Inquiry into anti-competitive conduct in the retail wine industry

Inquiry into anti-competitive conduct in the retail wine industry and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's role

On 26 February 2016, the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, under Standing Order 25(2)(a), resolved to inquire into, anreport on, anti-competitive conduct in the retail sector of the wine industry and ACCC's role. The committee's main focus is to determine whether there is anti-competitive behaviour in the industry and, if so, what role the ACCC has in promoting competition, and any impediments that are preventing the regulator from performing its function effectively. See information about the inquiry here.

Wine industry stakeholders are invited to make a submission to this inquiry.  The committee is due to report to the Senate by 30 September 2016. The committee would like to receive submissions by the end of April 2016.

Written submissions should be submitted preferably in electronic form online or sent by email to as an attached Adobe PDF or MS Word format document. E-mailed submissions should include your name, phone number and postal address. There is no need for a submission to contain a personal signature.

Alternatively, written submissions may be sent to:

Committee Secretary
Senate Economics References Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra   ACT   2600

Submissions are confidential until the Committee releases them. You must not release your submission until the Committee advises that it has accepted and released it. Submissions are protected by parliamentary privilege but the unauthorised release of them is not.

The Committee will normally make submissions public unless there is a request for confidentiality. A request for confidentiality must clearly indicated in the submission.

The Committee will consider requests for confidentiality sympathetically, but cannot make promises in advance. Concerns about confidentiality can be discussed prior to lodging the submission with Dr Kathleen Dermody, Committee Secretary.

Notes on making submissions are available from the website here.

The Committee secretariat can also help:
phone (02) 6277 3540 or email

More information about this Committee is available at






Rules for wine show medals to extend to packaging and promotions

The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia has announced tighter rules on the use and display of wine show medals.

The changes follow a review over recent months into the existing Code of Practice for the Display of Awards.

Federation Strategy & International Affairs General Manager Tony Battaglene said tightening the code would be of particular interest to national, state and regional show organisations around the country as well as winemakers, retailers and consumers.

"We have been reviewing the code over recent months and particularly how it applies to not just bottles but packaging more generally, and how medals are used in marketing wines and the companies behind them," Mr Battaglene said.

"While gold, silver and bronze discs may for example form part of a logo or brand, the code is now very clear that they should not be used to give the impression that a particular wine or winery has won an award when they have not," he said.

"Also, new rules are coming in that we are not just talking about the vessel or bottle that a wine comes in but we have broadened the scope to deliberately include packaging and marketing materials.

"Including packaging and marketing in the code and specifying that wines found to be in breach of the rules may be ineligible to enter wine shows are all geared to protect the integrity of legitimate wine show medals that have been judged and awarded on merit.

"The code acts as guidelines to assist wine shows administer their prizes and, thanks to the new rules, any company found to be in breach may find themselves ineligible to compete or even stripped of recognition."

The guidelines were last updated seven years ago. They were originally put in place in 2003 to give wine shows, winemakers and consumers some ground-rules to follow;

Code of Practice for the Display of Awards

The review was conducted by the Federation and the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology.