Riverland resort to aid seasonal work gap

Riverland resort to aid seasonal work gap

Horticulture
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THE importance of seasonal workers in the Riverland has lead to the opening of a purpose-built 236-bed backpackers resort in Paringa.

THE importance of seasonal workers in the Riverland has lead to the opening of a purpose-built 236-bed backpackers resort in Paringa.

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The new complex is the first dedicated purpose-built seasonal workers’ resort to be built in the Riverland.

LOOKING FORWARD: ANZ regional executive Tom Rundle, Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock, Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone, and resort owner and developer John Pearce, Rockford Homes.

LOOKING FORWARD: ANZ regional executive Tom Rundle, Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock, Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone, and resort owner and developer John Pearce, Rockford Homes.

The $3.6 million project, built by Rockford Homes, received funding of $1.2 million under the Regional Development and Innovation Fund through the SA River Murray Sustainability Program, by PIRSA.

John Pearce from Rockford Homes said the project had begun with research, talking to local councils, employers, job agencies and other accommodation providers.

“The level of support from the very beginning has been fantastic,” he said.

“We are also extremely proud of the fact that other local businesses also benefitted from this project. Wherever possible we used locally sourced materials and labour.”

The Paringa Backpackers Resort will provide transport services to and from fruit blocks and will also house training and accreditation facilities, available to the region’s employers.

Regional Development Minster Geoff Brock said accommodation for seasonal workers was an issue raised at the very first Country Cabinet forum in the Riverland mid-2014.

“This new backpackers’ accommodation will help local businesses attract the seasonal workers who are integral to their operations and the Riverland economy, and will also give these visitors a great base from which to appreciate all the Riverland has to offer,” he said.

The facility features all the trimmings, including a swimming pool, gym, barbecue and outdoor kitchens. The cabins are self-contained with air-conditioning, large screen televisions, along with internet access and laundry facilities.

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