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Photo: Tim Jones / Wine Australia

Federal Election – facts about Australia’s wine region electorates

Market Bulletin | Issue 156
Photo: Tim Jones / Wine Australia
14 May 2019
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There are 16.4 million Australians eligible to vote in the Federal Election, and 35 per cent of them live in a ‘wine region electorate’.

Just over a third of Australia’s 151 electorates include an Australian Geographical Indication (GI) wine region, electorates we’re calling ‘wine region electorates’. Some electorates include multiple GI regions, others only include a small area of a total GI region. To see which regions are in which electorate, see here.

Here are some interesting facts about wine region electorates.

More than five million voters

Wine region electorates cover 35 per cent of Australia’s voting population or 5.8 million voters.

Tasmania has the largest proportion of voters located in wine region electorates (81 per cent), while Queensland has the lowest with 7 per cent.

Victoria has the most wine region electorates

Victoria has the largest number of wine region electorates (17), followed by New South Wales (12) and Western Australia (11), while Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory have the lowest with 2 each (and Northern Territory has none).

South Australia has the electorate with the biggest area under vine

The South Australian electorate of Barker covers the biggest area of vineyards (40,000+ hectares), accounting for around a third of the national vineyard area and stretching from the Riverland in the north to Mount Gambier in the south.

The New South Wales electorate of Farrer (Riverina/Murray Darling to Tumbarumba) has the second largest area of vineyards (25,000 hectares).

In Victoria, the electorate of Mallee (12,000 hectares) covers the most vineyard area in that state ranging from the Murray Darling through to the Grampians and Pyrenees.

In Western Australia, the major wine region electorate is Forrest (around 6,000 hectares) covering Margaret River, Geographe, Pemberton and Peel.

In Queensland, Maranoa covers most of that state’s vineyards in the Granite Belt and South Burnett.

Each of the electorates named above are currently held by the Coalition and all are regarded as ‘safe’ seats, with the notable exception of Barker.

More than a third of wine region electorates are marginal seats

Of the 53 wine region electorates, 31 are held by the Coalition, 20 by the Labor Party and 2 by other parties.

More than a third of the wine region electorates (19) are classified as marginal seats. A seat is classified as marginal where a winning candidate receives less than 56 per cent of the vote.

Victoria has the largest number of marginal electorates (7), but South Australia has the largest proportion (60 per cent).

The Australian wine sector makes a significant contribution to the Australian economy. This includes the economic activity associated with grapegrowing and wine production and extends to the economic activity from wine-related tourism.

These three components of the Australian wine sector also have strong linkages to other sectors of the Australian economy, in particular, the businesses that supply the goods and services required for grapegrowing, winemaking and the wine tourism experience, as well as the goods and services demanded by employees.

Consequently, the contribution of the Australian wine sector to the Australian economy is greater than its significant direct effects. Research commissioned by Wine Australia and undertaken by AgEcon Plus and Gillespie Economics in 2015 shows that the Australian wine sector contributes $40.2 billion to the value of gross output to the Australian economy and creates over 172,000 full- and part-time jobs. Wine Australia plans to update this research in 2019.

View PDF here for a larger resolution image of the Parliamentary Library's wine regions electoral map.

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.