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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 4131

Ms PARKE (Fremantle) (16:15): I take this opportunity to speak about the Australian wine sector, and particularly about the beautiful wines from Western Australia. Wine is a unique high-quality product created in 65 wine regions around the country, including in the nine distinct wine regions of Western Australia. From the north-east to the south-west they are: Swan District, Perth Hills, Peel, Geographe, Margaret River, Blackwood Valley, Pemberton, Manjimup and Great Southern.

At a recent tutored tasting in Parliament House, held by Wine Australia, my colleagues and I heard about the wine sector's contribution to the Australian economy and the history, evolution and revolution of Australian wine to create the unique, distinctly Australian, fine wines we enjoy today. Each year, grape growing, wine making and wine-related tourism contribute $40.2 billion to the value of gross output and create 172,736 full- and part-time jobs. Importantly, many of these jobs are in regional Australia.

In 2015, exports of Australian wine grew 14 per cent in value to $2.1 billion. Research, development and extension are helping winemakers to sustainably manage vineyards and wineries to grow grapes that speak of their region and to craft better quality wines that reflect what consumers want. For instance, research is being done into how grapegrowers and winemakers can increase the presence and potency of rotundone, a compound found in grape skins that provides a distinctive black pepper flavour, discovered by the Australian Wine Research Institute in 2007. I thank Wine Australia for bringing this event to Canberra, and I acknowledge the important work of winemakers, distributors and researchers in this important market.