Log in
Log in


27 Feb 2023 3:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

At the end of January 2023, we lodged a joint Pre-Budget Submission, with our colleagues from Spirits and Cocktails Australia, for consideration ahead of the 2023-24 Federal Budget.

Our submission calls on the Government to make modest changes to Australia’s spirits tax regime – by reducing the spirits excise rate and freezing CPI indexation – to create the conditions for the sustainable growth of the Australian spirits industry.

The key messages underpinning our submission include:

  • Australia’s spirits tax is unsustainable.
    • Australia already has the third highest spirits tax in the world.
    • The tax on spirits is more than double that of beer and wine.
  • This is a major handbrake on jobs, investment and innovation.
  • We all know, you can’t grow an industry by taxing it more.
  • We are calling for an immediate freeze on the excise to unleash the potential of Australia’s most exciting industry.

This latest CPI increase means we are now staring down the barrel of paying $100 tax per litre of alcohol. This means Australian distillers cannot adequately invest to expand our businesses and explore new opportunities, like export or distillery door tourism. This particularly impacts regional communities because two-thirds of distilleries are based in regional areas. It also runs contrary to the government’s ambition to build local manufacturing capability.

In response to the latest CPI increase to spirits excise, a media release was issued to trade media, resulting in the publication of two articles:

We have commenced a comprehensive communications and government relations strategy to enhance our advocacy for the Parliamentary Inquiry and tax asks, in the lead up to the Federal Budget in May. This will include additional media opportunities to publicly make our case for change to support the sustainable growth of our industry.

Parliament has resumed for the 2023 calendar year. The Association has met with both Minister Husic and Assistant Minister Ayres and advised them we are continuing our campaign for a parliamentary Inquiry. We are calling on the new Albanese Government to establish a bi-partisan Parliamentary Inquiry into the Australian Spirits Industry. Much like what happened in the wine industry 40 years ago, we need Government intervention to allow us to position to a high value, premium and export ready industry.

Our recommended terms of reference are:

1) Examine the current and potential contribution of distilled spirits to the Australian economy and employment, including

a) Its impact along the supply chain, incorporating:

b) Agriculture

c) Manufacturing

d) Retail

e) Tourism and Hospitality

f) Transport (Rail and Trucking Logistics)

g) Its impact in rural and regional Australia

h) Export values, volumes and markets

2) Identify key barriers to growth of the industry, and propose solutions to address these barriers, including:

a) Domestic and foreign investment

b) Sufficient and appropriate labour and workforce skills

c) Value adding manufacturing, transport and inventory infrastructure

d) The spirits excise system, including deregulation solutions

e) Conflicting or contradictory State and Territory licensing regimes

f) Discrimination against distilled spirits in regulatory settings

g) Key trade barriers in export markets

h) Innovation, including through the role of global companies

3) Identify the optimal regulatory framework and settings to promote sustainable growth, including:

a) Job creation

b) Environmental sustainability, energy use and efficiency, water, packaging and transport

c) Innovation

d) Technical standards for production

e) Label integrity, including for export markets

f) Geographic indicators, domestic and international

g) Export readiness, including market intelligence and international distribution information

h) The possible establishment of an independent statutory authority to regulate and promote Australian spirits

Looking for something specific? Search our site below...

Australian Distillers Association

Suite 1601, 447 Kent Street, 
Sydney, NSW, 2000

ABN 77 622 845 275

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software