Our position is as follows:
Wine Victoria supports reforms to the WET Tax Rebate that result in eliminating abuse of the existing arrangements. We do not support reforms that reduce government funding to the industry.
We see that the key changes needed to ensure this objective is met are:
Eligibility Criteria: The impact of reform should be on those that we do not consider legitimate producers, the criteria should protect legitimate wine producer arrangements and successfully exclude those gaming the system. The ‘winery’ test as announced in the budget may well exclude legitimate producers claiming the rebate. Wine Victoria looks forward to working with the WFA and Government in developing a meaningful and workable eligibility criteria.
Cap reduction: There are various positions within our membership as to the level of funding that should be available to legitimate producers. We are fully committed to receiving feedback from our members by way of the proposed WFA industry survey, and will provide whatever assistance as required to expedite this process.
Consistent industry funding: we do not believe that the industry should accept a net loss of Federal Government funding allocated to industry through the WET Rebate System. We request that WFA engage with relevant members of parliament on this issue to ensure that there are commitments to retain an agreed level of WET Rebate and overall industry funding over the course of the next term of government.
This engagement with Government and Opposition Members should commence during the current election campaign, with the objective of informing the new Government’s view on WET rebate reforms.