In the 2016/17 budget, the Federal Government announced a range of measures it intended to introduce to address reforms to current WET Rebate legislation.
Some of the proposed measures and initiatives are welcome and go a long way towards addressing industry and government concerns with the way the rebate currently operates. However, as a high value, fine wine production industry, there are 2 items that would have disproportionately negative economic and social consequences in Western Australia.
1. Reduction in the WET Rebate cap; and
2. Eligibility criteria for the WET Rebate that would stifle innovation and the next generation of wine producers
As an industry we note and welcome the Government’s commitment to a full consultation process when addressing these issues.
As announced in our press release on the 6th May, we will measure the significant negative economic and social impacts that these proposed changes may have on the WA wine industry via a survey to the WA Wine Industry.
The survey will be administered by accounting firm RSM Australia and will determine:
- how many producers would be affected by changes to eligibility for the rebate (not withstanding the consultation process on eligibility);
- how many producers would be affected by a reduction in the cap on the rebate and its total value;
- the quantum of rebate lost via cellar door and;
- the likely impact this would have on jobs and future regional development in WA
- the likely impact the above would have on regional tourism in WA
The WA wine industry is a $700 million industry providing significant economic flow-on benefits to the mainly regional areas in which it operates.
It is essential that the federal government is fully informed of the potential economic and social consequences of the proposed changes in Western Australia.
We look forward to presenting the data to industry and government and look forward to fully participating in the consultative process.