The Australian wine industry can plan for the future on sure footing, following Federal Government’s Budget announcements of $50 million in grants to promote Australian wine overseas and a $10 million annual grant for cellar doors to promote local wine tourism.
Federal Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie, said the initiatives would deliver important regional, national and international opportunities for Australia’s growing wine industry.
“Wine is one of the great modern success stories of Australian agriculture,” Federal Minister Joyce said.
“Australian has over 2,400 wineries, which employ around 30,000 people and produce exports of $2.2 billion annually, you can’t argue with numbers like that.
“In addition, the free trade agreements the Federal Government has signed in key markets for our wine exports are now delivering opportunities to expand wine exports even further.
“That’s why the Federal Budget 2017/18 delivers the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package: to promote Australian wine in overseas markets and encourage domestic and international tourists to visit our premium wine regions.
“This is money that will help Australian producers improve their existing market share and access new international markets.”
Senator McKenzie said new $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door grant would complement the Export and Regional Wine Support Package by encouraging visitors to wine regions.
“This government is determined to support wine producers and the vital economic and social contribution they make to local communities,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grants will provide eligible producers with grants of up to $100,000 for their cellar door sales.
“That’s money that supports local communities, builds local industries, and contributes to the ongoing growth of our rural exports.”
Senator McKenzie said the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate would also be gradually reduced, integrity measures strengthened, and eligibility criteria tightened.
“Importantly, industry has told us that the WET rebate drives investment and employment in rural and regional Australia through winemaking and regional tourism.
“To assist this ongoing investment in wine industry, and particularly rural and regional Australia, we are reducing the cap from $500,000 to $350,000 on 1 July 2018, without any further reductions.”