In Federal Parliament today, Member for Bass Ross Hart MP has argued that the Turnbull Government’s attempt to mitigate the effects of  their heavy handed reform of the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate, is not sufficient, nor will those efforts come in time for our local wine industry.

The Turnbull Government introduced their Wine Australia bill which is intended to mitigate some of the unfortunate consequences of their decision to reduce the WET rebate from $500,000 to $350,000, with the wine tourism and cellar door grants program.

Mr Hart said “the potential impact of the reduction of the rebate on a wine business is that it will lose up to $150,000 from its bottom line from July 2018 and will not be able to access the new grants program until November 2019.

“Because Tasmania is a producer of high-value wines and small producers  the changes to the WET rebate disproportionately impacts Tasmania’s wine industry.

“The state’s wine industry has projected that production would triple over the next five years, but a number of the producers that I’ve spoken to in the Tamar Valley have had to question their decisions on expansion and hiring plans.

“In an attempt to stop businesses rorting the rebate the government these changes will affect the entire industry, nevertheless the government’s back down on further cuts to the rebate and the introduction of this grants program is a step in the right direction.

“I will be taking particular interest in the roll out of the program and do what I can to support the industry in this transition period,” Mr Hart said.