NSW international wine tourism enriched with $2 million boost

The New South Wales wine sector will benefit from a $2 million marketing campaign aimed at boosting international visits to the state’s wine regions.

The NSW Wine Industry Association has secured $1m in funding through the International Wine Tourism State Grants program and $1m in matching state funds through the NSW government to partner with Destination NSW on a targeted international marketing campaign.

The association and the Destination NSW marketing campaign aims to increase international tourists’ overnight stays in NSW wine regions by 12,000 nights in both 2019 and 2020.

Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said the NSW application was approved by the Australian government following assessment by an independent expert assessment panel.

READ: Wine Australia survey identifies key sales advantages

“The $5m state grants program is designed to enhance wine tourism experiences and drive collaboration between key sector partners.

“Wine is a key driver of international visitors to Australia but there’s a relatively untapped opportunity for the wine sector to focus on wine tourism product development. To grow the visitor economy, we need compelling experiences that go beyond the cellar door,” said Clark.

By partnering with Destination NSW on a targeted marketing campaign, the association can ensure the ongoing resilience and competitiveness of the wine tourism sector, he said.

NSW Wine Industry Association executive officer Angus Barnes said the strategy targets the four largest markets for international visitors to NSW – China at 16 per cent, South Korea at 15 per cent, the United Kingdom at 14 per cent, and USA at 12 per cent.

“It is tailored to individual regional preferences within these markets.

“We’ll be using critical data to understand current drivers and visit trends, so we can reposition NSW wines and regional experiences with a sophisticated and targeted marketing campaign,” said Barnes.

“Our campaign has two primary goals – to attract more international visitors to our wine regions and to grow the visitor economy by driving overnight stays and increased spending,” he said.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said good food and wine is meant to be shared, and that’s exactly what this will do,” said Littleproud.

“New South Wales winemakers are among the world’s best and the world should know about it.

“We’re backing NSW winemakers so they can host more foreign tourists in their top-notch wine regions,” he said.

“NSW wine shouldn’t be kept secret – let’s get the word out and the tourists in,” said Littleproud.

NSW government offers more funding for drought-stricken farmers

The NSW government has released a $500 million emergency drought relief package as 99 per cent of NSW is in drought.

This takes the total support to more than $1 billion, as farmers struggle with the worsening drought.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said farmers were facing one of the driest winters on record, resulting in failing crops, drastic water shortages and a diminishing supply of fodder to sustain livestock.

Farmers had told Berejiklian they needed urgent help, she said.

READ: Dry weather in Australia significantly impacting crops

“To date we have already committed $584m in drought support, most of which is focused on preparation for drought conditions. However, conditions are now so dire that further support is needed to address the more immediate needs for farmers and their communities until the drought breaks.”

The major feature of the emergency relief package is about $190m for the introduction of drought transport subsidies.

The subsidies cover up to 50 per cent of the full cost of transporting fodder, water for stock and livestock to pasture, slaughter or sale.

The NSW government will offer a transport subsidy of up to $20,000 per farm business.

The relief measure will also be back-dated so farmers can access additional subsidies for freight expenses incurred since January 1, 2018.

Deputy premier and minister for regional NSW, John Barilaro, said the drought had quickly worsened across the state because June and July were drier than expected.

Farmers are sourcing fodder from interstate, as local supply has deteriorated.

“We said we would constantly reassess the conditions and relief measures, and the fact we’ve now increased our drought-relief package to over $1b is a reflection of how serious this drought is, and how much we value the health and wellbeing of our farming and regional communities,” said Barilaro.

“We have backdated this relief measure to the start of the year when the drought intensified, especially in the Upper Hunter and Western NSW. This means eligible farmers who made the decision to destock earlier this year will still benefit from this new relief package.”

Minister for primary industries Niall Blair said waivers were in place on local land services annual rates, fixed charges on water licences, registration costs for class one agricultural vehicles, and interest on existing farm innovation fund loans.

“We know many families are also having to bring in water for domestic use, which is why we have also set aside additional funding for this essential service. The package we have has to be fair, it has to be equitable and it has to be able to be adapted to all types of farming businesses right across NSW.”

NSW bottle companies join forces for state litter reduction scheme

Sydney bottle manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil has welcomed the New South Wales Government’s decision to appoint Exchange for Change to coordinate the state’s refund Container Deposit Scheme (CDS).

Exchange for Change is an industry joint venture involving Coca-Cola Amatil, Asahi, Carlton and United Breweries, Coopers and Lion.

The companies will produce and distribute three quarters of the scheme, which will be rolled out across the state in December.

According to the NSW Environment Protection Authority, container litter makes up 44 per cent of all litter in the state and costs more than $162 million to manage.

Hailed as the largest litter reduction scheme introduced to NSW, it is predicted to reduce the volume of litter in the state by 40 per cent by 2020.

“Through Exchange for Change, Amatil will continue to work with the industry and NSW Government to ensure the scheme operates efficiently to minimize the impact to customers and consumers, has robust and transparent governance and achieves the targeted environment outcomes,” a Coca-Cola Amatil spokesperson said.

The NSW Government has also announced its decision to appoint TOMRA-Cleanaway as the network’s operator, which will be responsible for establishing and managing a network of collection points across the state, include reverse vending machines.

The cost of the scheme is subject to a number of factors, including the container redemption rate, the mix of redemption between collection points and material recycling facilities, and the mix of packaging type.

Proposals for container deposit schemes in other territories and states are expected to follow during early 2018 in ACT, July 2018 in Queensland, and 2019 in Western Australia.