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Wine industry urges Government to do more for the sector

Wine producers are urging the Government to further support the sector as they said the A$50 million invested in the sector will be spent by June 2020.

Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) and Wine Australia raised concerns following a trip to the US to promote Australian Wine to American consumers.

AFFW roster of wine producers include Brown Brothers, Campbells, d’Arenberg, McWilliam’s Wines, Taylors, Tyrrell’s Wines and Yalumba.

“Given how much the government reaps in taxes from the wine industry, it’s time they stepped up and showed an ongoing commitment to our long-term health, at home and internationally,” said AFFW chair Stephen Henschke.

WET reforms have cut the industry rebate from bulk and buyers own brand wines. The maximum rebate of A$500,000 dropped to A$350,000 which led to an estimated A$200 million additional revenue at the Treasury.

“We’ve all lost money from our bottom line as part of the WET tax rebate reforms and as some of Australia’s oldest family owned businesses, we’ve just had to accept that,” he explained.

“Whilst it was great to see influential people tasting our wines and being amazed, we can’t afford to be forgotten again.  It’s all about consistency of message. We have to keep telling our stories. It can’t just stop,” said former AFFW chair, Bruce Tyrrell.

With 11 of Australia’s leading family owned, multi-generational wine businesses in the fold, the group feels a responsibility to ensure that the $50 million spent under the auspices of Wine Australia does not go to waste – and that the investment continues.

“I’ll be lobbying my local member and will be encouraging all my AFFW colleagues to do the same in their regions.  As a group we have to lead the charge, have our voices heard and fight for funding on behalf of the Australian wine community.  It’s vital to our long-term future and I’m certainly up for it,” Bruce Tyrrell noted.

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