Australia's parliamentarians provided tax relief for hard pressed small wineries in one of their last acts before rising for the federal election called for October 9.

The Senate approved a rebate on the wine equalisation tax (WET) for wineries with wholesale sales of less than A$1m a year (US$700,000).

WET has been blamed as a prime cause of the financial plight of many of Australia's more than 1600 wineries.

The industry is also central to a number of the marginal electorates, which could determine the outcome of the election.