Wine Communicators Australia Update
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WCA Update: 17 February 2017


Export and Regional Wine Support Package Design Project (Government $50m support package)
I thought I would take this opportunity to outline the progress being made on the promised $50m support package that has been allocated to assist the Australian Wine Industry over the next 4 years. These monies have been promised to the wine industry and comes from the savings made with the changes to the WET rebate scheme (most of which will be implemented on July 1st, 2018).
To quote from the Terms of Reference document from Wine Australia, Australian Vignerons and the Winemakers Federation of Australia:

The Australian Government has announced the Export and Regional Wine Support Package which will run for 4 years from 2016-2017 and be undertaken in two phases:

  1. Development of a business plan (Phase 1)
  2. Implementation of the business plan (Phase 2)
The Australian Government and the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) have entered into a funding agreement for a grant for Phase 1. The purpose of the grant is to develop a business plan (Phase 1) to identify and cost specific activities that will promote wine tourism within Australia and Australian wine overseas to benefit regional wine producing communities.

A Reference Group has been established to assist with developing the business plan under Phase 1.
The reference group has been formed and comprises:
  • Members of the Winemakers Federation of Australia
  • Non-executive directors of Wine Australia
  • Nominee’s from Australian Vignerons
  • Individuals from the grape, wine and tourism sector
  • A nominee from the department of Agriculture and Water resources.
It is chaired by Sandy Clark, president of the WFA.
The Reference group shall:

  • Participate and support the development of the Package including suggesting and reviewing possible activities and projects that support its objectives
  • Review and provide comments on the draft business plan.

The group had the first meeting on the 24th of January. Much of the first meeting was spent ‘setting the scene’ and managing expectations. The consultants used for this project (along with Wine Australia) received 190 separate submissions for this project (including one from the Wine Communicators of Australia). It is clear that there are many interested parties in using this money to benefit the industry. It is also true that the requests for support (if costed out) would exceed the government’s promise of $50m many times over.
The overall objective of these monies is to:
  • Grow the wine industry via exports (focusing on increasing value)
  • Strengthening wine based tourism
The themes of the submissions were summarized into the following areas:
  • Showcase premium food and wine
  • Education and capability building
  • Export facilitation and reducing the cost of doing business
  • Innovation and technology
  • Promoting wine tourism in the regions
Activities were discussed but will be further detailed at the next meeting in March, but it was clear that each activity needs to align to the criteria
  1. Strategic Fit
  2. Benefit to the industry as a whole
  3. Feasibility (can it be done and will it be successful

The next meeting will be critical as this will be when the first draft of spend will be reviewed. The project timeline is tight as the final submission is due to be presented to the Minister for Agriculture and Water resources by 28th April 2017.
This project is important and complex. Not everyone will walk out of this happy. The consultants and reference group will have a challenging time trying to allocate this money into activities that will move the dial for the Australian Wine Industry and set the platform for future sustainable growth.
More to come…..

Angus Barnes
Chairman - WCA Board
(Angus Barnes is a member of the reference group and represents the NSW Wine Industry Association where he is currently Vice President)

Industry news
Australian Women in Wine Awards team up with Wine Australia in taking Australian Women Winemakers to London, September 2017.  For more details, or to register your interest click here.

Do you know a Future Leader of the wine sector?  If so, click here and 'tap someone on the shoulder' or email or them using #FL2017.

WCA would like to congratulate Paul Dixon of Thompson Estate as the winner of The Royal Perth Wine Show Advanced Wine Judges Scholarship.  The Scholarship is intended to support the development of excellence in the WA wine tasting sector.


Other articles of interest
Here are a few interesting articles we found online:
Writing about Australian wines might look like fun, but it's not always easy (
2017 Australian Wine Grape Harvest Update (Austwine grape harvest update)
Searching for the New Australia in Shiraz Country (
Top ten tips for trade show success (
How will we impress the World's 50 Best judges? (


Industry events
Cellar Door Festival in South Australia presents more than 180 South Australian wineries held in the Adelaide Convention Centre, February 24-26.  More details here.

The Taste of Rutherglen ultimate wine and food festival showcase the region's best produce and wine, travel from winery to winery to sample, taste and sip on the incredible flavours of Rutherglen.  March 11-12, more details here.

The annual Peninsula Piers & Pinots will be held on Sunday 12 March from 12 - 3pm at Flinders foreshore, on the fabulous Mornington Peninsula.  More details here.

Royal Agricultural Society of NSW, President's Medal Award night
celebrates the top performing fine food and beverages by awarding medals at the Sydney Royal shows. Now, the best of those Champions compete for the highest honour of all - The President's Medal. 11 April, tickets available here.


10 FREE webinars p.a.
Networking Opportunities
Discounted Events Pricing
Industry Insights
and so much more



March 14, 2017
1pm - 2pm (AEST)

With Trish Barry, Mastermind Consulting
more details next week.





27 March
Taste the State - Masterclass

7 June
The Great Debate

28 July
Royal Sydney Wine Awards Lunch 

29 September
Royal Adelaide Wine Show Lunch 

20 October
Royal Melbourne Wine Awards Lunch 




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