Federal Government Announces Revised WET Rebate Integrity Measure Amendments

Federal Government Announces Revised WET Rebate Integrity Measure Amendments

Wines of Western Australia (WoWA) warmly welcomes today’s announcement by the Federal Government of important integrity reforms to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate and supports those reforms. This is a good news story of Government and Industry working together to achieve optimum and balanced outcomes.

Senator Ruston is to be congratulated on the thorough and extensive consultation process that she has conducted with the wine industry since the announcement of these reforms in the 2016 Budget. This process highlighted the importance of the WET rebate to small premium wine producers, particularly those operating in regional areas where they are a critical part of their local economies and tourism infrastructure.

WoWA has worked with the Government on behalf of the fine wine regions in Western Australia to ensure that the reforms refocus and restore integrity to the WET rebate system and continue to provide relief to small premium winemakers from the burden of WET. WoWA has been instrumental in the formulation of key aspects of the reforms, in particular:

• the eligibility criteria which will ensureyoung and innovative winemakers can enter the market and;
• and the cellar door rebate scheme which will encourage producers to continue to invest in their cellar door operations and support their local tourism industry.

Moving the amendments out to July 2018 will allow wine producers to refocus their businesses operations. Considering the extent of the reforms, this is a well measured revision due to the long production lead times in the wine industry.
 
Everything in the revised policy is focused around returning the rebate to its original intent and the Government has absolutely nailed it. We look forward to continued discussions over its implementation, the $50m Wine Tourism and Export Development Fund and future taxation reviews.

At the local level, we would like to make a special mention to Senator Dean Smith, Senator Chris Back, Hon. Christian Porter MP, Nola Marino MP, Rick Wilson MP and Andrew Hastie MP for their grassroots input in assessing economic and social consequences in regional wine communities. These grassroots assessments were also supported by Premier Colin Barnett and local MP Libby Mettam.