By Annette Shailer

Industry members have warned that the coming Schoolies Week on Queensland’s Gold Coast will be closely watched by the Government and potential used as justification for the RTD tax hike.

Speaking at a seminar during the Independent Liquor Group (ILG) European Study Tour, Brown Forman managing director and Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia (DSICA) chairman, Michael McShane, alerted the 230 delegates that the annual end of school celebrations could bring the industry into the spotlight again.

“The Government is waiting and watching for Schoolies week,” he said.

“We agree there is a need to look at the drinking culture, we’re not worlds apart in regards to that. [And] when this goes to the Senate, we want a responsible outcome that addresses drinking culture.”

ILG executive chairman, Bob Bourne, said the tax hike was unexpected and agreed with DSICA’s stance on spending the excise on harm-minimisation.

“We certainly support DSICA’s position of putting the money raised from the RTD tax hike into education,” he said.

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The Shout Team

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