Job loss blow to wine industry
THE Queensland wine industry could be “taken back to the stone age” when the State Government pulls the pin on its Applethorpe-based position of wine officer.
The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation's (DEEDI) Wine Industry development officer, Mark Deegenaars, was told on Tuesday his job would be discontinued this week.
Mr Deegenaars was appointed the job in July last year on a 12-month contract, which was renewed on a monthly basis since its end.
The absence of a statewide wine officer, Mr Deegenaars said, would set the industry “back 20 years”.
“With reduced support from the Queensland government, and with the absence of communication between wine growing regions, it leaves individual growers out on their own,” he said.
“It will have serious repercussions to the wine industry – that's where my thoughts have been.”
One key part Mr Deegenaars has played since arriving to the position, has been to secure $25,000 worth of funding for the wine industry.