After several months of consulting with industry groups and citizens, the State Government has announced that it will not proceed with laws to allow the sale of wine in South Australian supermarkets.
Deputy Premier John Rau said that the intentions of the original proposal, with which he continues to agree, were not able to be delivered.
“When this proposal was first raised with me by independent grocers, it seemed to me that it could benefit both the independent grocers and smaller South Australian wineries.
“After considering all submissions and seeking legal advice, I am now of the view that we can not achieve the desired outcome without hurting independent bottle-shops, our local wine industry and helping Coles and Woolworths.”
Earlier this year, the Government released a discussion paper on the issue with draft legislation proposing the sale of 750ml bottles of wine in supermarkets with a floor space of 400 square meters or more.
During the consultation period, 60 formal submissions were received from individuals and industry groups.
“58 per cent of the alcohol sold in South Australia is presently sold by Coles or Woolworths liquor outlets or hotels,” Mr Rau said.
“After exploring the mechanics of this proposal in some detail, it is now my advice that their dominance would be increased if wine is able to be sold in supermarkets – they don’t need any more help from me.
“I actually want to see the independent grocers positions strengthened, not weakened.
“Whilst I am sure that the independent grocers will be disappointed with this outcome, after considering all the feedback and advice I have received, I am convinced that this is the appropriate way forward at this point in time.”