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15/03/2017

Opening the cellar door to regional Australia

Wine producers are being invited to take part in consultation on the Australian Government's $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant program.

“The Government wants to support producers who add value and contribute to their communities by encouraging visitors to wine regions,” said Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services.

Senator Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, and Minister O’Dwyer have called on producers to have their say on the program with the release of a consultation paper to inform the delivery of the grants.

“Eligible producers will be able to access an annual grant of up to $100,000 per annum (plus GST) for their eligible sales,” Minister Ruston said.

“Australia’s wine industry is not only one of our signature export industries, but also makes an important contribution to tourism, particularly in regional areas,” she said.

“It’s also one of the only agriculture-based industries where the majority of the value chain is located in Australia.”

The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia has welcomed the government’s release of a consultation paper on the annual $10 million cellar door and regional tourism grant.

Tony Battaglene, WFA chief executive, urged wine producer to carefully consider the proposed grant details and to provide feedback to WFA to relay to the government.

"This is an important part of the WET reforms and we are very pleased to see the Government working to deliver on its commitment to industry very quickly after its announcement last year," Battaglene said. "The grant will support the cellar doors of our important wine regions to boost tourism and regional economies."

Importantly, the grant is on-going and will provide certainty for the industry boosting investment in regional communities.

"This grant, in conjunction with the WET reforms and the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support package, is a broad-based strategy that will enable us to achieve export and development goals in say two-to-five years, rather than 10 years, for example. This turbo-charges exports and investment."

Minister Ruston said that there had been promising growth in exports to overseas markets, with the value of Australian wine exports increasing by seven per cent to $2.22 billion in 2016.

“It’s important that this success continues to deliver economic and social benefits in the regions where these products originate by supporting producers’ cellar doors in attracting visitors,” she said.

“These grants will go a long way in helping achieve that.”

Minister O’Dwyer said the grants would complement a suite of measures developed with the wine industry to improve the wine equalisation tax (WET) rebate scheme.

“The Government will separately consult on the draft legislation for the WET rebate reforms to ensure they deliver the best possible outcome for the Australian wine industry,” she said.

The program also complements the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package that is being implemented by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (Wine Australia) from 2016 through to 2019.

The consultation paper is available here.

Interested parties can make a submission until 11 April 2017. Thoughts and feedback can be submitted via email:

AWRI

Flavourtech

New Holland

Rowe Scientific

SIMEI

Braud

Internation Wine Challenge

Leeder Analytical

AB Mauri

WID 2016