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Tuesday, 23 April 1985
Page: 1409


Senator BOSWELL(6.38) —I draw to the attention of the Senate, and more particularly to your attention, Mr President, as one of the two Presiding Officers of this Parliament, that there is not a Queensland wine represented on the parliamentary wine list. All other States have at least one wine on the wine list. At recent functions I have attended in Queensland, Queensland wines have been served and applauded by wine experts as the equal of any in Australia. The Queensland wine industry is small, but it is developing and needs encouragement. The industry would like to see a Queensland wine on the parliamentary wine list as recognition of the industry and would regard the inclusion of such a wine as a matter of prestige. As a Queensland representative who regularly has guests in the parliamentary dining room, it would be appropriate if I could offer them a bottle of the home-grown brew.

The main growing area for Queensland wines is around the Stanthorpe region, which has a climate very similar to the Bordeaux area in France and the Margaret River area in Western Australia, and this leads to very good variety and flavours. Wine is also made in the Roma region and there are even vineyards producing table wines on the Atherton Tableland in north Queensland-surely the most tropical wine-growing region in the world. Although the Queensland industry is relatively small compared to other States, it is expanding rapidly. Queensland has eight commercial wineries producing around 450,000 litres a year. About 70 per cent of this is red wine, 25 per cent is white wine and the remaining 5 per cent is fortified. The industry employs some 200 people. The two main types of grapes planted are chardonnay and semillion with shiraz, merlot and cabernet also being grown. If one had to name the pick of Queensland wines, it would have to be the cabernet sauvignon. I might add that the Stanthorpe winegrowing area was the only one in Australia to receive snowfalls last year, so despite Queensland's well deserved reputation as the sunshine State, the cool conditions needed for wine growing clearly exist.

As someone who has sampled these excellent wines, I believe that not only the 36 Queensland members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, but all members of parliament will give tangible support by purchasing the Queensland grown wines from the wine list when they discover their quality. I would be pleased to arrange for you, Mr President, and any other interested honourable senator or member a wine tasting session to introduce you to the delights of the Queensland wines.


Senator Kilgariff —We will all come.


Senator BOSWELL —Everyone is invited. I ask you, Mr President, to give this matter your support as this would give a small but growing primary industry a great boost.