The Barossa region is a vibrant, economically strong and industrious community according to Mr Rolf Binder, newly appointed chairman of RDA Barossa, Gawler, Light and Adelaide Plains.
In taking on the lead role, Mr Binder recognises the Tanunda based organisation has to think strongly about the decisions they make for the future and said opportunities are ever evolving and changing.
Mr Binder takes on the position after the retirement of Mr Ivan Venning, who was chairman for six years.
The Tanunda winemaker who jointly operates the family winery with his sister, Christa Deans and partner, Cynthia Koch, joined the RDA Barossa, Gawler, Light and Adelaide Plains board in 2013 and has recently held the position of deputy chairman.
“I have an interest in the future and the future wellbeing of the region and what is very important is that we lay the foundation not for the next generation but the generation after that,” said Mr Binder.
He said he is looking forward to the new role adding, “I want to leave the region in a much better state for the future.”
While recognising the role of the organisation in economic development, Mr Binder acknowledged it is about creating a vibrant community.
“That starts in small country towns,” said Mr Binder.
“If they are vibrant and happy, it encourages others to live there.”
He noted by increasing the pool of intelligence within the community you start attracting new business and by achieving investment in the region, it brings further results.
“Businesses, when making decisions, will look at the data RDA provides and we also have the demographic study that goes with that,” said Mr Binder.
“A lot of people are looking to invest in the region or in ideas and they come to us and it is the advice we can give in our structure that helps with the process.”
Water security remains an important issue in the Barossa, according to Mr Binder, who also recognised other opportunities for the RDA region including dramatic expansion of horticulture in the Adelaide Plains district, growth in Roseworthy and the important role Gawler plays in becoming a strong regional centre.
When it comes to taking on the role while continuing his winemaking ventures, Mr Binder said he was encouraged by previous chairman, Mr Venning, who has also provided a mentor role.
“You get to the stage in life where you feel you have built up a good business and the skills are transferable,” said Mr Binder.
“And you respect your community and you wish to offer them thanks.”