Last week, Hon Colin Holt, Minister for Racing and Gaming in Western Australia [not sure why they dropped Liquor from his title?] presented stage 1 of the liquor reform bills to parliament.
I just wish his name was Lee. Would have made the title of my very first blog somewhat entertaining.
I have heard that the bill will be passed in the next two to three months, mostly due to the secondary supply laws being rushed through before schoolies start in November.
Good timing really, considering the abolishment of the state Cellar Door Rebate recently. But it won’t really help any of those producers who lost the state rebate. And now we have to focus all our efforts on not losing the federal rebate.
Back to the bill… Along with many other stakeholders, the wine associations sent their recommendations to the minister three years ago, so these changes have been a long time coming. I personally have been looking forward to these changes since Amy at the state association sent me a copy of their recommendations back in 2012.
The changes that were presented are based on recommendations made by an independent review committee presented to the minister [Terry Redman back then] back in December 2013. Download Report.
Stage 1 includes the following amendments relating to the operations of wine & beer producers [which is where most of my interest lies]:
a) sell wine and beer produced under the producer’s licence at another premises, including establishing a collective cellar door operation between two or more wine or beer producers, in the wine region or local government district (for beer producers) where their respective production facilities exist;
b) sell or supply liquor other than their own product ancillary to a meal or for comparative tastings; and
c) to accept orders at a place other than the licensed premises (for example an office) if the sale is made online or by telephone. The despatch of such an order must be made from the licensed premises;
Download the Explanatory Memo.
The changes not only assist wine producers, as beer producers will now be allowed to sell their product for consumption on the licensed premises; without the requirement of an additional license, such as tavern or restaurant. Also producers [both beer and wine] will be allowed to sell or supply liquor other than their own product, provided it is ancillary to a meal or for comparative tastings. As well as removing some red tape around remote sales [i.e. from a home office], wine producers can now also attend farmer markets to show their wares.
But the big one for me is the collective… These changes will greatly assist in promoting wine tourism and tourism in general with new and exciting offerings for visitors. Therefore encouraging more visitors to wine regions and creating more jobs. The collective cellar door [retail outlet] for wineries is such a great opportunity for smaller boutique brands, who would only ever dream of opening a cellar door themselves. South Australia has had the collective laws in place for several years, although I know of a few collectives, such as Artisans of Barossa, but I really don’t know how successful they have been.
Currently, I am running a survey of producers to gather a better understanding of expectations if they were to join a collective type operation, start discussions and open up communication lines.
Please take the survey: START THE SURVEY
Who should complete this survey? To gather the most appropriate data, we are looking for decision makers to complete this survey. I.e. Owner, Proprietor, General Manager, Director, Marketing Manager. If this is not you, please forward this to the most appropriate person.
Please be assured that your responses will remain completely confidential. All participants who complete the survey in full will receive a copy of the anonymous summary once completed. Results may also be sent to government ministers and wine associations.
To ensure we get an even sample and a good range of data, we ask you that you please share this link with your friends, colleagues, neighbours and peers. This will enable us to capture a broader, larger range of data, so that the results are relevant, constructive and valuable.
I am very excited about future opportunities for producers, especially in the wine tourism and direct to consumer sales areas and hope that this survey may be able to assist some successful new wine tourism ventures.
Cheers and Thanks