Media Release: Opening the cellar door to regional Australia

From today, wine producers are being invited to take part in consultation on the Australian Government's $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant programme.

"The Government wants to support producers who add value and contribute to their communities by encouraging visitors to wine regions," Minister O'Dwyer said.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, and Minister O'Dwyer have called on producers to have their say on the programme with the release of a consultation paper to inform the delivery of the grants.

"Eligible producers will be able to access an annual grant of up to $100,000 per annum (plus GST) for their eligible sales," Minister Ruston said.

"Australia's wine industry is not only one of our signature export industries, but also makes an important contribution to tourism, particularly in regional areas," she said.

"It's also one of the only agriculture-based industries where the majority of the value chain is located in Australia."

Minister Ruston said that there had been promising growth in exports to overseas markets, with the value of Australian wine exports increasing by 7 per cent to $2.22 billion in 2016.

"It's important that this success continues to deliver economic and social benefits in the regions where these products originate by supporting producers' cellar doors in attracting visitors," she said.

"These grants will go a long way in helping achieve that."

Minister O'Dwyer said the grants would complement a suite of measures developed with the wine industry to improve the wine equalisation tax (WET) rebate scheme.

"The Government will separately consult on the draft legislation for the WET rebate reforms to ensure they deliver the best possible outcome for the Australian wine industry," she said.

The programme also complements the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package that is being implemented by the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) from 2016 through to 2019.

The consultation paper is available at www.agriculture.gov.au/wine-grant.

Interested parties can make a submission until 11 April 2017. Thoughts and feedback can be submitted via winegrant@agriculture.gov.au.

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