Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has welcomed the Turnbull Government’s announcement of changes to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate to assist Indi winemakers and associated tourism.
Indi winemakers were included in a national consultation in recent weeks led by Ministers Kelly O’Dwyer and Anne Ruston. The discussions led to key changes to the eligibility criteria for the WET rebate scheme which protect the integrity of the scheme while not disadvantaging regional winemakers’ cellar door businesses.
Ms McGowan met with Senator Ruston this week to discuss details of the changes in response to winemakers’ concerns about their potential impact on wine tourism operations within Indi.
Ms McGowan congratulated Ministers O’Dwyer and Ruston on the final package and welcomed the introduction of $100,000 per annum for producers who exceed the Rebate cap through a new Wine Tourism and Cellar Door grant.
The eligibility criteria to qualify for the new grant will be finalised following consultation with the industry.
“Indi is home to some of the country’s best wineries with a sophisticated tourism offering that has people staying and spending their tourist dollars both at and beyond the cellar door,” Ms McGowan said.
“This grant will ensure those cafes, restaurants and other cellar door attractions will remain viable for winemakers and retain related employment in our region.
“This is a positive outcome and an example of why it’s important to take into account the impact of policy on rural and regional Australia."
Under the proposed changes the WET Rebate cap will be reduced from $500,000 to $350,000 and apply from 1 July 2018.