SPECIAL EDITION | March 27 2020
Dear NSW wine industry,
 
We are in the midst of some very challenging times right now. The situation changes daily / hourly, and often not for the best. As such, communications are vitally important to keep us all informed. 
 
As such, we wanted to share a positive document that outlines all the support that is available to those of the NSW wine industry impacted by the recent fires and smoke. 

 
The good news is that it has been clearly (and correctly) agreed that the effects of smoke are part of the fire damage relief packages. I would encourage you all to read, review and to make a submission for a loan and/or grant as you see fit. 
 
There are both grants and loans available for both business defined as 'Primary Producers and Small Business’. We are still advocating for the definition of a Primary Producer to be amended to include more people who value add and turn their grapes into wine. This is a federal issue (but it does not prevent all business’ getting a loan or grant).
 
The more challenging news is for those regions that sit outside the declared bushfire areas (LGA’s). If your vineyards are in one of these non-declared bushfire areas, then you are unable to access the bushfire support relief in its entirety. This includes (but not exclusive to) the regions of:
  • Orange
  • Cowra
  • Hilltops
  • Canberra (specifically the Yass Valley Council LGA) 
  • Mudgee (not all areas)

Both the state and the federal government suggest to blame each other for this one. There are some defined parameters to be classed as a bushfire declared LGA, but it is clear that the effects of smoke do not respect these boundaries. Many of us have written to both State and Federal Politicians asking them to review the situation.

We continue to agitate to get this changed. I would encourage us all to continue to lobby our three levels of government being, local, state and federal politicians (especially if you are affected).

I have attached a second document with some discussion points if you wanted to use in you correspondence. You may also consider talking to your local LLS (Local Land Services) representative as they are involved in this process. 

 
So, we would ask you to please review and take advantage of the grants and loans where possible. Be aware that a LOT of work has been done by many people and groups to get us to this point. It shouldn’t have been difficult, but it was. 
 
Regards,
Mark Bourne (President) and Angus Barnes (Executive Officer)
NSW Wine Industry Association