SHADOW Parliamentary Secretary for Regional and Rural Development and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Jaala Pulford and Daniel McGlone Labor candidate for Ripon joined local winemakers at DogRock Winery near Crowlands this week to discuss Labor's plan for the wine industry in the Pyrenees and Grampians regions.
An Andrews Labor Government will work closely with Wine Victoria to create the jobs of the future, grow regional tourism and open new overseas markets.
Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Jacinta Allan, announced this week that Labor's $1 million plan will include dedicated funds to boost cellar door visits with a Victorian Wine Tourism Strategy and grow overseas markets with a fund to support wine exports.
An Andrews Labor Government will also establish a Ministerial Wine Industry Advisory Group, drawing on the knowledge of industry to advise on research and development and pest and disease control.
Labor will establish a $200 million Future Industries Fund to boost the food and fibre sector and a $200 million Regional Jobs Fund to support job-creating projects.
The Victorian Wine Industry is worth $1.5 billion to the economy, with 25,000 hectares of vines, 800 wineries, 3000 vineyards and 1.5 million winery visits each year. Over 12,000 people are employed in the industry.
Victorian wine exports are worth $197 million per year with 60 per cent of the 23 million cases of wine produced for export to 80 different countries.
"Victoria is home to the world's best wine and Labor will showcase it to the world," Ms Allan said.
"We'll work closely with Wine Victoria to boost jobs, tourism and exports."
Allen Hart, chair of the Pyrenees Grapegrowers and Winemakers Association and owner of DogRock Winery, welcomed the development of a Victorian Wine Industry Strategy.
"We produce great wines in the Pyrenees and across the region and these proposals will help our industry to grow and become sustainable," he said.
Mayor of the Pyrenees Shire Robert Vance also welcomed the announcement.
"The wine industry is such an important industry in our local municipalities," he said.
"It provides jobs, brings visitors and fills our accommodation houses. It's great to see this industry being given the importance it deserves."