Kylie McPherson, the Chair of the Bundaberg Distilling Company has hit out at Queensland’s liquor regulations, which she says unfairly target the producer.

In 2016 the Queensland Government introduced new regulations which restrict the sale or supply of high-alcohol content drinks after midnight. This includes pre-mixed drinks and McPherson says it is hard to understand the sense behind the regulation, adding that the State Government was actually helping instate beverage producers.

“Bundaberg Rum has been distilled in Queensland for more than 125 years and it’s a cultural icon for the region and for the state. The distillery is one of Queensland’s most popular tourist destinations, now welcoming 75,000 visitors a year since the $8.5m upgrade of the Visitor Experience,” McPherson told TheShout.

“In 2016, Queensland’s Liquor Regulation 2002 was amended to ban the sale of certain pre-mixed spirit drinks after midnight throughout Queensland, a move that unfairly targets spirits including Queensland’s own Bundy Rum.

“The law means that after midnight, a Queenslander can’t buy a pre-mix Bundy & Cola which is 1.9 standard drinks but they can buy a large glass of wine or a pint of beer that could contain as much as 2.5 standard drinks.

“It’s hard to understand how this regulation makes sense, as it’s the amount of alcohol consumed that makes an impact, not the type of drink. And it unfairly targets a local Queensland producer.

“The same restrictions haven’t been applied to beer or wine, products that are often imported from the southern states. We’d like to see support for Bundy Rum and other local distillers in an industry that already makes a significant contribution to the local economy with great future potential to grow starting with equal treatment for spirits.”

The Queensland Government has said that it plans to evaluate the amended regulations from July next year, while a spokesperson for the state’s opposition branded the laws “inconsistent, farcical and impossible to regulate”.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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