The Rum Rebellion: Bundaberg’s Campaign Against Aus Spirits Tax.

January 22, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Aussie rum icon Bundaberg is taking a very true-blue stance against the twice-yearly increases to the Australian spirits tax rate, launching a public marketing campaign that will highlight the extent to which spirits companies down under are taxed.

The statewide Queensland campaign will include a mixture of billboards, radio announcements and social media advertisements in a effort to urge the Federal Government to freeze the twice-yearly increases. As it stands, 63% of the revenue from every 1L bottle of Bundaberg Rum UP is sent straight to the government through tax excise. 

“We’ve been talking to Bundaberg Rum customers across the length and breadth of this great state and we know many of them are doing it tough,” said Amanda Lampe, Chair of the Bundaberg Distilling Co. 

“They know alcohol should be taxed, but a 63 per cent tax on a 1L bottle of Bundy UP just seems outrageous.”

Australia’s spirits are currently the third-most taxed in the world, trailing only Iceland and Norway. Whilst not denying the importance of taxing alcohol, Amanda believes current taxation levels are making it difficult for companies to remain profitable. 

“We know this isn’t a problem that the current Federal Government created, but today we’re asking them to help fix it by freezing the excise on spirits, because the tax on Bundy is frankly too much to bear.”

Paul McLeay, CEO of the Australian Distillers Association, has shared his support for the new campaign. 

“It’s great to see an iconic brand like Bundaberg Rum stand up and say this tax has gotten out of hand, because it’s also wreaking havoc on the hundreds of small, emerging distilleries we have right around the country.”

There are currently 600 spirits distilleries that call Australia home. However, if taxes continues to increase, many smaller players will likely suffer in consequence. 

“If the Australian Government wants to make good on its rhetoric and encourage our tourism and manufacturing industries, then it should stop and think about the impact of policies like this one, which serves as a handbrake on the potential of Australia’s spirits industry.”

More information about alcohol tax rates can be found here.

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