Growers approve new Order

Written by  Wine Victoria Thursday, 29 September 2016

Winegrape growers in the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill regions have voted decisively in favour of another four-year term for the Murray Valley Wine Grape Industry Development Order. This is the statutory provision that underpins the collection of levies by the Murray Valley Wine Grape Industry Development Committee (IDC).

The Order is subject to a compulsory vote by winegrape growers every four years. With growers’ approval, the IDC has the authority to continue to collect a charge of $1.25/tonne on wine grapes produced for sale in the Murray-Darling and Swan Hill regions. The IDC also oversees the spending of levy funds, with most of the funding for Murray Valley Winegrowers (MVW) coming via the IDC.

The Victorian Electoral Commission issued ballot papers in late August and polling closed at 4pm on September 23.

Of the 379 growers enrolled to vote, 241 voted (64% of enrolees), with 214 (89%) supporting the Order until December 2020. It was a similar outcome to the 2008 and 2012 polls. However, the 2016 poll attracted a significantly higher proportion of voters.

“This was an extremely important vote for MVW given its dependence on the IDC process for most of its funding,” MVW Executive Officer Mike Stone said.

“Growers have given us another four years’ in which to provide advocacy and representation, to maintain a weather station network and provide weather alerts, employ an Industry Development Officer to provide viticultural advice, produce harvest reports on production and prices, operate a grapes for sale register and price watch, and to keep growers informed of issues affecting supply/demand and vineyard viability.”

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