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9/04/2010

McEwen new chair of GWRDC

Former South Australian Minister for Agriculture Rory McEwen has replaced Dennis Mutton as chair of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation. Appointed for a three-year term, McEwen recently retired from state politics after 13 years as the independent member for the seat of Mount Gambier, located in the state's south-east. McEwen entered state politics in 1997 after running as an independent for Mt Gambier and barely winning the seat on preferences. The election saw him and two other conservative independents holding the balance of power in the Liberals minority government. McEwen was comfortably re-elected in the 2002 election and in November of that year became the Minister for Local Government, Forests, Industry, Trade, Regional Development and Small Business after declaring formal support for the ALP in a move that helped shore up a majority government for Labor. He assumed the Agriculture, Food and Fisheries portfolios in April 2004 following a cabinet reshuffle. McEwen retained his Cabinet position following the 2006 State election and midway through the year took over from Premier Mike Rann as chair of the South Australian Wine Industry Council, the collaborative partnership between the wine industry and the Government of South Australia. He stepped down from both roles last year. Before entering politics, McEwen was a TAFE teacher and administrator and had experience in local government.

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