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Tuesday, 24 October 2017
Page: 11721


Mr HARTSUYKER (CowperAssistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister) (13:05): I present the explanatory memorandum to this bill and move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Australian wine exports are expected to exceed $2.5 billion in 2017-18, with benefits flowing to wine producers as well as regional wine producing communities.

The Australian government recognises the important contribution this industry makes to Australia' s economy and is committed to supporting the sustainable growth of the sector.

We have worked with industry to undertake reform of the wine equalisation tax rebate scheme, to address integrity concerns and to better target the benefits to small Australian wine producers as originally intended.

In 2016, the Australian government also announced the introduction of a $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package and a $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant.

Both of these initiatives have been introduced to assist the wine industry transition to reforms of the wine equalisation tax, including a reduction of the annual rebate from $500,000 to $350,000 from July 2018.

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The initiatives also recognise and support the value and vibrancy wine producers bring to regional communities.

This bill introduces changes to enable the Australian Grape and Wine Authority, as it is currently known, to implement all planned activities under the Export and Regional Wine Support Package and the Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant.

The authority is uniquely placed to deliver the Wine Support Package and the Cellar Door Grant as they have extensive experience in wine marketing and export.

They are also able to readily access existing relationships, information and expertise to enable implementation at regional, national, and international levels.

The bill also takes the opportunity to change the authority's legislated name from the Australian Grape and Wine Authority to Wine Australia, to align with their established trading name. This alignment will avoid any unnecessary confusion for stakeholders about the identity, roles or responsibilities of the authority.

The bill is reflective of a constructive collaboration between the government and industry and will enable the flow of increased support for regional wine producing communities.

I commend the bill to the House.