Tourism ‘green light’ for wine industry

The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia has welcomed legislative changes which give the Australian Grape and Wine Authority the ability to administer tourism grants for the first time.

WFA chief executive Tony Battaglene said this was an important step in the implementation of the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package announced in the 2016 Federal Budget as part of broad industry reforms to strengthen the integrity of the Wine Equalisation Tax system.

WFA, Australian Vignerons and AGWA collaborated to develop the business plan to direct funding towards specific program areas including a grants scheme to benefit international tourism in regional Australia.

“These changes will help us to hit the ground running in implementing this historic demand strategy,” Mr Battaglene said.

“We now look forward to the first annual operating plan, working collaboratively to grow demand and tourism supporting the Australian wine sector.”

Mr Battaglene said the legislative amendments also officially change the name of AGWA to Wine Australia.

Andrew Weeks, chief executive of Australian Vignerons, also welcomed the changes.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with WFA and Wine Australia to deliver this package to benefit the whole wine sector.”