Dan's Blog


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Just before Christmas I received an interesting email from my local Council. It was about the State Governments trade missions to the whole globe. Well, four out of the five continents (none to Antarctica or the other States of Australia). It got me wondering, as to why – when we already have Austrade to help us spruik our products to the world – do we need our State Government to double up by running its own 12 international missions on our behalf? IF Austrade isn’t doing a good job, or is under resourced to do the job, surely the State Governments should be lobbying/pushing the Federal Government to “lift their game” rather than duplicating the services.

When was the last time you heard of an inbound (to use their terminology) mission from Idaho, York, Wiesbaden, Tuscany or any other State from within one of our trading partner countries? Yes, we do get inbound missions from some of the Chinese States but each one of those States has a population greater than all of Australia, in some cases many times over. Imagine if every province or state across the world with two million people living in it with some products to export sent trade mission to Australia, we would be swamped by visitors!!

Sorry, but I have to ask: is the State Governments role to manage our State and ensure that it gets a “fair shake” from the Federal Government, or is it to promote our “goodies” to the whole world, when Australia already has a national organisation to do that?

Check out the website at:  This to me looks like a shiny, glorified version of the information Google or Wikipedia would supply.

Doesn’t the State Governments rack-up big enough deficits without getting involved in international trade (or is it junkets)? I must presume that it is doing such a great job of looking after its citizens basic needs, such as quality education, no ambulance ramping at hospitals, safety, reliable electricity, etc., that in its spare time (after lunch) it can get involved in (or is it meddle in) International Trade.

However, having said all that and given that China is one of our biggest export market opportunities especially with Chinese New Year just around the corner (February 16, 2018) – you have to ask your State Trade Minister or Premier what their export plan/strategy/think tank/working group is doing for your State to capitalise on this awesome event (and how much it is going to cost you). What are the KPI’s, the cost benefit analysis for these trips and forecast increase in dollar value (rather than fluffy terms they usually mention) of the exports that they expect from this “brilliant” initiative of theirs. I’d love to see the answer!

We are a country with a population of less than that of each of Mumbai, Shanghai or Tokyo, yet we have seven governments!!! We used to have one National Government and six regional governments but now we have seven internationally focused governments. What’s next? State Government defence forces or immigration departments?

So for all our sakes, we should either split up into eight separate countries – including North and South Queensland (like Sudan did). OR, we should find a way to disband State Governments and have a two-tier government structure – Federal + supersized Councils – because the current three-tier (or is it tear) system ain’t working for us, the citizens.

I know which system I would put my money on!! How about you, what do you think?

P.S. Next Thursday is International Furmint Day. Who knows what type of grape Furmint is and where it comes from? Have you tried a Furmint wine? Please let us know.

Have a great week and enjoy delicious wines, from wherever they come from.


I am always talking about the plethora of sensational Emerging variety wines that we have here in Australia where we make wine from 152 different varieties (it is probably up to 155 or 160 by now). However, today it is back to talking about an old, traditional variety with a breathtakingly, sensational Shiraz from a winery that is much better known for the amazing Mediterranean varieties that it produces – 32 different ones to date.

DELL’UVA 2013 BAROSSA ‘SANDSTONE’ SHIRAZ: Wow! This is a really classy, sophisticated Barossa Shiraz. Not an OTT blockbuster but rather a powerful (at 16.1% alc/vol) yet svelte, elegant, smooth and ever so rich wine. It has so much poise and panache that it is like drinking liquid velvet. It also lingers oh, so divinely, making one’s palate plead for more.


This superb SHIRAZ can hold its head up high against other wines that are priced at three-to-five times the $65 a bottle that is its price. Gobsmackingly awesome!!!