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Funding boost for Victorian wineries

By Country News

Funding boost for Victorian wineries

A $9000 grant is expected to help Kialla winery Broken River Vineyard break into the rapidly growing Indian wine market.

Announced by the Victorian Government recently, the grants program is aimed at supporting the growth of wineries in the area, increasing visitors, boosting exports and supporting local jobs.

The fund is expected to provide a boost of about $12million to the wine industry across the state with projects including cellar doors, kitchen and café upgrades, wine production facility developments, e-commerce programs, accommodation initiatives and vineyard improvement works.

State Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the grants would be a boost for wine regions.

‘‘Victorian winemakers produce some fantastic wines, and we’re proud to back this industry to keep growing well into the future,’’ Mr Gepp said.

Regions get pest-free status back

Northern Tasmania and the Loxton area of Riverland in South Australia have been reinstated a pest-free area (PFA) by the United States, allowing trade to re-commence.

It comes after the areas successfully eradicated Queensland fruit fly.

The agreement removes the need for additional treatment requirements for exports, which saves producers time and money.

All Australian states and territories have also agreed to accept PFA-certified fruit from these regions.

EPA asks: what do farmers want?

Environment Protection Authority Victoria has a one-stop shop for online advice for the agricultural community, and is taking requests on what farmers need next.

EPA executive director Damian Wells said the body was looking for guidance on how best to help guide farmers about ways to minimises harm to the environment and human health.

‘‘Victoria’s $13billion agricultural sector is very broad and we want to ensure our advice meets farmers’ needs,’’ Mr Wells said.

‘‘That’s why we’re encouraging them to tell us where they need greater support.’’

EPA currently offers advice on protecting the environment and human health, and meeting Victorian law and regulations, on livestock planning, farm waste, chemicals, noise, water, sediment and dust.

■Anyone involved in agricultural activities can make a request or provide feedback via the survey, at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/EPAwebpagereview