Bundy Rum's open letter to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
THE makers of our iconic spirit, Bundaberg Rum, are calling for a fair go, saying the state's liquor laws unfairly restrict the company.
Bundaberg Distilling Company chair Kylie McPherson has ramped up a campaign to change the rules, penning an open letter to all state election candidates.
"For over 125 years Queenslanders in Bundaberg have been crafting our iconic and award-winning Bundaberg Rum," she writes.
"We directly employ 34 people at the distillery and contribute millions more dollars to the Queensland economy.
"Since the $8.5m upgrade of our visitor centre in August 2016 we are growing tourist numbers year-on-year, over 70% of whom come from outside the region.
"Despite being an economically important Queensland brand, Queensland liquor laws unfairly target our products.
"Under our liquor laws after midnight Queenslanders can go into a pub or a hotel and buy a large glass of wine (1.9 standard drinks) or a pint of beer (2.25 standard drinks), but they cannot buy a can of Bundaberg Rum OP & Cola (1.9 standard drinks).
"It makes no sense that a consumer can buy some drinks after midnight which have more standard drinks, but others with less standard drinks are banned.
"This unfair law is hurting our business.
"It seems counter-productive that an economically important Queensland product is unfairly discriminated against in its own state.
"A Queensland Police breathalyser doesn't distinguish between alcohol types and neither should Queensland regulation.
"Alcohol is alcohol.
"To Queensland's politic al leaders -Bundaberg Rum is asking for an election commitment from each of you to fix this anomaly in Queensland's liquor laws if you form government, and to treat all forms of alcohol equally.
"Bundaberg Rum support strong and fair liquor laws.
"A more commonsense approach will support Bundy and the wider hospitality industry.
"It's time to stand up for what's fair. It's time for our leaders to stick up for a Queenslander."
Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the community was dismayed by alcohol-fuelled violence and had demanded action.
"The ban on the service of high alcohol content and rapid intoxication drinks after midnight is an important part of our approach," she said.
Ms Donaldson said rapid or excessive consumption of alcohol overwhelmed the body's capacity to clear alcohol, elevating the risk of harm."
She said many Bundaberg Rum products were not captured by the law, including Mutiny Spiced Rum & Zero Sugar Cola, Bundaberg Red & Cola, Bundaberg UP Rum & Cola, Bundaberg UP Bare Rum & Cola and Bundaberg UP Rum Mid-strength & Cola.
"We undertook a wide ranging consultation process for the Tackling Alcohol Fuelled Violence package."