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QLD news

Check the latest news and advocacy work from the Queensland Spirits Industry.

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  • 27 Sep 2023 10:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A big thanks to our guest speakers Gordon Chalmers, Rick Prosser and Sam Slaney, and all members who were able to join the webinar on the day.

    The recording of the webinar is now available - use the link below to access.

    You can also access Gordon's presentation below with some helpful tips.

    View the September PD Webinar

    Gordon Chalmer's Presentation

    Passcode: V@0B#5b?

    A reminder, too, that Australian Distillers has a Safety Toolkit on their website, complied by leading industry experts, Beca. This should be compulsory reading for all members. Log into the Members section on the Australian Distillers website to access this vital safety information.

    Additional safety resources exist in the member portal and the Safety & Sustainability group have more events and content planned for the year ahead to help members (of all sized businesses) with safety in their distillery.

  • 11 Sep 2023 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland is pleased to announce the Royal Queensland Awards' inaugural Distilled Spirits Competition in 2024.

    We invite potential judges to express their interest in participating on the 8th and 9th of July 2024. The RNA is looking for judges with official qualifications and/or extensive judging experience at all levels, including Head Judges, Panel Chairs, Judges, and Associate Judges.

    The RNA will cover travel, accommodation, and relevant food expenses for the two days of judging at the Brisbane Showgrounds. If you're interested, please click the link below. For any questions, please contact Liam O'Donnell.


  • 17 Aug 2023 10:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    An important part of QDA's role is advocating for distillers on important changes that could affect the growth of our industry.

    Container Deposit Scheme

    With the announced introduction of the scheme for spirit bottles from 1 November, QDA has been working with Spirits and Cocktails Australia to address some of the concerning shortfalls in the approach put forward in draft legislation, including:

    • Disproportionate impact on Queensland artisan distillers.
    • Only allowing until January 2025 to implement required logos and information on labels.
    • Lack of harmonisation of label changes with other states, plus potential changes from FSANZ requiring energy labelling.

    We would encourage you to reach out to your local member on this issue.

    Liquor Licensing Proactive Compliance Plan

    OLGR have recently released their 2023-2024 Proactive Compliance Plan - download it here.

    Importantly, a stated focus is ensuring ensuring artisan producers understand, and are meeting, their licence obligations and harm minimisation requirements.

    OLGR have indicated that:

    "The artisan producer licence has primarily been included in our compliance plan for the next year because it is a new licence type and two years or so in it is appropriate from a risk management perspective as the regulator to touch base with licensees to ensure they fully understand the requirements of the licence (particularly as outlined in the attached fact sheet which is also on our website). It is more of an educative role in the first instance and is not in response to any wide-ranging areas of non-compliance that we aware of."

    Artisan distillers should expect OLGR to reach out to them over the coming months. They have indicated that there will be an initial focus on those who have not lodged their annual return on time.

    Excise at $100.05 per LAL

    Australian Distiller's Association is coordinating a campaign - kicked off with the unfortunate milestone of inflation driving excise to $100.05 per LAL - to have distillers engage with local members of federal parliament and media to make the case for tax reform.

    Head to the Australian Distillers website where you can find the handbook for distillers to support this advocacy.

  • 17 Aug 2023 10:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As an emerging industry, one of our biggest challenges can be dealing with local government, particularly around planning schemes that don't have a clear place for breweries and distilleries.

    Mackay Regional Council have developed clear guidelines for planning for breweries and distilleries. This may be of use to you when engaging with your local council and its planning department to understand appropriate zoning for your distillery.

    Download the planning guide.

  • 17 Aug 2023 10:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Due to a conflict with the Good Food and Wine Show, we are now planning for very special showcase in place of the previously communicated Bundaberg event. The QDA is waiting for confirmation from the Queensland Treasurer’s office on a planned showcase of Queensland Distilled Spirits on the Speaker’s Green or an alternate event space during the November (or October) sitting weeks.

    Similar events have been held within the Federal Parliament and were a great success. Queensland spirits producers would love the opportunity for our members to engage directly with Parliamentarians and staff and showcase that they are indeed the very best spirits in Australia. And the significant and growing number of mostly small business present the opportunity for spirits to be to Queensland what wine is to South Australia.

  • 4 Jul 2023 11:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A big thanks to our guest speaker Dominique Lamb, QLD Small Business Commissioner, and all members who were able to join the webinar on the day.

    The recording of the webinar is now available on YouTube - use the link below to access.

    View the June PD Webinar on Youtube

    Stay tuned for details of August's webinar, which will feature Trade and Investment Queensland.

  • 21 Jun 2023 2:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The QHA Review have reached out to the QDA, with the opportunity to showcase QLD distilleries to the Hotel/Restaurant trade throughout QLD by way of a directory and venue review process. This same format has already assisted the Craft Brewers of QLD gain traction in the guest tap space and wholesale market over the last 3 yrs.

    The proposed cost for a distillery interested in the opportunity is $1540 per annum, which includes:

    • Min of 4 spirits (varieties or flavour profiles) independently reviewed with product shots across the year via our “Top Drop” segment
    • An editorial review of min 4 pages of your distillery and venue. Click here for an example. 
    • They will also consider editorial space for any significant newsworthy stories relating to your business e.g. National/International awards, collaborations, B Certification, brand change etc. at the discretion of their editors.

    If you are interested in this opportunity, please reach out to Simon Cross at the QHA Review, via email.

  • 21 Jun 2023 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Diageo team are working on a State of Queensland rum story they are pitching to media. It will look at the great history of rum making in Queensland, as well as the more recent innovations and direction of the industry. If you are a rum producer and interested in contributing, please reach out to the QDA team.

  • 21 Jun 2023 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As previously communicated, the State Government has committed to fully fund 16 distilling traineeships as a pilot program has been approved.

    Due to strong demand from members, the demand for the initial course exceeds the available places. An application process and criteria is being developed, and will be communicated to members once ready.

  • 21 Jun 2023 2:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    David Ridden and Matt Hobson met with Minister Glenn Butcher and the Department for a face to face meeting on 16th of May. The meeting was productive, with:

    • Department directed to undertake a review of the container refund scheme in regard to an exemption for holders of the artisan producers license.
    • The Minister and department asked for a roadmap for the trial of retail of artisan liquor via independent grocers in Queensland. David Ridden will be meeting with David Inall, CEO of Master Grocers Australia in July to discuss the roadmap. David will also meet with the CEO of QHA to seek understanding and cooperation on the roadmap.
    • Presented QDA's 3 year $6m funding plan

    With a state election expected in the next 12 months, there will be an increasing need for QDA to represent the interests of distillers with local MPs and candidates. The QDA committee will be seeking help from members around the state to assist with this.

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