Overview of Industry

The region‘s economy centres on primary production and processing for export, while tourism and services are also significant contributors. Murray Bridge, Berri and Renmark have important manufacturing and primary product processing roles. Principal industries include wine grapes, fruit and vegetables, grain crops, dairying, meat and livestock processing, seafood and aquaculture, and tourism.

The largest employing sectors in the region in the 2006 Census were Fruit and Nut growing (8.8% of employed persons), Sheep/Beef/Grain farming (7.5%), Schools/Education (4.4%), Hospitals (3.7) and Beverage Manufacturing (2.9%).

In 2005, the Riverland produced 51% of South Australia‘s crushed wine grapes, a quarter of Australia‘s total production. However, with a large percentage of producers reliant on irrigation from the Murray River, it is expected that yields will continue to decline as water allocations reduce.

Emerging industries include transport, value-adding industries, distribution and warehousing, manufacturing, environmental business water resource management and re-use, mining and the intensive animal industry. Transport activities are linked to the focus on warehousing and distribution of wholesale goods, which is gaining in local economic momentum and paralleling South Australian and interstate initiatives and developments. Environmental business is a strong growth sector of the wider tourism industry. Water resources management has achieved national recognition and under-pins many other state-wide business activities.