The Federal Government announced important integrity reforms to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate on December 2.

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.

The focus is to refocus and restore integrity to the WET rebate system, and provide relief small premium winemakers from the burden of WET.

Some key aspects of the reform include:

• the eligibility criteria which will ensure young 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

Amendments have been moved to July 2018, meaning wine producers can refocus business operations.

This announcement means the revised policy is focused on returning the rebate to its original intent

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