Levy: who’s responsible?

We’re often asked by vineyard owners why they should pay the Phylloxera and Grape Industry Act (1995) levy when they lease their property to a third party. Some think it should be the person running the vineyard who should pay.

The two common scenarios are:

  1. A person owns the land and leases it to a third party, who plants a vineyard and manages the land and vineyard.
  2. A person owns the land and establishes a vineyard, then at a future point leases out the vineyard to a third party who operates the vineyard.

Advice from the Crown Solicitor confirms the obligation to pay the levy falls on the land owner, irrespective of whether that person owns the vines or leases out their vineyard.

If the land and/or vineyard is leased, the land owner has the option to include the levy as a pass-through cost under the terms of the lease. However, under law, the land owner remains responsible for paying the levy to Vinehealth Australia.

“We encourage all land owners who are leasing out their properties for vineyard development or are leasing out their vineyard, to think about whether the levy could be passed on through the lease agreement to the lessee,” said Vinehealth Australia CEO Inca Pearce.

If you have any questions about the Vinehealth Australia levy, phone Jo Bainbridge on (08) 8273 0550 or email .