Wineries Wont Suffer Financial Burden From Smoke Damage

Post date: May 26, 2020 9:50:31 PM

Wineries in the region affected by bushfire smoke earlier this year are being given financial support by the State Government, with grants available from the Bushfire Industry Recovery Package.

Member for Dubbo, Dugald Saunders, says targeted grants are now available to help in a variety of ways, and it’s not only for those directly impacted by fires.

“Funding will be available in two streams, with an initial focus on supply chain support grants to help cover the cost of resuming and maintaining production,” Mr Saunders said.

“But there’s now also extra support for industries like viticulture. In our region vines weren’t directly burnt out, but vineyards and wineries right across the Mudgee region and the Central West were affected by smoke taint during the summer bushfire period.

“We provided free testing of the initial smoke tarnished grapes to help producers make decisions around what wines could be made, and we are now providing grants to help ease the burden caused by a loss of production,” he said.

“It’s going to be a long road to recovery, but I want to make sure our primary producers get the support they need, and it was really important to give some recognition and support to the many grape growers and wine makers affected by smoke in this area.”

Impacted businesses outside the 'disaster declared areas' can apply for a grant of up to $10,000 with no co-contribution required.

Mudgee wine-maker and grape grower, Jacob Stein, says the grant will certainly help his business.

“It’s been an extremely difficult time. We came off the back of drought, then had smoke taint impact the region, and now COVID-19, so this sort of assistance is much appreciated.”

He says that the Mudgee Wine Association believes that around half of the local industry is affected.

For more information, including how to apply, important deadlines, program guidelines and eligibility criteria: