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News posted on Wednesday, 13 May 2015

OPINION: A Government and budget that is delivering for farmers
BARNABY JOYCE: Here’s a little story about Jack and Diane. Two young farmers doing as best as they can. And if they sell $1.9 million of cattle and grain a year, or grapes and wine, or wool and lamb and their turnover is under $2 million then they have the benefit of record commodity prices and now have an overwhelming reason to invest in their farms to make it bigger for them and better for Australia. From 1, July 2016, the fences they build are 100 per cent deductible in the first year. The water infrastructure and dams they put will also be immediately 100 per cent tax deductible.

Federal Budget 2015: How do I claim this $20,000 tax break?
Sydney Morning Herald takes an in-depth look at he 2015 budget and explains how to claim your share. If you are registered business, i.e. you have an ABN, and it turned over less that $2 million you can claim. Businesses can buy any machinery or equipment related to their business if each item is valued at less than $20,000. You can claim the full amount from your income to reduce your tax bill. There is no limit on the number of items a business can claim. A long list of machinery and general appliances will be 100 per cent tax deductible.

SA looks to growing China exports
SOUTH Australian businesses have the potential to create jobs and double in size by embracing exports to China, Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith says. THE minister is about to lead the state's largest trade mission to China, which is South Australia's biggest trading partner. Hamilton-Smith says local products and services are in high demand and the Chinese are willing to pay premium prices.

Australia’s top sommeliers immersed in wine
Australian sommeliers from some of the country’s best restaurants have today ventured off to spend eight days in wine regions across three states for Wine Australia’s fourth annual Sommelier Immersion Program (SIP) trip. The 10 guests, including Romaine Cauvin from Sydney’s prestigious ARIA restaurant and Tim Briar from The Botanical/ Colonial Leisure Group in Melbourne, will develop a deeper understanding of the fine wines being produced in their own backyards by taking in the regions of King Valley, Coonawarra, Wrattonbully and Langhorne Creek, and Margaret River.

Boost to Alpine wine industry
ALPINE Valley Vignerons have welcomed the State Government’s $1 million investment, aimed at boosting Victorian wine exports and tourism. President of the Alpine Valleys Vignerons Micheal Freudenstein said any boost to wine related tourism in the region is welcomed as it not only benefits the wine region, but all associated tourism businesses. “Alpine Valleys, Bright, Myrtleford and Mt Beauty are all major drawcards to North East Victoria, offering a high level experience of wine and food,” he said.

Yealands Family Wines picks Special Group NZ as global advertising partner
After a strategic pitch process, Yealands Family Wines has appointed Special Group to be its global design and advertising agency partner. Michael Wentworth, Yealands general manager of marketing said: "We are impressed by Special's holistic design and advertising capability. As a global business we're also excited about their team's broad international experience, and the success of their office in Australia - one of our key export markets. Culturally too, they just seem a great fit for Yealands."

Hawke’s Bay visitor numbers at record high
Statistics New Zealand has released their latest report for March 2015 visitor arrivals and it revealed a fantastic result for Hawke’s Bay’s tourism industry. March 2015 in comparison to March 2014 showed a 14.6% increased in visitor nights, totalling 116,740 in actual figures. That increase was made up of a leap in both domestic and international visitor nights. International visitor nights rose 10.6% to 35,119 with domestic visitor nights recording a whopping 16.5% increase, totalling 81,621.

Rains reduce Indian grape exports by 26.47%
NASHIK: With the unseasonal rain and hailstorms badly affecting the quality and production, grape exports from Nashik district have declined by 26.47% in the current grape season (January-April) due to unseasonal rain and hailstorms in February and March. The district exported 49,443 metric tonnes of grapes by April-end in the current grape season, against 67,244 metric tonnes exported in 2014. Speaking to TOI, Jagannath Khapare, president, Grape Exporters' Association of India (GEAI), said: "Close to 80% of the total grape exports of the state comes from the district."

California growers given extension on pest assessment vote
A state agency has extended by a month the deadline for California grape growers to return ballots on whether to continue an assessment on their crops to fund pest research. The state Department of Food and Agriculture said the new deadline to return ballots will be June 10. The deadline had been Monday, but balloting has been plagued by voter apathy. At least 40 percent of the estimated 6,500 eligible voters must participate for the referendum to be valid.

Grape-picker job scam leaves victims with bitter aftertaste
About 30 people who paid a Thai-Australian man to secure them well-paid jobs as grape pickers down under showed up at Suvarnabhumi airport last night only to discover they had been conned. Thanida Sitthiruek and the other victims filed a fraud complaint with Crime Suppression Division police after finding they had all been told to show up at the airport to meet Natee Howard Bodyham for a 7pm flight to Australia. He never showed and they had no tickets.

Who are you? Limoux Wine's identity crisis
The fastest-growing French sparkling wine appellation in the US has many faces. Any visitor to the tiny winemaking area of Limoux in France's southern Languedoc region inevitably hears the local legend about how Dom Pérignon stole the secret of the area's sparkling wines before popularizing it back in Champagne. Despite being patently untrue, this story highlights the extent to which Limoux's claim to what little fame it enjoys rests upon the legacy of its bubbles.

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