May 4, 2021
The South Burnett Wine Industry Association (SBWIA) has voted to wind up.
At the SBWIA’s Annual General Meeting held at Kingaroy RSL on Tuesday night, members resolved by a vote of 7-5 to shut down the group.
By a similar margin, the meeting also resolved to transfer the SBWIA’s assets – about $26,000 in cash – to the Queensland Wine Industry Association.
This will be on the understanding the money will be quarantined for future use on projects that will benefit South Burnett wine producers exclusively.
The motions have put an end to a group that has overseen the growth of the South Burnett’s wine industry from a novelty into one of the region’s major tourist drawcards over the past 25 years.
The SBWIA began life in the late 1990s as the Burnett Valley Wine Producers Association with the purpose of advancing the interests of South Burnett wine grape growers and producers.
At the time it was formed, the South Burnett witnessed an explosion of investment in the wine industry that led to almost 20 cellar doors opening for business between Nanango and Moffatdale.
While this has now contracted to fewer than a dozen producers and nine cellar doors, those that remain are consistent award winners who have built national and international followings for their products.
During the past three decades the SBWIA has also produced wine trail and tourist maps of the region; a website providing details of all the region’s wineries and related facilities of interest to tourists; and recently, a TV commercial encouraging wine tourists to visit the region.
SBWIA members have also supported numerous wine-themed festivals in the South Burnett such as Wine & Food In The Park, the now-defunct Shakin’ Grape wine festival and the Grape Escape wine weekend.
Many members have also been enthusiastic sponsors of events as diverse as local race days, Christmas carnivals, wine tastings at art gallery opening nights and the annual Regional Flavours food and wine expo at Brisbane’s South Bank.
President Jason Kinsella told the AGM he thought it was clear there were now two factions in the organisation which could never agree with one another.
He said an advantage of dissolving the association was that it would free up members of both groups to form new associations if they wished, and pursue their individual agendas in harmony with like-minded people.
Secretary/treasurer Paula Greenwood will now follow set procedures with the Department of Justice to wind up the group.