In a win for Australia’s wine industry the Government will provide $50 million over four years to promote Australian wine overseas and wine tourism within Australia.
The funding, to be provided from July 1 this year to the Australian Grape and Wine Authority, will open the way to make the most of new opportunities through free trade agreements.
The funding boost will assist in increasing current wine exports, which comprise about 60 per cent of wine produced in Australia.
Wine Australia has welcomed the $50 million investment announced in last night’s federal budget.
The wine industry currently contributes $40.2 billion to the Australian economy.
“The grape and wine sector brings together agriculture, sophisticated production and tourism and it is a vital part of the rich fabric of regional Australia,” said Wine Australia Chair Brian Walsh.
“We welcome this initiative and we look forward to working closely with the grape and wine sector to design and implement the $50 million support package to help boost domestic wine-related tourism and export assistance,” Mr Walsh said.
High quality product
“Wine is a unique, high-quality product created in Australia’s 65 wine regions by highly skilled winegrape growers and winemakers.
“These new measures will help build regional employment and increase the wine sector’s contribution to the Australian economy.”
Under the initiative, Wine Australia will coordinate a range of initiatives to help regional wine producers and export-focused businesses to continue to grow.
The package comes at an important time. In the past 12 months, wine exports have grown 13 per cent and now earn wine exporters $2.1 billion.
According to official figures, the Australian wine sector has about 5,160 grapegrowers, 135,178 ha of vines, 2,900 wineries and produces 1.2 billion litres of wine.
The industry supports 172,736 full and part-time jobs, most of which are located in regional Australia.
Wine-related tourism accounts for 15.8 million domestic visitor nights and 44.2 million international visitor nights. It contributes $9.2 billion to the economy.