By Andy Young

As part of his Federal Budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced a $50 million investment over four years to help underpin export growth and domestic wine-related tourism for the Australian wine sector.

Wine Australia, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and Wine Grape Growers Australia (WGGA) all welcomed the investment.

Wine Australia Chair Brian Walsh said: "The grape and wine sector brings together agriculture, sophisticated production and tourism and it is a vital part of the rich fabric of regional Australia. 

‘We welcome this initiative and we look forward to working closely with the grape and wine sector to design and implement the $50 million support package to help boost domestic wine-related tourism and export assistance.

‘Wine is a unique, high-quality product created in Australia’s 65 wine regions by highly skilled winegrape growers and winemakers. These new measures will help build regional employment and increase the wine sector’s contribution to the Australian economy’, he said.

The WFA president Tony D’Aloisio AM said the association had spoken to the government about a recovery plan for the wine industry and a substantial global investment strategy to restore confidence across the industry.

“We are pleased government has listened and responded to our industry recovery strategy and the need to provide these additional funds,” D’Aloisio said. 

“With a more favourable exchange-rate environment and the benefit of Free Trade Agreements with our major trading partners in Asia, the investment of $50 million over the forward estimates to grow markets could have a significant impact on demand. 

“However while we are pleased government has listened and responded to industry’s recovery plan and the need to provide much-needed additional funds for marketing, promotion and regional development, significant questions remain over reducing the rebate cap and the delay in removing eligibility for bulk and unbranded wine,” he added. 

WGGA chair Joanna Andrew also welcomed the announcement. 

“Doing nothing was not an option and government has begun a reform process that we hope will translate into better returns for growers and across the supply chain,” Andrew said.

The government also announced changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax, which have received a mixed reaction from the industry.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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