Queensland craft brewers stand to receive a boost if the Queensland Government passes legislation designed to them eligible to sell craft beer at markets and food festivals.
The changes, once passed, will see craft brewers enjoy some of the benefits that have long been afforded to the state’s wine producers and recognises the growth of craft beer and the economic benefits that a vibrant craft brewing community brings to the state.
The Bill was introduced to the Queensland Parliament last Thursday (27 November). In his first reading speech for the Liquor and Fair Trading Legislation (Red Tape Reduction) Amendment Bill 2014, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Hon Jarrod Bleijie said the changes applied to both local and interstate craft brewers.
“The bill also introduces new frameworks to allow both local and interstate craft brewers to sell their products at promotional events such as food and wine festivals. This amendment will provide microbreweries with additional opportunities to market and sell their products in Queensland,” he said.
The Bill proposes limits the permits under the provision to breweries producing less than 40 million litres, or approximately half the size of Coopers brewery.
The Bill will now proceed to Committee stage, with a report due in February 2015. The Bill can potentially be passed in the March sittings of Parliament.
The win for craft brewers comes after several years of lobbying by a number of the state’s brewing and licencing figures, as well as the Craft Beer Industry Association since its inception. It is a significant win for craft brewers and especially local beer drinkers who have been denied access to craft beer at many food and wine shows and markets.
One of the long-term campaigners for the amendments, RSA consultant Russell Steele, gave credit to the CBIA for championing the move.
“It is great to see the Newman Government delivering on its promises to reduce red tape and deliver a solution to the Craft Beer industry in Queensland,” he said.
“These changes also benefit interstate craft breweries by providing a permit scheme they can apply for thanks to the active lobbying of the Craft Beer Industry Association.
“The legislation provides direct to market sales opportunities previously unavailable to these producers at events such as food and wine festivals that was previously unavailable. This news is as good as a cold beer on a hot summer’s day.”
The CBIA issued the media release below today. The proposed amendments are contained in the Liquor and Fair Trading Legislation (Red Tape Reduction) Amendment Bill 2014.
The Craft Beer Industry Association welcomes Queensland Government red tape reforms
The Craft Beer Industry Association (CBIA) is pleased to welcome the broad aspects of the red tape reforms introduced in legislation last week by the Queensland Government and subsequently referred to a Parliamentary committee for review.
The proposed reforms show that the Newman Government recognises the importance of craft beer in Queensland as a growing industry in the areas of tourism and manufacturing.
Under the Government’s proposed legislation craft brewers will be able to pour samples and sell up to nine litres (a standard carton) as takeaway at events such as food festivals and markets.
The Craft Beer Industry Association was heavily involved in the consultative process and lobbied strongly for changes to be made around the volumes allowed for sampling and sales. The CBIA also argued for any changes to the legislation to be extended to all Australian craft brewers rather than just those based in Queensland. The association believe that this will help to contribute to a healthy craft beer community in the state.
“Queensland’s Red Tape Reduction project gave the CBIA an opportunity to focus efforts on driving changes to liquor licensing laws affecting Queensland craft brewers and interstate brewers wanting to promote their products in the Queensland market,” said CBIA Chair Peta Fielding.
“We are very pleased that legislative change is now in the works. This is a step towards enabling the industry to reach its full – and considerable – potential as a contributor to Australian manufacturing, employment and the community. We will continue our efforts in driving sensible, regulatory change in various areas to support this goal.”
There are some minor provisions of the legislation that the association believes could still be improved and it will be making representations to the Parliamentary committee about these.
The CBIA looks forward to an amended Bill being presented and passed by the Queensland Parliament some time early in the new year.
The Craft Beer Industry Association is committed to working with all state governments to introduce standard licensing conditions for craft brewers across the country.
Notes to editors
About the Craft Beer Industry Association
The CBIA, founded in 2011, is a trade association representing Australia’s craft brewers. It is the independent voice shaping and driving the future of Australian craft beer. The CBIA defines an Australian craft brewer as a brewer that produces less than 40 million litres per annum.