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Australian Budget provides for WET extension to NZ

Media Statement
16 May 2005

Australian Budget provides for WET extension to NZ

Australia has provided for the extension of the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate to New Zealand producers, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said the Australian Budget included provision to extend the Australian wine equalization tax producer rebate formally to eligible New Zealand wine producers who export wine to the Australian market with effect from 1 July 2005.

He said the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department was working with the Australian Taxation Office to put in place the necessary arrangements for this.

"While the scheme will come into effect on 1 July, implementation issues and legislative timetables mean that it is very unlikely that New Zealand producers will actually be able to make a claim at that date. It will, however, be possible later on to make claims covering the period back to 1 July 2005."

Mr Sutton said the Australian budget statements noted "this extension demonstrates the close economic relationship shared by Australia and New Zealand". The move follows strong representations by New Zealand ministers.

"I am delighted that the Australian Government is honouring its CER obligations, by extending this scheme to New Zealand producers, under the Closer Economic Relations trade agreement. It is a welcome move.

"The rebate scheme would have severely affected our producers. It upset the level playing field for Australian and New Zealand companies under CER."

Australia is the third most important destination for NZ wine exports and NZ is one of the two top suppliers of imported wines there. Currently about 100 wineries export to Australia and for the year ending 30 June 2004, exports amounted to 5.6 million litres valued at NZ$56.3 million.

ENDS


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