Some of you might raise an eyebrow at the subject of this post, but after all, the idea is to provide a real-time diary of the highs and lows of establishing a small vineyard and winery. It is in no way intended as a whinge or criticism; just an observation on one of the many obstacles along the way.
In Australia, as in many other places, an aging population compounded by earlier retirement has led to the likely prospect of governments being unable to support pension payments for the elderly before too much longer. Therefore, and very sensibly, increasing onus is being placed on individuals to manage their own financial security in their declining years, including federal encouragement for responsibly self-managed superannuation funds. All well and good.
So being a responsibly minded citizen (allegedly) with an eye to the future, the land for this project was purchased, at no inconsiderable expense, with the assistance of my super fund. As many businesses do, I then required some extra finance in order to responsibly grow my investment, not forgetting that we live and work in a lending based economy. Unfortunately, none of the lending institutions feel they can supply the very modest level of gearing needed, primarily because, as the main asset is protected under federal superannuation laws, the banks cannot include the value in their risk assessment.
While logical, I feel that there is a chasm between the stated intent of government and the ability of private industry to deliver. I am sure that many of you have had similar experiences, but for those that have better access to government than I, perhaps you might like to point out the apparent paradox and suggest the need for some much needed attention to the matter. One solution that springs to mind might be a loan insurance scheme underwritten by treasury which, to my mind at least, would appear to satisfy the needs of all parties concerned.
All this aside, everything else is continuing smoothly. The cuttings are callousing nicely and I am eagerly waiting for the arrival of the Petit Meslier cuttings. This week’s duty is to accurately measure out the proposed blocks and to place an order for some very special trellis posts. More news very soon.