VWIA to elect new members for a fresh start

The Victorian Wine Industry Association will elect a new executive management committee next month before it proposes a new model and fee structure to its members.

Chris Pfeiffer, chairman of the VWIA, announced he will step down as chairman at the association’s annual general meeting, which likely to be held in September when he completes his three-year term.

Pfeiffer says a new executive management committee (EMC) will help the association to achieve a fresh start before it meets at again with its members to propose a new model.

“My fellow members of the current Executive Management Committee and I have decided that to achieve the best possible fresh start for the association, all positions on the EMC will be vacated at the AGM and a completely new group of people should be elected to fill those roles” Pfeiffer said.

“That way, new blood can be brought in and the proposed changes to the constitution can be properly discussed with all the regions at the AGM without rushing prior to a Special General Meeting being held to vote them in.”

A working group headed by Alister Purbrick of Tahbilk Wines met this month to review the association’s constitutional model after several months of negotiation about the need to secure its future.

Concerns were raised earlier this year that the VWIA was heading towards insolvency. A motion to have the association wound up at a meeting in March was averted when an audit found the association was financially viable.

Pfeiffer says a new model and fee structure will allow for better representation of Victoria’s 21 wine regions.

“Although it is not rich, the finances of the industry association are in good health which is probably the situation most businesses would prefer when looking at their own coffers in comparison to the association that is there to represent them.”

The association is looking for the necessary vote of confidence from existing, renewing and new members to ensure the strength of the Victorian wine industry’s voice is increased.

Any prospective members of the association can join online at: www.winesofvictoria.com.au/join.asp.