Senator Anne Ruston has announced that a Senate inquiry will be conducted into the Australian Wine industry. The inquiry will investigate legislation, regulations, representation of wine industry stakeholders, potential market failure, industry levies and the WET rebate, and how these issues impact the wine industry.
This comes at a time when Riverland growers, like many of their counterparts across the country, are battling to cover costs, and wine companies are having difficulty trading in an increasingly competitive global environment.
“Australia is an exporting country and we aren’t going to get rich selling to ourselves,” Senator Ruston said.
With new free trade agreements and favourable movements in Australia’s currency being reasons for guarded optimism, Senator Ruston suggested that the time is ripe for Australia to focus in building exports to build the fortunes of Australian wine.
Tim Whetstone, member for Chaffey applauded the move, noting; “the European Union provided $522 million for wine promotion between 2009 and 2013. In comparison, Australia spends less than $10 million per year on generic wine promotion”.
Mr. Whetstone also commented on the need to boost investment in wine industry research and development.
Riverland Wine has been busy in lobbying for these issues to be addressed in recent times, with extensive consultation with the industry peak bodies. The commitment to research and development and marketing of Australian wine was discussed at the recent consultative meeting with the Australian Grape and Wine Authority visit to Banrock Station earlier this month.