Log in
Log in


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

Click below on the relevant news feed.

  • 4 Sep 2023 2:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Tasmanian Whisky and Spirits Association has launched their Industry Blueprint. Some of the highlights include:

    • a projected production value of almost half a billion dollars next financial year, with already more than $669m od Single Malt Whisky under maturation
    • industry employment of nearly 500 direct jobs; and
    • development of the three strategic priorities: Investing in their people; market expansion and growth; and Curating, protecting and enhancing their brand.

    You can download the Blueprint below.

  • 4 Sep 2023 2:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The ABAC Responsible Alcohol Marketing Code (the ABAC Code) sets content and placement standards for marketing in Australia. The ABAC Code applies to all marketing communications, including advertising that references or flows from an Alcohol or Alcohol Alternative sponsorship agreement. For example, brand advertising that references the sponsorship in any medium, branded merchandise, and brand advertising at the event (beyond solely logo and name) is covered by the ABAC Code. This ensures that alcohol and alcohol alternative advertising both relating to and at an event meets applicable ABAC Code standards.

    The scheme has produced a Draft Best Practice for contracts that directly impact third parties that are not within the ABAC Code’s jurisdiction, such as sporting bodies, individual clubs or groups, media bodies or individual athletes and performers. Accordingly, the ABAC Code does not apply to a Sponsorship Agreement itself.

    ABAC has developed this best practice guide in two parts:

    Part 1 - to highlight the ABAC Code standards that apply to Alcohol and Alcohol Alternative marketing arising from a sponsorship arrangement; and

    Part 2 - to assist companies to assess the suitability of a proposed sponsorship agreement and its implementation, in line with the objectives of the ABAC Scheme.

    The Chief Executive has provided feedback to the code. If any member wishes to view the draft code, please advise directly.

  • 4 Sep 2023 2:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NSW Environment Protection Authority is leading a project on behalf of Australian and NZ Environment Ministers and the Heads of EPAs forum (HEPA) to provide feedback on approval processes under Container Deposit Schemes in Australia. All Australian State and Territory environment regulators, the Australian Government, and the New Zealand EPA are members of HEPA.

    The objective of the project is to help harmonise Container Deposit Schemes and reduce administrative burden for governments and suppliers.

    They have sought Australian Distillers Association feedback to understand our member’s journey through container deposit scheme approval processes, what our pain points are, and hear your views on possible approaches to make it easier for all to interact with CDSs.

  • 4 Sep 2023 2:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As previously advised, the Queensland Government announced that they expanded the CDS to cover wine and spirits bottles for the first time. This will come into effect 1 November 2023.

    After joint intervention with Queensland Distillers Association and Spirits & Cocktails Australia, QLD Government advised changes to the original transition date that was in the consultation draft (1 January 2025). The new transition date, by when the refund mark is to be displayed on containers, is proposed as 1 January 2027.

    They have also provided additional information through the Explanatory Notes to the amendment regulation that there is no requirement for stock-in-trade to display the refund mark after 1 November 2023 as it will be compliant because of the transition period provided. This means that wine and pure spirits in glass containers can be sold into Queensland as compliant product without the need to over-sticker or change labels.

    Further information for members will be published soon, with a detailed FAQ section and information from the QLD government and COEX, Container Exchange.

    Please look out for further information in the news pages as well as your inbox.

    (Container Exchange is appointed by the Queensland government to manage and grow Queensland’s container refund scheme – Containers for Change).

  • 4 Sep 2023 2:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    14 Australian Distillers Members have expressed an interest in becoming qualified trainers for the Certificate IV in Artisan Fermented Products qualification being run by the National Distilling Institute and will soon complete the Cert IV TAE.

    The Cert IV in Artisan Fermented Products is continuing to be developed with the assistance of member Subject Matter Experts and the National Food Institute.

    It is still anticipated the course will be available for the first cohort of students early in 2024.

  • 4 Sep 2023 2:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A group of 14 representatives of Australian Distillers participated in a Study Program in the United States, coordinated by Spirits & Cocktails Australia. Overall, it was a successful event with industry knowledge gained by the participants, key briefings by Austrade, activation of the Australia Room to showcase Australian spirits, tour of several craft and major distilleries, and a roundtable discussion with the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of the United States (DISCUS) and a short visit from the Australian Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission.

  • 28 Jul 2023 11:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Yesterday afternoon, the Australian Tax Office provided advice to members of the Alcohol Stakeholder Group regarding changes to alcohol excise from 1 August (see below).

    New rates published on the ATO website confirm that spirits and RTD excise rates will increase by 2.2% from 1 August 2023 to:

    • $100.05/ LAL for spirits and RTDs (up from $97.90/LAL)

    The Shout has recently covered the story and published our media release.


    A detailed resource handbook can be found below, to equip you with tools to enable us to maintain pressure on the government to consider our request for a freeze.Please click the following links for the various materials.

    (pdf that includes all material and graphics)

    (word doc)



  • 28 Jul 2023 11:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • CPI figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today confirm Australia’s spirits tax will hit $100.05 per litre of alcohol from 1 August
    • This threshold wasn’t expected to be reached until 2029
    • Spirits manufacturers are calling on the government to freeze the tax to release the handbrake on the Australian industry

    The federal government today confirmed a harsh new reality for spirits producers across the country, with spirits excise set to top $100.05 per litre of alcohol from 1 August.

    Spirits and Cocktails Australia chief executive, Greg Holland, slammed the increase.

    “It’s outrageous to think that Australia’s spirits tax – which is already the third highest in the world – will exceed $100 per litre of alcohol next month,” he said.

    “A gin and tonic now has more than double the tax of a Great Northern.”

    “When will enough be enough?”

    Australian Distillers Association chief executive, Paul McLeay, said the tax on spirits is unfair and unsustainable, putting a handbrake on the growth of a promising industry.

    “It’s impossible for local distillers to consider employing new staff, opening a distillery door or accessing new export markets with this out of control tax,” he said.

    “If the government is serious about growing domestic manufacturing jobs, particularly in the regions, they can’t have it both ways.”

    Cape Byron Distillery founder Eddie Brook says small distilleries cannot realistically pass on every increase to consumers, who don’t understand the excise burden these businesses are dealing with.

    “If we asked our loyal customers to pay an extra $2 or $3 every six months, we would start to look greedy in their eyes, and it puts us out of the price range that they can afford,” he said.

    “What that means is, we've had to absorb a lot of those increases, which has made the running costs extremely tight and essentially, it is has reduced the ability of the business to grow.

    Brook said the latest forecast excise increase will cost his business about $70,000 a year in lost margin.

    “That’s the equivalent of a full-time staff member that we won’t be able to employ as a result,” he said.

  • 18 Jul 2023 2:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Distillers South Australia, formerly known as the South Australian Spirit Producers Association (SASPA), is pleased to announce a significant milestone in its evolution as it undergoes a rebranding effort. Effective immediately, the organisation will be known as Distillers South Australia.

    The decision to change the name was driven by the desire to create a more accessible and easily recognisable brand identity and was made after careful consideration of feedback from our dedicated spirits consumers and trade partners.

    The new name carries a broader appeal and eliminates the need for acronyms, ensuring clear and concise communication with stakeholders. It also aligns with the national body, Australian Distillers.

    The rebranding reflects Distillers South Australia’s commitment to working collaboratively to grow domestic and international market opportunities for South Australia spirits. It provides an opportunity to share South Australia’s unique distiller stories highlighting our regions, distillers, and of course South Australian spirits, and solidifies our position as a leading organisation, dedicated to best practise and the continued growth and success of the South Australian distilling sector.

    "This rebranding initiative is a significant step forward for our organisation," said George Georgiadis, President of Distillers South Australia. "We believe that adopting the name Distillers South Australia will reinforce our commitment to excellence, enhance our brand recognition, and facilitate stronger partnerships within the industry. We are confident that this change will be well received by our valued spirits consumers, as well as by the global trade and media communities."

    The transition to Distillers South Australia will not impact the organisation's core mission, which remains focused on promoting, supporting, and advocating for spirits producers from across South Australia. Through its various initiatives, Distillers South Australia will continue to champion excellence in distilling, promote responsible consumption, and provide valuable resources and networking opportunities for its members.

    As Distillers South Australia embarks on this exciting new chapter, the organisation remains committed to delivering exceptional value and support to its members and the broader spirits industry. Stakeholders can expect a seamless transition, with all existing programs and services continuing uninterrupted under the new name.

    For more information about Distillers South Australia, please visit their website.

  • 29 Jun 2023 1:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The following “Streamlining the administration of excise and excise-equivalent customs goods” changes are now law. A message from the ATO.

    Aligning excise and customs reporting with other indirect taxes.

    From 1 July 2023, eligible businesses can apply to lodge their excise and customs returns on a quarterly basis to simplify reporting and payment requirements.

    Eligible businesses include those that manufacture or store alcohol, or deliver excisable alcohol or excise-equivalent goods into the Australian domestic market, and have an aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million.

    A number of conditions must be met to be granted permission to change your lodgment cycle to quarterly. You need to have all your lodgments and payments up to date before you apply. We will assess applications on a case-by-case basis.

    For more information, visit Application for a periodic settlement permission.

    System updates and processing delays

    From September 2023, there will be new functions in our online services when you lodge your excise returns and amendments. To enable the new functions in our online services, processing of excise lodgments will be delayed between August and September. During this time, continue to lodge and pay by the due date, however your lodgments won’t be processed until the system changes are complete.

    If you’re not already using online services, register now here

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