Motion - Tasmanian Wine Industry
Tuesday 8 March 2022
Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, we certainly are lucky here in Tasmania being a state which produces some of the best food and beverages in the world. Our pristine environment, temperate climate, and rich soils help us to grow nutritious, balanced, and delicious natural products. Beyond what we grow in the ground, what we feed our cattle and sheep also helps to make incredible by-products like cheese and wool and meat which is exported all over the world as a luxury product. Even our bees produce some of the world's best honey and help pollinate our fruit orchards, tea plantations and, of course, our vineyards. According to the Wine Tasmania website, Tasmania's first recorded vineyard was planted in 1823 and Australia's first sparkling wine was made in Tasmania in 1826. Tasmanian wine was exhibited in Paris in 1848, although it took until the 1950s for the industry to really take off.
Noting the similarities in climate between Tasmania and certain parts of Europe, some European migrants put their own skills and knowledge to use here and from then until today, Tasmania's reputation as a grower and exporter of boutique wine has gone from strength to strength. Also, according to the Wine Tasmania website, Tasmania produces an almost even split between red and white varieties, with pinot noir, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc comprising about 80 per cent varieties grown in our little state. About 30 per cent of the wine grapes are harvested from the Tamar Valley, which to me indicates that our air, soil, sun, and water simply must be some of the best in the state. The wines which come from our fabulous vineyards in that region prove this, and I encourage everyone here to pick up a bottle of a Tamar Valley grown and produced wine the next time they are looking for a drop.
As of 2020, in Tasmania there were 185 licensed wine producers, 230 individual vineyards, 95 cellar door outlets and over 2000 hectares under vine. It is no wonder then that the viticulture and wine industry in Tasmania plays a key role in Tasmania's agrifood sector and contributes more than $200 million to the state's economy. The wine industry is also resilient. Many vineyards, cellar doors and local restaurants and bistros rely on tourism dollars and local spending to survive and thrive. It was vital that over the past two years that we ensured they would be adequately resourced to make it through the pandemic and continue to be able to grow, produce and export their high-quality products across Australia and throughout the world.
My husband tried wine growing at one stage. Bruce, as we know, was a publican and tried to grow some wine with some partners but found that it was much easier to purchase the wine for sale than it was to grow it. I think his exploits into wine growing were very short‑lived and he found there were many problems associated with vine growing and producing a very good bottle of wine. So I am very pleased to say he left it to the experts.
Protecting our wine industry also means protecting our environment. Our pristine and geographically isolated environment, unused to external pollutants, is perhaps less resilient to invasive species of insect or plant blight. I concur with the member's motion that the wine industry be supported through biosecurity preparedness. Whether you enjoy a drink, or not, Tasmania's wine industry is important to us all through the jobs it provides and the contributions it makes to our economy. Tasmanian-grown and produced wines are boutique and are highly regarded both nationally and internationally and truly sell Tasmania's brand as a luxury tourist destination. I concur with the member's motion and I thank her for bringing it on.
Ms PALMER (Rosevears) - Mr President, I move a motion in my name
That the Legislative Council:
(1) Notes the importance of the Tasmanian wine industry and that Tasmanian wines are highly regarded both nationally and internationally;
(2) Notes the key role in Tasmania’s agrifood sector that wine continues to play with a contribution of more than $200 million to the State’s economy and provision of over 2000 FTE positions representing 10 per cent of total employment in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors in Tasmania;
(3) Notes the continuing efforts by the Government to support the Tasmanian wine industry including a $50 000 grant from Biosecurity Tasmania for enhanced biosecurity preparedness; and
(4) Acknowledges that the efforts of Wine Tasmania complement Biosecurity Tasmanian’s strategy to keep Tasmania free from unwanted pests and diseases.