Victoria lags in assisting wine exporters as SA, NSW step up
Shadow agriculture minister for Victoria, Peter Walsh MLA, has told FlowNews24 the state government isn't doing enough to help their wine producers, as NSW and SA fund export assistance programs.
Australia's wine industry lost over a third of its export market in November when China imposed tariffs of 200 per cent or more for a proposed 5-year period.
Nationals Leader and deputy Opposition Leader Mr Walsh told FlowNews24:
"None of us want to be bullied by the Chinese in whatever they're doing about imports into China.
"It is absolutely critical that the state government put more money into developing new markets.
"I've watched how New South Wales' and South Australia's governments have supported their industry in developing new markets, and we've just effectively had deathly silence from the Victorian gov in supporting the wine industry here in Victoria."
On Friday, both the New South Wales and South Australian state governments announced funding programs of $3.5 million and $5.4 million respectively to expand the export market options for their wine producers.
South Australia also announced earlier in April that it would subsidise 50 per cent of the cost for 15 of its wineries to access Australia's US Market Entry Program.
The Victorian Agriculture Minister has been contacted for comment.
The federal government had previously stated earlier in April that once China confirmed the details of its tariff increases, it would look to contest them at the World Trade Organization, the body that determines trade disputes between nations.
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson told FlowNews24 on Wednesday:
"The Australian Government is working with the wine industry on how best to respond to China’s decision to impose anti-dumping duties on Australian wine.
"There are a range of options available including within the World Trade Organization which allows Members to settle their differences over trade matters in a respectful manner.
"Our first preference is always to work with China on a resolution and our door remains open."