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Foster’s sale: another reason to support small Australian brewers; Cascade must remain in South Hobart

Media Release
Christine Milne 22 Sep 2011

The Australian Greens will work to ensure the historic Cascade brewery remains in South Hobart, generating jobs for Tasmanians, and continue to press for reforms to the tax treatment of microbreweries, in the wake of today's announcement that Foster's will be sold to an Anglo-South African company.

"The loss of another of Australia's food and beverages giants to overseas owners raises important questions for us all to consider," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

"As we discuss the sale of prime agricultural land to foreign governments, and the takeover of farmland by coal and coal seam gas miners, we really need to look at how much of our food and beverage production we want to keep in Australian hands.

"For Tasmania, it's important that the Cascade Brewery stays in South Hobart, where it creates and supports local jobs. The Greens' promotion of Tasmania as clean, green and clever was taken up by the Cascade brand and has been a central part of its success, something I'm pleased Premier Giddings acknowledged today.

"Increasingly, iconic Australian brands are being undermined by multi-national takeovers, another reason why we should reform the excise treatment of microbreweries so we can help rebuild an old Australian industry.

"Microbreweries have a special place in Australia's food culture, and they create excellent local jobs in rural and regional areas. Like small wineries, microbreweries are also becoming tourist attraction, spurring further development and job creation across the regions.

"Encouraging businesses to grow will increase total tax receipts, filling government coffers while creating jobs and boosting the regional economy, helping local Australian businesses compete against multi-nationals and imports.

"This is a win all round, as long as we drink our Australian beer responsibly."

Microbreweries can only access the excise refund that other small local producers get if they brew less than 30,000 litres a year. This limit, and the $10,000 cap on the total refund, is stifling the growth of the industry, allowing further market domination by imported beers.


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