WABA Membership Structure

The WA Brewers Association has enjoyed considerable growth over the past few years.

Full brewery membership has now risen to 60 with several more operations awaiting licencing approval. The rise in numbers proves the industry is a strong force in the WA beer scene. And our members stretch from Broome to Esperance.

Alongwith the growth comes issues and matters that have great impacts on members. WABA has got to such a size that it needs to be an advocate, promoter, communicator, lobbyist and liaison with kindred industries.

That requires considerable behind-the-scenes work and strategies. And until now the WABA committee has been made up of volunteers who already have busy duties with individual duties.

It is clear that, like kindred industries such as hotels, liquor stores, small bars and eastern States brewery groups, WABA needs to become more professional in its day-to-day and long-term affairs.

Over the past two months, WABA has employed Ross Lewis on a part-time basis as Executive Officer. Already Ross has proven the value in the position with his work on WABA’s Container Deposit Scheme campaign, meeting members of parliament to highlight the strength of the industry, lobbying for tourism funding, lifting our social media channel content and working with mainstream media to showcase our great beers. He has also been a point of contact for Government agencies who have been keen to work on improving WA brewing export opportunities and worked to improve the communication between the Perth and South West operations.

The WABA committee believes this position needs to continue, indeed expand, to ensure the local industry continues to grow from strength to strength.

However, our funds are limited.

So WABA is proposing a change in membership structure and fee level to held underwrite the position. It is also hoped that with more time the Executive Officer can seek other opportunities to generate even more funds to support the role.

Full details are yet to be determined but the WABA committee recommends that membership fees be structured on volumes of beer produced. It is a method followed by other beer groups around the world.

At this stage, WABA is looking at a fee range from $750 for our smallest beer producers to $1500 for those at the very top level. The overwhelming majority of current WABA members would be closer to the lower level of payment. There will also be new payment levels for Trade Supply Members and Trade Outlet Members. Both sections will also reap far greater benefits by being part of the improved WABA body.

It must also be pointed out that as a not-for-profit industry body all membership payments to WABA are fully tax deductible. And by being a WABA member there will be an immediate $600 discount for stalls at the Fremantle BeerFest. When combined with WABA’s AIBA entry shipment and other incentives planned during the year many breweries will get a far bigger financial benefit/return than the cost of their fees.

Other industries’ bodies help to fund their executive operations and many charge considerably more for fees.

To facilitate the new structure the WABA financial year will be brought forward to run from July 1 to June 30, rather than be linked to the Fremantle BeerFest stall payments in November.

Full details of the fees proposal

will be put to members shortly. But should you have any concerns or want more information please contact WABA president Dan Turley via the association email – wabrewersassociation@gmail.com.

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