WET reforms introduced to Parliament
By Andy Young
Legislative amendments to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) have been introduced into Parliament, as part of what the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) has called “a bright new era for the Australian Wine Industry”.
The amendments are aimed at reducing what many have labelled as rorting the system, with the WFA adding that the changes will effectively remove market distortions and directly support the wine industry and its communities.
“We are genuinely heartened by the goodwill on all sides of politics to get where we are today,” said Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.
“The Government has listened to and worked with industry every step of the way to get these legislative amendments right. This support has also been mirrored by the Opposition, minor parties and independents who all recognise the critical economic and social contribution of the wine industry to local tourism, jobs, economic growth and long-term sustainability.”
“These amendments will remove distortions to the supply/demand balance for wine grapes by improving the integrity of the tax system and continue to deliver the economic conditions needed for investment in the production of high-quality Australian wines across all of our 65 regions.
“Coupled with the $50 million Export and Regional Tourism Package and the Cellar Door Grant program, the framework for industry success is set. We are now ready to deliver it,” he said.
“I urge all Members of Parliament and Senators to support these amendments as they pass through both Houses during the Spring sitting weeks, and thank those who continue to champion our great industry.”
The Managing Director of Treasury Wine Estates Australia and New Zealand, Angus McPherson, also welcomed the changes, telling TheShout: “Treasury Wine Estate’s point of view is that we are very supportive of the amendments and congratulate the Government for all the hard work that they have done to get them across and to make sure that we end the rorting that was occurring and the unintended consequences as a result of that rorting.”