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Wine tax changes threaten jobs in the South West: Greens

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Wine tax changes threaten jobs in the South West: Greens 17 Jun 2016 | Rachel Siewert Agriculture & Rural Affairs

The Coalition's Wine Equalisation Tax reforms support the big end of town at the expense of local businesse

resulting in hardship and a loss of jobs across the South West’s wine growing regions, the Greens said today

Greens Senator for Western Australia and spokesperson on Agriculture, Rachel Siewert, who was involved in inquiry

into the Australian Wine and Grape Industry, said the reforms fail to acknowledge the importance of supporting our

tourism and agricultural sectors as we transition out of the mining boom.

“The Wine industry is a key part of building local tourism opportunities and employing people in our rural


“The Coalition Government has ineptly mishandled the changes to the eligibility criteria for the WET rebate, h not

listened to smaller growers and winemakers and not understood the innovation that exists in the local industry. Many

operators do not “own an interest in a winery” but are legitimate and valued players in the loca winery and tourism


“The eligibility criteria needs to include ‘wine growers’ and exclude producers who are using the tax to sell lar

quantities of cheap wine. “ Senator Siewert said.

Greens Senate candidate Michael Baldock has spoken with local producers who face great uncertainty with t

proposed rapid reduction in the WET Rebate and revised WET Rebate eligibility criteria.

“Many who have taken out loans and invested will not be able to adjust their operations to remain financially viable

under the WET Rebate reduction timetable.

“By delaying changes to the eligibility criteria until after the election, the Coalition is extending the uncertainty , Mr

Baldock said.

Senator Siewert confirmed that the Greens will continue to pursue a tiered volumetric tax into the future but a

concerned to see the current WET Rebate operate fairly.