Wednesday 19 December 2018

Canberra Told: Reducing The WET Rebate ‘Will Cost Jobs in The Country’

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Nick Cugura, director of Ezy Systems and Big Hill Vineyard, visited Canberra this week to raise concerns about the WET rebate being reduced. He says the reduction will cost jobs. This is his story…

I had an amazing day at Parliament House on Wednesday.

I met several MP’s and Ministers for lunch and raised my concerns about the WET rebate being reduced by $150,000.

It is important to note that 1,643 wineries processing up to 100 tonnes will not be impacted.

Whereas, 244 wineries processing between 100 and 249 tonnes will be impacted partially or fully and 500 wineries processing more than 249 tonnes will miss out on the full $150,000.

In all, 30 percent of the wineries will be impacted by this change to the WET rebate.

As wineries are an integral part of country tourism I urged the government to withdraw this change as the $100 million saving for the government is insignificant considering the devastating impact it will have on families in country communities.

The wine regions across Australia are dependent on tourism for jobs and play an integral role in providing jobs and supporting local businesses in these small towns.

It is my belief that wineries processing approximately 200 tonnes may have their profits reduced by five percent which may result in them not making any profit and result in their closure.

Wineries should consider starting or growing the wine club where margins are much greater.

The 85 percent grape ownership rule was also introduced to stop wineries from claiming the WET rebate multiple times; this should have been the only change!

We all need to write to our local member and urge them to not reduce the WET rebate.

I would like to thank the Member for Bowman, Andrew Laming, for organising an enjoyable and memorable visit to Parliament House.

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