November (26) 2019


FEATURE ARTICLES                                                                                      

New liquor licence laws now operational
New draft Planning and Design Code
Getting ready for vintage
It won’t happen to me…
Wine course voucher – a great gift idea 


SA Wine Industry Snapshot guides the way forward
Last chance for Wine Business Growth Program
Reform of natural resources management


Christmas parties – Celebrating within limits
WHS Seminar – More than just safety
Avoiding heat stress this vintage
Backpacker tax amounts to discrimination     


I choose SA for Christmas
South Australian Tourism Awards
Global vintage closer to average
SA tourism record


River Murray water allocations reach 100%
Inquiry into Australia's waste and recycling industries    


Dates for your diary


Message from the Chief Executive

Once again, we have seen the devastation that bushfires can cause. The recent fires in South Australia and other states provide a timely reminder to ensure you are well prepared and have a plan to stay or go early. It’s also a good time to fully assess the risks. This includes having insurance cover to protect your business (refer to the Feature Article below). Our thoughts are with everyone impacted and those called to act.

On a more positive note, I represented the South Australian wine industry at the Great Wine Capitals meeting in Bordeaux recently, where Gemtree Wines was named the 2020 Global Winner for Sustainable Tourism Practices. I also attended various meetings, including an educational tasting of South Australian wine at La Cite du Vin.  

SAWIA continues to strongly represent members on proposed changes to Pregnancy Labelling. Food Standards Australian and New Zealand (FSANZ) have concluded consultations and will now consider submissions before making a recommendation to the FSANZ Board and a Ministerial Forum (including South Australia’s Health Minister). SAWIA continues to voice our concerns, and we encourage members to write to the Premier, the Health Minister and the Primary Industries Minister to ensure your views are heard.

SAWIA is currently representing members across eight areas of legislation that impact wine businesses. Where legislation is finalised, SAWIA is providing seminars to help with implementation (e.g., Liquor Licensing). Other pieces of legislation have just passed through Parliament (e.g., Landscape), are in the midst of review (e.g., Container Deposits) or are about to commence (e.g., Biosecurity). SAWIA will continue to advocate for members across all of these areas, ensuring Government and the responsible departments understand the views of members.

In the lead up to Christmas, members are reminded to ensure that work functions are well managed, because this is a time when acceptable behaviour, banter and actions get tested. SAWIA urges businesses to ensure your policies and procedures for work related functions are up to date and functions are well managed. Refer to the article in the Employee Relations section below, and contact us if you need help.




New liquor licence laws now operational



New liquor licensing laws came into operation on 18 November 2019, bringing effect to a host of changes including new licence categories and a different fee structure. All licensees should have recently received a package including:

  • An updated liquor licence, with information about the new licence category
  • General information about changes to all licence categories
  • A notice under Schedule 2 to the Liquor Licensing (Liquor Review) Amendment Act 2017
  • An updated plan of the licensed premises
  • New signage for the licensed premises, including supporting information.

Licence holders may now be penalised if a liquor licence management plan is not reviewed at least every two years, or if employees do not receive adequate training.

Most wine industry businesses will have their existing licence moved to the new Liquor Production and Sales Licence. Businesses with a different licence, or multiple licenses, should review arrangements to ensure that current activities are licensed and costs are minimised.

SAWIA can help members to understand their options and obligations for licence categories, making licence changes and reviewing management plans. For more information, contact Business Services Manager Henrik Wallgren on 8222 9270 or


New draft Planning and Design Code



The State Planning Commission has released the draft Planning and Design Code for public consultation. The code covers the rural and urban areas of South Australia, offering a single, consolidated set of planning rules for assessing development applications across the state. It also sets out the rules governing what landowners can do on their land.

The code is expected to come into effect by July 2020 for urban areas including the council areas of Barossa, Onkaparinga, Alexandrina, Adelaide Hills and Mount Barker. Important matters for wineries include:

  • New beverage production policies to guide development approvals
  • New policy initiatives for renewable energy facilities
  • Greater opportunities for tourism and other value adding enterprises
  • Potential unintended impacts on the character of wine regions.

The proposed code, and more information about the reforms, can be found at the SA Planning Portal.

Regional public information sessions have been announced, including Woodside (4 December), Gumeracha (5 December) and Adelaide (12 December). To register for an event, email

SAWIA will be making a submission and we need the views of members. Please provide feedback no later than 16 January 2020 to Mark Gishen on 8222 9278 or


Getting ready for vintage



Managing wages costs, migration requirements and chain of responsibility obligations can be very challenging during the busy vintage season. Having additional (and often new) employees working extended hours can raise questions about how to best manage employment costs and engage contractors.

Do you know:

  • How to roster and engage your employees in the most cost effective way during vintage?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring that migrant workers, including backpackers, have a legal right to work in Australia?
  • When contractors can be used, how much you need to pay and when they need to have a labour hire licence?
  • What your chain of responsibility obligations are when produce and products are being transported?

These and many other questions will be covered in upcoming sessions in the Barossa (28 Nov) McLaren Vale (5 Dec) and Coonawarra (10 Dec).

To register or obtain more information, click here or contact Workplace Advisor Adrian Richards on 8222 9212 or


It won’t happen to me…



A 42 degree day in November, a warehouse fire on South Road, and the recent fire at Edithburgh are all timely reminders for you to ensure your business has appropriate insurance cover in place.

But it does not have to be part of a bushfire, or just an unlucky fire at your premises, for major damage to occur. Broken tanks, pipes and equipment also lead to large losses of wine as well.

Review your business now and consider what could happen if a fire, earthquake, major storm event, flood or other incident occurs.

All SAWIA members are encouraged to have Business Interruption insurance as it covers lost turnover across a wide range of possible events.



For more information about business interruption insurance, and/or to ensure that you have the right insurance cover for your business, contact Phil Keenihan of MGA Insurance (SAWIA’s Wine Industry Partner) on 0414 331 489 or


Wine course voucher – a great gift idea

We were delighted to recently host Hayley and Lauren from Adelady for a special wine education course. Lots of fun was had over the afternoon – they even learned a thing or two about wine!

In case you missed it,
check out their hilarious video here.

We also filmed a new video to promote SAWIA’s National Wine Education and Training Centre courses. This short, fun video gives a great insight to the wine courses we offer.

Held at the National Wine Centre, all courses are presented by one of our world class wine educators.
Check out the new video here



A Wine Course Gift Voucher is the perfect Christmas present for the wine lover in your life. Vouchers are available for each of our wine education courses and start at $79 per person for the single night Wine Essentials.

Courses are held at the National Wine Centre. For more information, or to purchase a gift voucher, contact Rehnu Page on 8222 9277 or


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SA Wine Industry Snapshot guides the way forward



The third annual South Australian Wine Industry Snapshot, a collaboration between SAWIA and Wine Industry Partner Bentleys SA, was released in late October.
The report shows confidence among local wine businesses has declined as energy costs and water access and security continue to challenge profitability. This also reflects a significantly smaller vintage in some regions.


On a positive note, winemakers are taking advantage of free trade agreements in Asian markets to explore export opportunities, and participants flagged development of an additional 850 hectares of vineyard.

We are using the survey results to assess key success factors and barriers to success. We are aiming to design seminars, workshops and other professional development that will meet needs and enhance opportunities for our industry.

With the state government’s increasing focus on growth, the survey results also help to inform discussions around support for our industry.

For more information, contact Brian Smedley (8222 9277 or or Tim Siebert of Bentleys (0417 802 654 or


Last chance for Wine Business Growth Program



Ready to grow your wine business but not sure where to start? The Wine Business Growth Program is here to help.

Your business will benefit from a free business evaluation with recommendations on how to enable growth, including management skills that would benefit from coaching. After that, you can apply for a funding grant that covers much of the cost of expert business coaching services specific to the business improvement recommendation(s).

To be eligible, you need to have a turnover between $300,000 and $3 million. Only one opportunity remains, so don’t miss out on your share.

To apply, download the short application form here or contact Mark Gishen on 8222 9278 or


This program is proudly supported by the Government of South Australia.


Reform of natural resources management



New landscape boards will be established and management of our natural resources will be reformed under new legislation passed by the South Australian Parliament. The new Landscape South Australia Act 2019 replaces the Natural Resources Management Act 2004.

Over the coming months, the NRM boards will be replaced by eight new regional landscape boards and a new metropolitan landscape board, Green Adelaide, will be formed. Levies will be capped and continue to be collected by local councils.

The aim is to deliver effective water management; pest, plant and animal control; soil and land management and support for broader sustainable primary production programs.

More information is available on the
Department for Environment and Water website.

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Christmas parties – Celebrating within limits



As the festive session approaches, it is time to plan the work Christmas parties. Even if the party is after hours and offsite, it is still considered part of employment. This means that employers have legal obligations to protect attendees, and individuals are required to be respectful towards each other.

At the very least employers should outline standards of acceptable behaviour, and reinforce compliance with policies such as bullying and harassment, drugs and alcohol and safety.

Practical risk controls include:

  • Provide low and no alcohol drink options
  • Limit the supply of alcohol to a set time limit or amount
  • Consider charging for alcoholic drinks or provide tokens
  • Provide food and set an end time
  • Don’t let the party run late into the night or for more than a few hours
  • Encourage people to find safe ways to get to and from the party
  • Have at least one respected sober person to supervise the behaviour and safety of others.

While minor oversteps may be able to be sorted out at the time, investigations and disciplinary actions, potentially even termination, can be required for more serious incidents. For more information, contact Business Services Manager Henrik Wallgren on 8222 9270 or


WHS Seminar – More than just safety



We received plenty of positive feedback at SAWIA’s annual wine industry Work Health & Safety (WHS) seminars, held in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale this month.

A strong line-up of industry and specialist speakers from Finlaysons Lawyers, SafeworkSA, University of Adelaide, Pinnacle Workplace Consultants and ReturnToWorkSA presented key challenges and opportunities for the wine industry.

 This included:

  • The ageing workforce, and how to sustain workers in good health and free of injury
  • Mental health and your legal obligations under the WHS Act
  • Contractor/labour hire arrangements and what it means for your WHS responsibilities
  • Benefits of early return to work.

For more information on any WHS related matter, SAWIA members can contact Workplace Advisor Zvonko Levak on 8222 9273 or

Avoiding heat stress this vintage



Managing the risk of employee heat stress is critical for wine businesses during vintage. This key message was shared at Heat Stress – Putting Science into Practice, a wine industry briefing organised by SAWIA in Berri on 29 October.

Australia’s pre-eminent occupational heat stress consultant, Dr Matt Brearley, highlighted that working in the heat can be harmful, or even fatal, if heat related risks aren’t controlled.

Measures that can be put in place to manage the risk include:

  • Making staff and supervisors aware of the signs of heat stress and heat stroke
  • Ensuring access to cool drinking water and providing cool, ventilated areas for breaks
  • Encouraging staff to drink water and eat throughout the day
  • Limiting consumption of caffeinated drinks and alcohol, which contribute to dehydration
  • Increasing air movement by using fans where possible
  • Starting earlier to enable work to be performed before it gets too hot
  • Ensuring staff take regular breaks
  • Ensuring appropriate clothing is worn, including hats
  • Having emergency measures in place.

Dr Brearley demonstrated the most effective way of providing emergency care to a person suffering heat stroke. He also covered ‘heat hangovers’ – where workers suffer side effects from excessive heat exposure including fatigue, irritability, headache and nausea.

SAWIA has WHS resources available here. For more information, members can contact Workplace Advisor Zvonko Levak on 8222 9273 or

Backpacker tax amounts to discrimination



The Federal Court has ruled that applying the backpacker tax on a British citizen amounted to discrimination. The judge found that an Australian resident would benefit from the tax-free threshold, whereas the backpacker on a working holiday visa was taxed 15% on earnings up to $37,000.

This is problematic because Australia has a double taxation agreement with the United Kingdom and similar arrangements with seven other countries. Under these agreements, countries will not tax visitors more than their own nationals.

The decision only affects the tax rates applying to backpackers who come from one of the specified countries and are residents of Australia for tax purposes.

Click here for more information, or contact Workplace Advisor Adrian Richards on 8222 9212 or

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I choose SA for Christmas



SAWIA members had the opportunity to participate in The Advertiser’s eight day ‘I Choose SA for Christmas’ campaign, being run in collaboration with Food SA. The goal of the campaign is to showcase the quality of South Australian wine and food while encouraging consumers to purchase South Australian products throughout the festive period.

The advertising package included a substantial discount from standard pricing.

Watch for the promotions appearing in the Advertiser from 1-8 December.

SAWIA members should watch for emails about future marketing and promotional opportunities.


South Australian Tourism Awards



The 2019 South Australian Tourism Award winners were recently announced, with many of the awards claimed by SAWIA members.

Winners included:

  • The Premier’s Award for Service Excellence – the most prestigious award of the evening – won by Seppeltsfield Winery Barossa
  • Tourist Attractions – d’Arenberg Cube (Bronze)
  • Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries – Seppeltsfield Winery Barossa (Winner),
    d’Arenberg (Silver), Elderton Wines Cellar Door (Bronze)
  • New Tourism Business – Barossa Valley Chocolate Company (Silver).

Congratulations to the busineses that are leading the way in growing South Australian tourism.


Global vintage closer to average



After a near-record global harvest in 2018, the 2019 global vintage is closer to average. Estimated global wine production in 2019 was 26.3 million litres, 3% below the long-term average.

All the major wine producing countries experienced reductions compared with 2018. The top three producers (Italy, France and Spain), were each down by 15–20% due to unfavourable weather conditions. In the southern hemisphere, harvests were not as adversely affected by the weather.

On the demand side, the volume of wine consumption is expected to decline marginally in 2019, after five years of slight but consistent growth as markets recovered from the Global Financial Crisis. While supply is expected to exceed demand by around 2 billion litres in 2019, the gap is actually the smallest in 10 years, with the exception of 2017.

With demand continuing to soften in volume terms, the global supply and demand position are likely to become more balanced in the near future. The reduction in global supply, along with a favourable exchange rate against the USD, should further enhance export opportunities for Australian wine producers in 2020.

The latest Wine Australia Global Supply Monitor can be downloaded here.


SA tourism record



South Australia’s tourism sector has hit a new record, with an all-time-high $7.6 billion spent by visitors over the past year.
Statistics from the latest International and National Visitor Survey results show the total growth in visitor expenditure is up 12% from last year.
In great news for SA’s country areas, regional visitor expenditure (including international) grew to a record high $3.3 billion, up 19% and now contributing 44% to the overall visitor expenditure in South Australia.

For more information, download the National Visitor Survey Results and International Visitor Survey Results.

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River Murray water allocations reach 100%



In good news for growers, the irrigation water allocation for the 2019-20 water year has now reached 100%. However, the seasonal outlook for December to February looks drier than average with warmer temperatures.

Current storage in the Murray Darling Basin is 41% of total capacity, compared to the November long-term average of 79%.

More information can be found on DEW’s website here.

SAWIA members should start considering their water management plans for next year, in the event that the hotter and drier conditions continue.

For more information, members can contact Mark Gishen on 8222 9278 or


Inquiry into Australia's waste and recycling industries



A federal inquiry is examining opportunities presented by waste materials, including energy production, innovative recycling approaches and export opportunities. The inquiry is also considering current impediments to innovation.

The Federal Government’s House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources welcomes submissions until 31 January 2020. Details on how to make a submission are available here.

In the light of current focus on waste and recycling, in particular the discussion on the role of container deposit schemes, SAWIA is considering developing a submission and we need your views. To contribute, contact Mark Gishen on 8222 9278 or

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Dates for your diary