Australia’s spirits manufacturers have welcomed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Future Made in Australia Act, which promises to deliver large-scale investment in Australia’s manufacturing capability.

Speaking at the Queensland Media Club in Brisbane last week, the Prime Minister outlined the act and how it will help “to drive growth, improve competition, lift productivity and create the next generation of prosperity and opportunity”.

The PM said: “As the Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, has put it – Australia’s economy is not productive enough, not resilient enough and not competitive enough. We need a new wave of economic reform to change this.

“In this time of transformative opportunity, our Government will not be an observer or a spectator – we will be a participant, a partner, an investor and enabler.

“To anchor this reform and secure this growth, today I announce that this year our Government will create the Future Made in Australia Act. We will bring together in a comprehensive and co-ordinated way a whole package of new and existing initiatives. To boost investment, create jobs and seize the opportunities of a future made in Australia.

“We want to look at every measure that will make a positive difference. This means looking at how government procurement can support small business and local manufacturing, as well as sustainability and the circular economy.

“Putting together the most efficient and effective combination of financing facilities and investor incentives to drive new economic growth.”

According to Spirits & Cocktails Australia (SCA) and the Australian Distillers Association (ADA), spirits manufacturing generates $15.5bn in added value to the Australian economy. In addition the more than 700 distilleries and manufacturing plants across Australia support more than 5700 jobs in the spirits industry plus a further 100,000 jobs throughout the value chain.

ADA Chief Executive Paul McLeay said:

“This announcement comes hot on the heels of the Government opening the Inquiry into Food and Beverage Manufacturing in Australia, which is the perfect forum for us to showcase our potential contribution to the Australian economy.

“At a time when there is renewed excitement at the export potential of Australian wine, the spirits industry can help deliver the Government’s objective of diversifying our economy and trade.

“In fact, new economic modelling shows Australian spirits could become a $1bn export powerhouse by 2035.

“We wholeheartedly agree with the Prime Minister’s statement that Australia, ‘must be more assertive in capitalising on its comparative advantages’.

“Australia has an abundance of riches when it comes to spirits manufacturing, in terms of ingredients, infrastructure and technical prowess.

“We just need to get the policy settings right to fulfil our potential, starting with urgent reform of Australia’s spirits tax, which is clearly at odds with the Government’s economic objectives for the manufacturing sector.”

Spirits & Cocktails Australia chief executive Greg Holland said the country’s major spirits manufacturers are ideally placed to provide the international investment that the Government aims to attract.

“The Australian spirits industry is composed mainly of small businesses, with 88% of manufacturers employing less than 20 employees,” he said.

“Foreign direct investment is the key to unlocking industry growth. To date however, only three per cent of businesses have been able to access this vital funding.

“Given the right policy settings, our international members are eager to step up their investments in Australia to enhance the industry’s capacity to grow exports and create jobs at our distilleries, half of which are located in regional areas.

“The Prime Minister spoke of the need to aim high to realise the opportunities ahead, noting that while there was unlimited potential, there is limited time to be truly competitive with the progress already made in countries like Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom.

“These countries have already taken bold steps to enhance their spirits manufacturing capabilities, by freezing excise duties and investing in developing their spirits manufacturing industries.

“The time is ripe for Australia to join the race and capitalise on our natural advantages that set Australian spirits apart on the world stage. We are willing and able participants, ready to harness the opportunities of the future.

“We congratulate the Prime Minister on another important initiative for the Australian manufacturing sector and look forward to working with his government to realise the potential of the Australian spirits industry.”

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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