Sunday, 17 November 2013 18:59

Update from the Chair - Damien Sheehan

It is with great pleasure that I write my first update as Chair of Wine Victoria.

2013 has been a busy year for both the Board and Regional Council.

Since hosting the stakeholder session in October to discuss the future of Wine Victoria, the Board has been working with key stakeholders to create a way forward for the Association.

A good deal of work has been done to identify an alternative funding and membership model, and after much work being undertaken in the background we believe that the hybrid model identified will allow Wine Victoria the financial support it needs to continue, albeit at a level that is below our original objective.

Based on a combined income from our regional associations, plus direct financial input by the larger companies, Wine Victoria will achieve an operating budget that will allow for the retention of its Executive Officer, plus the ability to progress some lobbying and policy work. This new model was accepted by members at the recent Wine Victoria Annual General Meeting.

In 2014 we plan to work with our industry to build partnerships that can start to turn the tide on our current profitability issues, particularly in fundamental policy areas such as international trade and regional Victorian tourism, while also ensuring biosecurity issues that protect quality produce remain high on the agenda.

Our focus will be primarily drawing these issues into our advocacy agenda to ensure that Wine Victoria is heard in the lead up to the 29th November state election.

Lastly, I would like to thank our outgoing Chair, Stephen Strachan for all of his hard work in chairing the association and establishing such an impressive foundation on which we can build. His contributions as Chair have been invaluable and I look forward to continuing to work with Stephen as a member of the Wine Victoria Board.