Wine regulator to administer industry welfare

wine4The Australian Grape and Wine Authority may soon have its powers extended to provide export and tourism support for Aussie suppliers if reforms currently before the Senate pass this week.

Under the reforms the Australian Grape and Wine Authority would be renamed to Wine Australia and be able to deliver 2016 Budget measures that provision $60 million for programs related to wine tourism and export support for regional wineries.

The programs were initially introduced last year to cushion the blow of a reduction in the wine equalisation tax rebate from $500,000 to $350,000 annually, but the Government has determined that the industry regulator is best placed to administer the Cellar Door Grant and Wine Support Package programs.

The reforms would see international wine tourism embedded into the industry legislation, with the Cellar Door Grant becoming available to producers of wine covered under the wine equalisation tax.

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