‘Stupid’ tax set to increase craft beer prices

CRAFT breweries are bracing for another "tax" after learning they'll be slugged more for the State Government's container refund scheme in a matter of months.

Beverage manufacturers will pay 11.9c for glass from November 1 - up from 10.5c.

Brewers have rubbished the "stupid program" which could end up making consumers pay more. Non-for-profit group Container Exchange (CoEx) - which has been appointed to run the scheme - has attributed the rise to redemption rates being significantly higher than expected.

However Sunshine Coast Brewery owner Greg Curran said: "In the end, the customer, the beer drinker, is going to be paying for it.

"It's just one of those things, the costs keep going up but you can't keep putting the price of your beer up."

Owner of Sunshine Coast Brewery Greg Curran. Photo: John McCutcheon.
Owner of Sunshine Coast Brewery Greg Curran. Photo: John McCutcheon.

Other increases include aluminium which will jump from 9.9 cents to 11.2 cents and varying plastics that will jump between 10.3 cents and 11.9 cents.

CoEx spokesman Adam Nicholson said the Government's $30 million loan enabled them to freeze the price for the first year and bill manufacturers in arrears.

"The Queensland scheme was specifically designed to keep costs down for consumers and beverage manufacturers by using smaller increments based on actual sales data rather than unrealistic projections based on assumptions," he said.

"The real surprise has been the speed at which Queenslanders drove the scheme to this recycling rate - with more than 600 million containers processed, we're 34 per cent above estimates and a long way ahead of where New South Wales was at the same time."

However Independent Brewers Association convener and Ballistic Beer founder David Kitchen slammed it as another tax.

"A great majority of all cans are already recycled," he said.

"We don't contribute to the problem and we've got surveys to prove that.

David Kitchen at Ballistic Brewing. (AAP Image/Josh Woning)
David Kitchen at Ballistic Brewing. (AAP Image/Josh Woning)

"We're being separated from say (the) wine industry who don't have to pay it and there's no logic in that."

Mr Kitchen said he wasn't expecting the hike to be "that high".

"It's effectively a tax," he said.

"It's no surprise is the short answer."

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the scheme's pricing was set by CoEx, with the

Queensland Productivity Commission undertaking price monitoring over the first 12 months to examine the impact on prices.

Shadow environment spokesman David Crisafulli said the LNP championed the container deposit scheme but "sadly flawed projections and poor implementation has led to another wasted opportunity".

It comes after The Courier-Mail revealed multiple craft brewers had received notices from local councils, informing them of an almost 900 per cent increase in the state's emergency management levy.

Manufacturing Minister Cameron Dick yesterday left the door open to revising the levy hike, insisting the Government would work with breweries on a case-by-case basis.

"They'll work with businesses on a case-by-case basis but we're going through a boom when it comes to craft brewing and we're doing everything we can to support craft brewing," he said.



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