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$4.5 million to enhance Australian wine industry research and development efforts.



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HON WARREN TRUSS MP MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY

AFFA01/227WT 22 August 2001

$4.5 million to enhance Australian wine industry research and development efforts

The Federal Government has announced a $4.5 million grant to the Australian wine industry to develop a National Wine Industry Research Cluster.

The $4.5 million grant was one of 15 to be provided under the $155 million Major Research Facilities Program which was announced as part of the Commonwealth's $3 billion Backing Australia Ability statement.

"The grant will go towards funding both building expansions at the AWRI and CSIRO as well as purchasing state of the art equipment, such as analytical, fermentation and harvesting machinery," Federal Agriculture Minister Warren Truss said today.

"The main purpose of the new facility will be to support the wine industry's drive to provide the quantitative and qualitative information required by grape growers and wineries to optimise viticultural and wine making practices.

"This grant will further enhance the efforts of Australian wine industry to remain a world leader in the development of improved practices for the production of quality wine products.

"It demonstrates that despite its recent successes, the Australian wine industry is determined to continue to pursue every opportunity to maintain and increase its edge in an increasingly competitive global wine market".

The bid for the grant was led by Australia's' world-renowned wine research organisation, the Australian Wine Research Institute, and the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry.

Along with the Commonwealth's $4.5 million, the South Australian Government will provide $750,000, and an additional $2.5 million will be contributed by partners in the bid including, the AWRI, the CSIRO, the South Australian Research and Development Institute, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and Charles Sturt University. Other partners will provide in kind contributions.

Australia's wine industry has grown dramatically over the last decade and now exports round $1.7 billion worth of quality wine to overseas customers.

The wine industry also makes a very significant economic contribution to the economy of rural and regional Australia and directly employs more than 16,000 people.

A fact sheet on the project is included below.

Backing Australia's Ability

Major National Research Facilities Program

Facility name: National Wine Industry Research Cluster

This facility will support Australia’s $1.5 billion wine export industry and will seek to research and identify sustainable viticulture methodology to further reinforce Australia’s international leadership in wine production. The facility will be co-located by the agencies of the Waite Campus Cluster, Urbrae (SA) with nodes at Merbein (Victoria), Wagga Wagga (NSW) and the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation.

Grant: $4.5 million.

Principal proponent: The Australian Wine Research Institute.

Description and objectives: This facility will identify and track wine quality factors through the production chain using integrated and expanded qualitative sensory evaluation and winemaking from the vine to market price points.

Outcomes of the facility:

Identification and analytical measurement of compounds contributing to grape and wine quality to increase the quantitative and qualitative information required for optimising agronomic and winemaking practices;

Expansion of commercial involvement by accredited laboratories such as the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) to enable rapid application of new technologies to the industry;

Improvement in profitability through yield and quality enhancement. A 5 cent increase in profit per litre of wine represents an annual improvement of $50 million for Australian wine industries;

Sustained export success with projected industry exports of $4.5 billion annually;

Continued research into partial rootzone drying techniques which drastically reduces water usage, yet increase the quality of harvested fruits; and

Near infra-red technology usage to correlate the principal components of quality in the grape with the sensorial quality of wine.

Contact Details:

Professor Peter Hoj Director The Australian Wine Research Institute PO Box 197 GLEN OSMOND SA 5064 Tel: 08 8303 6611 Fax: 08 8303 6609 Email: peter.hoj@awri.com.au

Minister's office: Yvonne Best (02) 6277 7520 or 0418 415 772

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