The State Government has waived $1.3 million in debt for Lenswood Cold Stores Co-Operative Society following a third consecutive year of adverse weather events impacting the industry.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the State Government had approved the debt write-off of the $1.3 million loan to support the important packing facility for Adelaide Hills apple and pear producers.
“The State Government recognises the hardship the apple and pear industry is facing after consecutive seasons impacted by hail and as a result has agreed to approve the $1.3 million debt waiver for Lenswood,” he said.
In addition to the Lenswood support, the State Government recently appointed a dedicated Family and Business Support Program mentor, Colleen White, to connect affected Adelaide Hills growers to suitable mental health, wellbeing, and financial assistance services.
APAL’s Head of Government Relations & Advocacy Jeremy Griffith has commented that any state government engagement in the industry was a good start.
“It is good to see the Government supporting the apple and pear industry. Hopefully this signals the start of state government support for the implementation of a netting scheme that will help protect orchards throughout the State from further hailstorms, bird infestations, and extreme weather conditions,” he said.