By Andy Young

Wine producers are being encouraged to take part in key consultations for the Government’s $50m Export and Regional Wine Support package and the $10m Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant program.

Although two separate processes, both of these have come about as part of the reforms to the WET Rebate announced by the Government in December last year.

The Winemakers Federation of Australia is conducting a series of regional consultations over the coming weeks as it looks to submit a formal business plan to the Government regarding the Export package by 28 April.

Tony Battaglene the WFA’s Chief Executive, told TheShout: “We want everyone to get their say, that is absolutely what this process is all about. We can’t guarantee that everyone will get the outcomes that they want, but we want everyone to have the opportunity to input into the process, so we can get an informed decision, that is our objective.

“This is a very busy time now, we met with South Australia on Monday, we met with New South Wales yesterday, we’ve got a meeting with West Australia on Tuesday, Tasmania on Wednesday, Victoria on Thursday and then we’ll meet with Queensland the week after. So we will be getting out to all the states.

“Part of this is so that the state associations can coordinate the regional meetings and then we want the regions to go back and talk to their members and constituents. So we’ll talk to our members directly, as will the grape growers, but it’s very helpful to have the state and regional associations involved and having their say.”

He added: "The turn-around time is tight, however we have been actively planning for this and we are in a strong position to administer the best long-term solution for the wine sector. 

"This support package will complement AGWA’s export and market promotion activities; the WET Rebate Reforms announced in the 2016 Budget; and the $10 million cellar door and regional tourism grant that comes in in 2018-19."

The Government has also released its consultation paper on the $10m cellar door and regional tourism grant.

The Minister for Revenue and Finance, Kelly O’Dwyer encouraged producers to get involved in the consultation.

“The Government wants to support producers who add value and contribute to their communities by encouraging visitors to wine regions,” Minister O’Dwter 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 added.

Battaglene also told TheShout, that these two areas are key investments for the wine industry and it’s important to make sure the industry takes the best advantage it can from them

“The key message is that there are really two areas of the package where the real benefits will come from,” he said.

“One is the export promotion and that will help to build demand, which is what this is all about. 

“The second is that there are some major benefits from the package to regional tourism and that’s become a really important part of it. So building that cellar door, building that wine area tourism helps not just the wineries, but the whole region and there are a lot of benefits that will come out of that.

“So they look to be the two main investment areas and so now it is about finding the best mechanism to fund the best activities within them.”

Industry can access the consultation document at and provide feedback through WFA at

The Shout Team

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

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *