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Victoria

Regional Development Victoria



Wine Growth Fund program guidelines

1. Context

1.1 The wine industry in Victoria

The Victorian Government has identified six priority sectors that will underpin the State’s future economy and jobs growth. Food and fibre is one of these sectors.

In Victoria, the wine industry is a major component of the food and fibre sector of the economy. The wine industry contributes over $7.6 billion per annum to the State’s economy.

Flow on benefits to the economy from Victorian wine production in areas such as agriculture, retail, hospitality and tourism are estimated to be $13.3 billion. In 2015, annual wine sales totalled $1.5 billion in Victoria

With 17 per cent of Australia’s wine grape plantings by area in 2014 - 2015, Victoria is the third largest wine grape producing state, behind South Australia and New South Wales.

There are 22 distinct wine regions in Victoria. The wine regions contain approximately 747 wineries, over 1,130 wine grape growers and more than 23,000 hectares of vines. The Victorian wine industry employs approximately 13,000 people directly in grape growing, wine making, cellar door sales and hospitality operations.

In addition, more than 32,800 indirect jobs are created in the wine industry supply chain via wine marketers, wine brokers, contract bottlers, freight and logistics operators, input suppliers, pruning contractors, harvest contractors, retailers and the
various operators in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

1.2 Developing the wine industry in Victoria

The government has committed to support the Victorian wine industry. To develop the wine industry in Victoria, the government has:

  • established a Wine Industry Ministerial Advisory Committee (Wine MAC) to provide advice on opportunities for and issues affecting the long term performance and sustainability of the Victorian wine industry
  • commissioned the preparation of a Victorian Wine Industry Development Strategy
  • funded 41 projects, which leveraged approximately $2.8 million of investment through the Wine Growth Fund (Round One)
  • committed funds towards Wine Growth Fund (Round Two)

1.3 Purpose of this document

This page sets out the application guidelines for the second round of the Wine Growth Fund. It is designed to assist prospective applicants in deciding whether to apply for a grant and outlines the process for submitting an application.

This document sets out the purpose of the fund and explains who is eligible to apply. It explains how to obtain an application form and how applications are assessed. It also sets out the assessment criteria that will be used to assess applications for funding.

2. Description and objectives of the fund

2.1 Wine Growth Fund

The Wine Growth Fund is a small grants program to support initiatives to develop the wine industry in Victoria.

Funding has been set aside from the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund and by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) to support initiatives under the Wine Growth Fund.

The Wine Growth Fund will be administered by Regional Development Victoria (DEDJTR) in collaboration with Agriculture Victoria.

2.2 Fund objectives

The key objectives of the Wine Growth Fund align with the strategic objectives of the Victorian Wine Industry Development Strategy and are as follows:

Support adaptation to a new industry operating environment

  • support for business development
  • encourage innovation
  • foster new product development
  • facilitate improvements to operational efficiency
  • support market development

Increase visitation and expenditure within Victorian wine regions

  • encourage collaboration and co-operation amongst wineries, wine growers and tourism businesses to attract more visitors to a wine region
  • support activities that promote wine tourism and foster cellar door sales

Develop profitable and sustainable export markets

  • foster export markets

Strengthen industry structure and coordination

  • Another central objective of the Wine Growth Fund reflects the primary goal of the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund (RJIF), which provides the source funding for the Wine Growth Fund. The RJIF supports projects which attract investment and create jobs in Regional Victoria. Therefore, the final objective of the Wine Growth Fund includes:

Support investment and jobs

  • support business investment into new facilities and services
  • support business investment into new / upgraded technologies
  • encourage wineries and wine growers to expand operations to enhance business viability, retain existing jobs and create new jobs
  • support business investment in projects that create additional full-time, part-time and/or seasonal jobssupport business investment into new facilities and services

Often the goal will be to facilitate growth and development of the Victorian wine industry, but ensuring that wine regions remain viable and sustainable will also be a central focus of the fund. Projects which facilitate job creation will be given priority consideration.

2.3 Types of initiatives that will be considered for funding

The Wine Growth Fund can support a range of activities to meet identified needs of the wine growing regions of Victoria. Activities should be aligned to the strategic platforms of the Victorian Wine Industry Development Strategy as outlined below and may include:

Supporting adaptation to a new industry operating environment

Applicants are invited to submit projects that involve the following:

  • feasibility studies, business case development and research for new wine initiatives
  • “on farm” and/or “production facility” efficiency and sustainability improvements
  • bio-security improvements
  • improvements in viticulture and wine making to enhance grape and wine quality
  • marketing initiatives, including e-commerce / online sales proposals
  • group workshops on business planning, development and management

Increasing visitation and expenditure within Victorian wine regions

Applicants are invited to submit projects that involve the following:

  • regional wine and wine tourism marketing projects
  • wine events in the various wine regions across the State
  • promotion or development of wine region attractions and offerings

Developing profitable and sustainable export markets

Applicants are invited to submit projects that involve the following:

  • brand strategy development
  • small scale in-bound trade missions
  • workshops to improve knowledge about export markets and/or to develop an export program
  • skills development and training workshops
  • export market development projects
  • attendance at major international trade shows as part of a marketing program such as Wine Australia Travel1, accommodation, exhibition and freight fees will be subsidised (NB: limits apply).
    Recipients may be eligible for:
    • travel allowance up to $3,000
    • accommodation and meals up to $500 per day (Limit $3,000)
    • travel and accommodation costs for overseas trade shows, exhibitions, export programs and the like only
  • encourage businesses in the wine industry to foster sales through eCommerce

Strengthening industry structure and co-ordination

Applicants are invited to submit projects that involve the following:

  • projects raising the profile of the wine industry in Victoria
  • projects aimed at improving the sustainability and strength of regional associations and networks

A number of the strategic platforms in the Victorian Wine Industry Development Strategy overlap with the objectives of the RJIF, which are heavily weighted towards supporting projects involving investment attraction and job creation. Consequently, the Wine Growth Fund would give strong consideration to supporting investment and job creation projects within the wine industry. Projects that would be considered in this category are outlined below:

Supporting investment and jobs

Applicants are invited to submit projects that involve the following:

  • adoption of new technology
  • investment in new plant and equipment (fixed infrastructure)
  • investment to expand wine processing facilities
  • investment in storage and handling facilities
  • expansion of the cellar door facilities
  • establishment or expansion of hospitality areas at a winery
  • staff development, training and skill enhancement

1 Travel, accommodation, exhibition and freight fees will be subsidised (NB: limits apply). Recipients may be eligible for:

  • travel allowance up to $3,000
  • accommodation and meals up to $500 per day (Limit $3,000)
  • travel and accommodation costs for overseas trade shows, exhibitions, export programs and the like only

2.4 Activities that will generally not be funded

The following activities will generally not be considered for funding:

  • requests for retrospective funding where projects have commenced (i.e. contracts entered into or activities have begun), or are completed prior to receiving funding approval
  • projects requiring ongoing funding from the Victorian Government
  • ongoing operating costs or salary subsidies (note: this does not preclude payment of project management costs provided on a fixed-term contract basis)
  • private sector projects undertaken as a result of a government contract
  • projects where funding is normally provided by other state, Commonwealth or local government sources
  • projects primarily to meet regulatory requirements
  • the purchase of land
  • purchase of vehicles, including tractors and harvesting equipment
  • purchase of office equipment and computers
  • furniture purchases
  • replanting of vines due to disease (e.g. Phylloxera), introducing new wine grape varieties, etc.
  • vineyard establishment and the planting of new vines
  • expanding grape vine plantings
  • infrastructure projects which are not shovel-ready
  • projects or events which are scheduled to commence before 1 December 2017.

2.5 Who can apply

Applications will be considered from:

  • businesses or organisations directly involved in the Victorian wine industry, including the growing, making and marketing of wine in wine regions in Victoria
  • businesses or organisations which act as consultants, service providers, researchers or educators to the wine industry if the project is considered to be a wholly wine industry activity
  • groups of individuals, businesses or organisations directly involved in the Victorian wine industry, including the growing, making and marketing of wine in wine regions in Victoria.

Applicants are required to hold an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Applicants must be based in Victoria to be eligible to access the Wine Growth Fund.

Regional and rural applicants will be funded through the Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund as defined in the Regional Development Act 2002. All other successful applicants will be funded by DEDJTR.

2.6 Funding support

Applicants are expected to make a financial contribution and/or source third-party funding.

Generally, grants will be provided on a $1 for $1 basis.

Matching funds may be from a variety of sources. Examples include funds from individuals or groups of wineries/growers, associations, local government authorities, community/regional organisations or the Commonwealth Government.

‘In kind’ contributions are not accepted as part of the funding contribution.

Applicants must provide a detailed project budget with their application, which outlines their own investment as well as funds sourced/secured from other parties.

2.7 Level of support

Maximum funding available is dependent on the project type:

Project type

Funding available

Website, e-commerce and app development projects

Up to $10,000

Export development projects

Up to $10,000

Collaborative projects with multiple stakeholders and/or large-scale benefit (This may include representative industry bodies, tourism associations, or collaborations of multiple businesses.)

Up to $50,000

All other projects

Up to $20,000

3. Application and assessment process

To ensure the suitability of projects, all prospective applicants should follow the process outlined below.

Step 1: Before applying

Read the Guidelines and contact a departmental officer

Prior to submitting an application, applicants are advised to:

  • read these guidelines carefully to establish eligibility
  • discuss the proposed application with your nearest DEDJTR office (See Section 5 for DEDJTR contact details)
  • DEDJTR officers will help applicants determine the potential suitability of a project for funding under the Wine Growth Fund
  • read the terms and conditions for the funding offered (available from your DEDJTR regional office)

Submit an Expression of Interest

Applicants must submit an Expression of Interest prior to completing an Application Form:

  • your DEDJTR officer will provide you with a link to the online Expression of Interest Form after determining your eligibility to apply for assistance under the Wine Growth Fund
  • DEDJTR officers can assist with advice on completing the Expression of Interest Form should it be required

Expressions of Interest will be reviewed by DEDJTR as they are received, on a weekly basis.  Feedback will be provided within three weeks of submission.  

Applicants should note that projects may not proceed to the formal application and assessment process where the project:

  • can be implemented through another government funding program (applicants may be referred to an alternative funding program)
  • does not demonstrate economic, social and environmental benefits
  • is not ready for implementation
  • is not aligned to State or regional priorities
  • does not demonstrate a need for government funding
  • does not maximise funding support from other sources
  • does not demonstrate co-funding.

EOIs will be assessed by an departmental assessment panel comprising representatives from Regional Development Victoria, Agriculture Victoria, and Tourism Victoria.

Step 2: Prepare an application

Application Form

Your DEDJTR officer will provide you with a link to the online Application Form after the Expression of Interest has been assessed and supported by the Department.  

  • DEDJTR officers can assist with advice on completing the Application Form should it be required
  • applicants should use the Application Form to clearly and succinctly describe the project
  • documentation to support the project such as a feasibility study, business plan or letters of support should be attached to the application
  • letters of support should be provided where projects involve multiple stakeholders

Please note that as this is a competitive program there may a limit to the number of eligible activities which can be funded. Whilst applicants can submit multiple applications they may be asked to nominate their priority project for funding.

GST

Applicants should note that all project costs included in the application must be exclusive of GST.  The grant to be paid by DEDJTR will be ‘grossed up’ by the amount of GST, provided the applicant provides details of registration for the GST, or proof of exemption from being required to register.

Who signs the application?

Applications from local government authorities must be signed by the Chief Executive Officer. Applications from other parties must be signed by the Chief Executive Officer (or equivalent).

Submission

Applications should be submitted online.  

In the case that applicant is not able to access the Internet, hardcopy applications, including any additional documentation, can be submitted to your local DEDJTR office or posted to:

Regional Programs Branch
Regional Development Victoria
Level 31, 121 Exhibition St,
Melbourne VIC 3000

Timeline

Program timelines will be published on the Wine Growth Fund web page at www.rdv.vic.gov.au/investment-and-trade/wine-growth-fund 

Assessment Criteria

The following Assessment Criteria will be used to assess all applications to the Wine Growth Fund:

a) Project Objectives

Applications should clearly demonstrate how the proposed project will fulfil one or more of the objectives of the Wine Growth Fund:

  • to support adaptation to a new industry operating environment
  • to increase visitation and expenditure within Victorian wine regions
  • to develop profitable and sustainable export markets
  • to strengthen industry structure and coordination
  • to attract investment and create jobs

b) Project Economic benefits

The application should detail how the project will help the development of the relevant wine region and the wine industry in general.  Broader economic benefits to the region should also be outlined, including any new investments and jobs.

c) Project Social and Environmental benefits

Applications should clearly demonstrate how the proposed project will provide any social or environmental benefits such as:

  • benefits to the local community
  • addressing the impacts of climate change on the wine industry

d) Alignment with state and regional priorities and demonstrated project need

Applications will need to demonstrate how the project aligns with the relevant regional strategic plan priorities and/or any relevant state government policies (e.g. Visitor Economy Strategy).  Applicants can contact the relevant DEDJTR officer to receive a copy of the relevant regional plan and to discuss how the project may align with these plans. For contact details please refer to Section 5 of this guide.

Applications will need to clearly demonstrate the project need, including the problem that the project is seeking to resolve and the compelling reason for government assistance.

e) Demonstrated project feasibility and delivery

Applications should clearly demonstrate:

  • access to suitable project management in both the developmental and operational phases of the project
  • that project risks and issues have been identified and strategies are in place to manage them
  • (for infrastructure projects) that all legal, land tenure, planning and environmental issues have been identified and resolved or satisfactory resolution strategies are in place
  • how the success of the project will be measured / evaluated

f) Maximising value to the state

Applicants should demonstrate how the project provides “good value” to the state by leveraging funds from a range of sources, including their own contribution, government funds, private sector finance and funds from regional organisations.

g) Financial viability

In order to enable the department to assess the financial viability of the applicant and their ability to complete the project, applicants seeking funding for grants of more than $10,000 will need to attach the following:

  • Financial Reports for the two previous years (i.e. a Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet).
  • management or interim accounts (i.e. a Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet), where the last report is more than six months old.

Note: Victorian Government departments and statutory agencies, local government authorities and publicly funded universities and educational institutions are exempt from this step.

Step 3: Assessment process

Application Forms will be assessed by an departmental assessment panel comprising representatives from Regional Development Victoria, Agriculture Victoria, and Tourism Victoria.

The Assessment Criteria will form the basis for the assessment of all projects submitted to the Wine Growth Fund. Please note that if the Wine Growth Fund is oversubscribed the Assessment Panel will:

  • endeavour to recommend the best projects to the Minister for consideration based on the selection criteria
  • occasionally provide a lower level of funding to some projects than requested by the applicant

Step 4: Approval process

The assessment panel will make recommendations to the Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development.

  • the Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development will consider the recommendations of the assessment panel in determining projects to be funded under the Wine Growth Fund
  • successful applicants will receive a letter of offer from the Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development, which outlines the funding obligations attached to the offer of funding.

4. Conditions of funding

4.1 Administration

DEDJTR will administer the Wine Growth Fund.

4.2 Funding agreements

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with DEDJTR detailing all funding obligations and conditions. The standard terms and conditions on which the funding is offered are available from DEDJTR offices.

The funding agreement is a legally enforceable document that clearly defines the obligations of both parties. The funding agreement aims to protect the Victorian Government’s interests and to ensure the efficient and effective use of public money. It also ensures there is appropriate recognition of Victorian Government support on project-related publications, media releases and promotional material.

Funding agreements will:

  • describe the purpose for which the funding must be used
  • set out any requirements or conditions that must be met prior to the payment of a grant instalment
  • outline agreed milestones and project outcomes that must be achieved before payment of a grant instalment.

The legal status of an entity or organisation determines who is authorised to sign the agreement on its behalf.

  • for incorporated entities (excluding local government) the agreement must be signed by two Company Directors, or a Company Director and a Company Secretary, or the Sole Director if the company only has one Director.
  • for not-for-profit organisations the agreement must be signed by two members of the committee unless otherwise stated in the organisation’s business rules.
  • for local government the Chief Executive Officer must sign the agreement.

Once the funding agreement has been signed, the applicant will be required to actively manage and deliver the project and provide progress reports to DEDJTR. During the course of the project, DEDJTR may conduct site visits as necessary.

Successful applicants must enter into a funding agreement and commence the project within one year from the date of offer of the funding. If a project does not commence within this timeframe, the grant will be reviewed by DEDJTR.

4.3 Evaluation and reporting

Successful applicants will generally be required to submit progress and completion reporting, assess progress of the project against milestones, outputs and outcomes, and provide evidence of project completion.

Successful applicants may be required to contribute information on project outcomes, including longer-term impacts beyond project completion, for use in program evaluation reviews and DEDJTR marketing materials.

4.4 Privacy

Any personal information about you or a third party in your application will be collected by DEDJTR, a statutory body within the DEDJTR for the purpose of grant administration. This information may be provided to other Victorian Government agencies for the purposes of assessing your application. If you intend to include personal information about third parties in your application, please ensure they are aware of the contents of this privacy statement.

Any personal information about you or a third party in your correspondence will be collected, held, managed, used, disclosed or transferred in accordance with the provisions of the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic) and other applicable laws.

DEDJTR is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information.

The Department’s privacy policy is available from:

Privacy Officer

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
GPO Box 2392 Melbourne, VIC, 3001, AUS
Tel: (+ 61 3) 9665 9535

Email: privacy@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Enquiries about access to information about you held by DEDJTR should be directed to:

Freedom of Information Manager

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
GPO Box 2392 Melbourne, VIC, 3001, AUS
Tel: (+61 3) 9208 3112

Email: foi@ecodev.vic.gov.au

4.5 Acknowledgement

Successful applicants need to acknowledge the Victorian Government’s support through the provision of a grant from the relevant funding source. Promotional guidelines form part of the funding agreement and include the requirement that all activities acknowledge Victorian Government support through logo presentation on any activity-related publications, media releases and promotional material. A Victorian Government endorsed sign must also be placed at the site of infrastructure activities.

Successful applicants must liaise with DEDJTR to coordinate any events or announcements related to the activity. Successful applicants may be required to contribute information on activity outcomes for use in communications materials.

5. Contact details for regional business centres

Applicants requiring further information should contact your local RDV office or email: rdv@rdv.vic.gov.au

Applicants based in Metropolitan locations should contact the following offices:

Local Government Area

DEDJTR Contact

Mornington Peninsula, Casey, Cardinia, Frankston, Greater Dandenong, Kingston, Bayside, Glen Eira, Stonnington, Port Phillip

Southern Metropolitan

Level 6, 165-169Thomas Street, Dandenong, 3175
Tel: (+61 3) 9938 0117

Email: suzanne.walker@invest.vic.gov.au

Yarra Ranges, Manningham, Maroondah, Knox, Whitehorse, Monash, Booroondara

Eastern Metropolitan

Level 1, 12 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood, 3134
Tel: (+61 3) 9938 0150

Email: kate.tunney@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Wyndham, Melton, Hume, Whittlesea, Nillumbik, Banyule, Darebin, Moreland, Moonee Valley, Brimbank, Hobson’s Bay, Marybyrnong, Yarra, Melbourne

Northern & Western Metropolitan

Suite 16, Level 1, 20 Enterprise Drive, Bundoora 3083
Tel: (+61 3) 9935 0600

Email: information.northmetro@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Download the Wine Growth Fund application guidelines (PDF 258.2 KB)   

© Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, State Government of Victoria

http://www.rdv.vic.gov.au/investment-and-trade/wine-growth-fund/guidelines

Last Updated: 09 June 2017