Tuesday, 27 May 2014 00:00

Update from the Chair - Damien Sheehan

One of Wine Victoria's key aims in 2014 is to increase our engagement with government. This year is particularly important as the upcoming election this November presents an opportunity for the wine industry to put its case forward and to seek support and answers from the next government across each of our policy areas.

Each of the policy areas that our board has determined to focus on are squarely aimed at improving the profitability and long term stability for our members. Currently, we are finalising our Wine and Health, Tax and Environment policies.

To get to this point has taken a lot of work by individuals within the board as well as many other contributors. Last year we had a win with the retention of the Cellar Door Rebate. This was achieved after extensive preparation of supporting documentation stating Wine Victoria's case, followed up by advocacy to the right areas of government.

The second phase of this campaign is now underway. Several regions have already touched base with their local members on this important issue as we embark on a process of informing sitting government members of the importance of the Cellar Door Rebate to the profitability of Wine Victoria members.

So now we turn to those policies that are in development and with which there has already been a lot of work completed. They are in the areas of Trade (Export) and Tourism. The Board, Regional Council and many members have contributed to the development of the position papers that are now in their first draft.

There is still a lot of work to be done however as we sharpen the focus of these papers to work up solid and constructive proposals to put before government.

This is your industry and these policy areas directly address the profitability of your businesses. We welcome your engagement and encourage each of you to discuss the Trade and Tourism draft papers that have been circulated to your regional associations.

Feedback and specific and workable ideas that we can incorporate into our 'asks' to government are what we are looking for.

We look forward to a busy time leading up to the next election and in putting our case in front of key ministers, and you to your local members.