment opportunities and help futureproof skills for the Limestone Coast” he said.
From 1 January 2019, employers in regional centres will be able to access government subsidies to cover 75 per cent of their apprentice’s award wage in the first year, 50 per cent in the second year, and 25 per cent in the third year.

Those looking to undertake a full-time apprenticeship at certificate III and IV levels in occupations on the National Skills Needs List (including signwriters, bakers, carpenters, electricians and mechanics) will be eligible under the scheme.

“We’ve heard from employers in the region that boiler makers, pastry chefs, diesel mechanics and cooks are in demand.” said Mr Gandolfi, “This incentive will help bolster regional skills and encourage our youth to remain in the region to build their careers locally.”

For further Information contact:
Mr Peter Gandolfi
Chair, RDALC
M: 0419 155 447

Mr David Wheaton,
Chief Executive Officer
T: 87231057
M: 0417 885 920

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Valuable Local Scholarship to Support Disability Sector Leadership

October 22, 2018

People working within the disability sector can now apply for funding to the value of $6500 to access the Limestone Coast Leadership Program thanks to the Disability Workforce Hub.

The Limestone Coast Leadership Program, an initiative of the Limestone Coast Local Government Association, is a 7 month program delivered by The Leaders Institute of South Australia and will be held across various locations throughout the Limestone Coast.

“By partnering with this program we are future-proofing our region by upskilling emerging leaders working within the disability sector”. Said Disability Workforce Hub Coordinator Melissa Hunter. “The sustainability of the disability sector relies on advocacy, strong leaders, effective succession planning and passionate individuals who will promote inclusion and accessibility for their clients.”

The program is aimed at those who are ready to broaden their leadership capabilities and impact through personal growth, self-empowerment and relationship development.

 Further information and application forms on the program can be found on the Limestone Coast Local Government Association website Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) is proud to be partnering with LCLGA in delivering the inaugural Limestone Coast Leadership Program.

Funded by the State Government and hosted by RDALC, the Disability Workforce Hub provides a one-stop-shop to connect job seekers, employers and training providers to help fill local job opportunities in the expanding disability sector. Disability support programs boost our local economy by $40 million per year.

 For further Information contact:

Melissa Hunter,

Disability Hub Coordinator, M: 0438 169 098, T: 87231 057


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Guest Speaker to Inspire Budding Business Entrepreneurs

October 19, 2018

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) invites interested people from business and industry to attend their annual report evening presentation with guest speaker Toni Vorenas. 

Ms Vorenas, owner of the extremely successful Metro Bakery and Café in Mt Gambier, will be speaking on her experience of establishing and building her business in the Limestone Coast.

“We are extremely pleased to have Toni as our guest speaker“ said RDALC Chair, Peter Gandolfi “this is a great opportunity to hear from someone who has established a successful business in our region”.
Covering the challenges faced in this process and how she attracts and retains her workforce, the presentation is one not to be missed for budding business entrepreneurs.

RDALC will be holding its Annual General Meeting earlier in the afternoon and will provide insight into the year that’s been and outline future direction for the next 12 months at the beginning of the public presentation. People from business and industry are encouraged to come along and meet the RDALC Board members and take advantage of this free networking opportunity.

This free public event will be held at Wynns of Coonawarra on Monday the 29th of October from  4.45pm to 6pm. People can register for the event via the RDALC Facebook page (@RDALimestoneCoast) or phoning (08) 8723 1057.

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast partners with business, government and community leaders to foster regional development and strengthen the Limestone Coast community.

For further Information contact:
Mr Peter Gandolfi
Chair, RDALC
M: 0419 155 447

Mr David Wheaton
M: 0417 885 920
T: 8723 1057
Date: 19/10/18

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Building Better Regions Fund – Round 3

October 5, 2018

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast in partnership with Tony Pasin MP is actively encouraging local eligible organisations to apply for the latest funding of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF). BBRF supports the Australian Government’s commitment to create jobs, drive economic growth and build stronger regional communities into the future.  $200 million is now available with $45 million earmarked for tourism related infrastructure projects nationally.

“With great success garnered from the previous round of applications, we saw the Robe Golf Club and the Mt Gambier Airport projects secure over $4.1 million in funds,” said RDALC Chair Peter Gandolfi. “We hope that this round will see even more success and encourage interested parties to get in touch to find out how to apply.”

To facilitate greatest uptake of the funds locally, Tony Pasin MP and RDALC invite all interested parties to attend 2 local workshops; the first in Mt Gambier on October 9 and the second in Naracoorte on October 10.

“These workshops will provide an outline of the application process, information about the assessment criteria and discuss how RDALC staff can support you to navigate the application process for best success,” said Mr Gandolfi.

“With two streams of funding available there are ample opportunities for local projects,” said Dr Elizabeth Perkins, Manager, Investment Attraction & Infrastructure.  “The Infrastructure Project Stream supports the construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas.  While the Community Investment Stream caters more for the community organisations with funds for new or expanded local events, strategic regional plans, and leadership and capability strengthening activities being eligible”.

To register for one of the workshops, people are encouraged to visit the Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast Facebook page or contact the RDALC office on (08) 87231 057.

Applications for the BBRF close 5pm AEDT on 15 November, 2018.

For further Information contact:-

Mr Peter Gandolfi, Chair

Mobile 0419 155 447

Date: 4 October 2018

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High-profile RDALC board unveiled

August 8, 2018

The new-look board of Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) will meet for the first time this month in Mount Gambier, setting a clear direction to bring jobs and investment to the region.

MiniJumbuk CEO, Darren Turner, The Border Watch General Manager, Dennis Jackson, Hello Friday co-owner, Simone Kain, and Glenelg Shire Media Manager, Liz McKinnon, will fill four vacant committee positions as a result of the expiry of board appointments.

RDALC chair, Peter Gandolfi, said the new appointments followed an extensive search for strong business or regional leaders who champion local job creation and sustainable regional growth: “We are building on our regional and industry diversity, and we are extremely pleased to have new representation from Naracoorte, Penola and Mount Gambier in both the private and public sector,” he said.

Mr Gandolfi said the new-look board brings strong business acumen and fresh vision and drive to the organisation’s existing skills base: “We’re confident that this dynamic mix of professionals will further strengthen our focus on attracting investment and jobs.”

Former ABC South East Regional Manager, Alan Richardson, has been reappointed to continue to work alongside Mr Gandolfi as Deputy Chair along with forestry consultant Lew Parsons, KCA Millicent Mill Manager, Scott Whicker, and The City of Mount Gambier’s City Growth General Manager, Judy Nagy who have also been re-appointed to the board.

Grant District Council Mayor Richard Sage did not seek reappointment.

“The RDALC Board would like to thank Richard Sage for his valuable contribution and his ongoing efforts to give back to the community, and we wish him well on his future endeavours,” RDA CEO David Wheaton said.

Further board appointments will be made later this year as terms expire.



Dennis Jackson has been in the media industry for more than 25 years with News limited, APN and now as general manager of The Border Watch Pty Ltd. He sits on the Board of Country Press SA and has extensive leadership and stakeholder engagement experience. Dennis moved to Mount Gambier with his family in 2012 to become involved with long-established family business interests in the region and is keen to contribute to the economic growth and success of the Limestone Coast.

Simone Kain is the co-owner of creative agency Hello Friday, and the co-founder of the award-winning educational brand George the Farmer. With extensive experience in website development and business management, Simone has received a number of awards including the 2015 NAB Women’s Agenda Regional Entrepreneur of the Year and the Brand SA Flinders Education Award. She is a current board member of Women in Agriculture and sits on the Ignite Advisory Panel for Agrifutures Australia.

Liz McKinnon was born in Mount Gambier and grew up on a beef farm in Dartmoor. She has extensive leadership experience and has worked in the media industry for many years, including a stint as media advisor to former Victorian Premier Denis Napthine. Returning to live in Mount Gambier earlier this year, Liz is a member of the Glenelg Shire’s leadership team, working in the role of media manager coordinating and supporting a large team.

Darren Turner has more than 35 years’ experience leading one of Australia’s premium branded wool bedding companies, MiniJumbuk. Throughout his career, he has undertaken numerous business and management courses including the Global CEO Program. He also has over 20 years community service with Apex, has served 8 years on the Naracoorte Golf Club Board with four years as President, and also sits on the Board of the Industry Leaders Fund, Scholars network in Adelaide.



Media: From left to right Dennis Jackson, David Wheaton ( Chief Executive Officer), Simone Kain, Elizabeth McKinnon, Peter Gandolfi (Chair) absent: Darren Turner


For further Information contact:-

Mr David Wheaton, Chief Executive Officer

Ph:  87231057 or Mobile 0417 885 920

Date: 8/08/18





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Familiar Face Joins RDALC Business Ranks

July 6, 2018

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) has appointed a new manager of Business and Workforce Development. Mount Gambier businessman, Paul Mullen, will take over from current manager, David Furniss, who will be retiring to the Fleurieu Peninsula at the end of June after a 12-month contract.

Currently the owner-manager of a prominent Port MacDonnell café, Mr Mullen is a lifelong Mount Gambier resident. He has previously worked as an Experience Development Executive with the South Australian Tourism Commission, and is also a former manager of Limestone Coast Tourism and Mount Gambier Golf Club. RDALC chief executive officer, David Wheaton, says Mr Mullen’s broad skillset and strong networks will be an asset to the organisation.

“Paul brings both corporate and small business experience to this role, and we are really looking forward to his input into workforce development planning and projects throughout the Limestone Coast,” he says.

Mr Mullen will be responsible for RDALC’s regional strategy to build human capital and connect businesses with services and government programs to help them develop and grow. The role is also designed to encourage and improve small and medium business sustainability and development, and identify and source funding for programs and mechanisms to support employment and jobs growth in the region.

Mr Mullen says he is looking forward to building on his previous work in the tourism sector with a ‘big picture’ approach.

“Tourism is a target area for growth in this region – we have a lot of natural attractions, but not necessarily a lot of business opportunities linked to them – but there are also lots of opportunities across all of the other industry sectors,” he says. “I’ve lived in the area my whole life and want to be involved in helping the region to grow with more jobs and improved job security, because I also want my family to grow up here.”

Outgoing Business and Workforce Development manager, David Furniss, says he will be sad to leave the region. “I started my career in Bordertown many years ago, so it has been particularly enjoyable working back in the Limestone Coast with a variety of businesses and industries,” he says. “There is still a significant amount of opportunity in the region, but there are also lots of challenges confronting business, so the message is that businesses need to be forever planning, developing and growing their skillsets, knowledge and technology so that they don’t lag behind.”

For further Information contact:-

Mr David Wheaton, Chief Executive Officer

Ph:  87231057 or Mobile 0417 885 920

Date: 3, July 2018

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Infrastructure and Investment under RDALC spotlight

June 7, 2018

A formal framework designed to identify existing assets and potential growth capacity is being developed for the Limestone Coast. Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) has commissioned leading business advisory firm SED Consulting to undertake dual projects focussing on infrastructure and investment. The work has been co-funded by the Limestone Coast Local Government Association (LCLGA), and will complement a jointly-funded Regional Growth Plan also currently under development.

Drains, bridges and roads will be among the focus of a Regional Infrastructure Audit which aims to identify deficits and challenges relating to expansion and economic growth. The audit will also look at power and energy, telecommunications, water and waste management. Social and community infrastructure such as health services, sport and recreation, art and cultural facilities and emergency services will also be identified, along with ‘organisational infrastructure’ like land development, grant access and leadership capacity.

RDALC chair, Peter Gandolfi, says the work will highlight any gaps, deficiencies or key improvement areas.

“Regional South Australia faces many challenges when it comes to maintaining existing infrastructure and gaining the necessary private or government investment into large-scale improvements or new infrastructure initiatives,” he explains. “Access to up-to-date and consolidated information is required for effective planning prioritisation, particularly for local government and RDALC, but also for investors seeking to develop or expand operations in the region.”

The compiled information will be a valuable tool in a variety of planning contexts and could be accessed by a broad range of stakeholders.

“These could include community groups, local, state and federal government departments, and investors and businesses exploring potential opportunities in the region,” Mr Gandolfi says. “Key strategic regional groups and boards such as Transport Committees, Natural Resource Management, Regional Tourism, Economic Development and Climate Change Adaptation groups will also be able to utilise the information, which is expected to be released in August 2018.”

Meanwhile, a new Limestone Coast Investment Prospectus also being devised by SED Consulting will target potential investors and key industry sectors by promoting the region’s benefits and opportunities. The web-based prospectus will align with government investment attraction strategies, including the Limestone Coast Regional Growth Strategy due for release mid-June, to ensure that the region has a strong presence overseas and across Australia. LCLGA chair, Erika Vickery, says the work will provide information that will enable parties to invest with confidence.

“We want to highlight strengths and competitive advantages, current and future opportunities with regard to locations, industries and projects, along with partners and important players,” she says.


For further Information contact:-

Erika Vickery

Mobile 0427 622 133


Or Peter Gandolfi

Mobile 0419 155 447

Date: 7th June 2018

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RDALC call for new board members

May 10, 2018

The search is on for strong business or regional leaders who champion local job creation and sustainable regional growth. Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) is looking for local candidates with vision, drive and business experience to join its dynamic board.

RDALC chair, Peter Gandolfi, said at least four committee positions are vacant, and nominations are being sought from across the Limestone Coast.

“We would like to have members from a diverse range of industries and areas from throughout the entire region to add to our existing skills base; we want to build on our regional diversity as well as industry diversity,” he said.

RDALC is also seeking to appoint a deputy chair to work alongside Mr Gandolfi during his three-year term, which expires in December 2020. The deputy chair will need to demonstrate strong leadership to the committee and have a sound understanding of board or committee performance management, including people and organisational management processes.

“We’re looking for a highly motivated and experienced person with strong business acumen who is knowledgeable about the economic strengths and challenges of the region, has strong networking skills, and is keen to give back to their community,” Mr Gandolfi said. “They will be playing a key role working with communities, funding partners and RDA committee members to drive economic development opportunities and investment in the region.”

In August 2017, the Federal Government announced a new direction for the Regional Development Australia network following an independent review into RDA Committees and their effectiveness. Mr Gandolfi said the strengthened focus on attracting investment and jobs was all about achieving tangible results.

“RDA Committees were initially set up to develop plans for regional growth, but they are now pro-actively targeting, seeking and negotiating with private companies, not-for-profits and governments of all levels to bring jobs and investment to our regions,” he said. “It’s a really exciting time to be involved with the organisation.”

An Applicant Information Pack for the RDALC roles can be found at

For further information, phone CEO David Wheaton on (08) 8723 1057 or email Renee Palmer, Manager Corporate Services



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