Co-owner of 10 Toes Brewery Rupert Hall has described the emergency services management levy hike of 900 per cent as like giving with one hand and taking with the other.
Co-owner of 10 Toes Brewery Rupert Hall has described the emergency services management levy hike of 900 per cent as like giving with one hand and taking with the other. Nicky Moffat

'Absolutely grotesque': Brewers glassed by tax hike

QUEENSLAND councils now collect more than one billion dollars annually through rate notices that were passed directly to the State Government, LGAQ CEO Greg Hallam has revealed.

The sum was made up of a $440m waste levy that came into affect on July 1 and more than $700 million in emergency services management levies charged against businesses.

Mr Hallam said local government didn't strike the levies or determine their quantum.

The comments come as anger grows over a 900 per cent increase on emergency management levies on microbreweries which raised them from just over $500 annually to more than $5000.

The hike has caught the industry by surprise coming after it last year launched a craft beer initiative to free up red tape.

Rupert Hall of 10 Toes Brewery at Alexandra Headland described the hike as "absolutely grotesque".

He said the State Government's action as like giving with one hand and taking with the other.

"There was no consultation, it just arrived in the rate notice," Mr Hall said.

"There's been no risk assessment. Someone's just made a decision without consultation."

Mr Hall said the industry was experiencing enormous growth on the Sunshine Coast which had gone from a single brewer three years ago to 16 today.

10 Toes had committed to employing extra staff off the back of excise concessions and now faced extra charges that couldn't have been forecast.

"We like to sing a positive song in this industry," he said. "It would have been great to have had more consultation. These are small family businesses. They're giving on one hand and taking with another."

Shadow Minister for Small Business and Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson has called on the government to dump the hike.

She said it was a cruel blow causing operators unfair financial pressure with no justification or consultation beforehand from the State Government.

"The high-taxing Palaszczuk Labor Government can't keep its hands out of people's pockets and now they're even going after their beer," Ms Simpson said.

"They're trying to blame councils, but it is the State Government that sets the rate and it is the State Government that has gazetted a brand new regulation to change the group under which craft breweries are charged the levy.

"They just didn't bother to come clean and tell anyone before they slugged them and now they're trying to blame shift instead of fix the problem."

Are craft brewers taxed too much?

This poll ended on 23 August 2019.

Current Results

Yes, it's ridiculous.

92%

No, I think it's fair.

5%

I'm not sure.

2%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The State Government emergency management levy would rise from $527.80 a year to $5224.20 this year for craft brewers in urban areas.

Manufacturing Minister Cameron Dick has told News Corp the government would work with businesses on a case-by-case basis.

"It's (industry) growing at about 11 per cent a year," he said.

"It's why I have developed a craft brewing strategy for our state and we are providing a number of support mechanisms; a brew lab so new beers can be developed.

"We're looking at creating a brewing course in TAFE and that's on track to commence next year, so of course we'll work with those businesses to ensure they can continue their really vibrant and strong growth because that's what's happening with craft brewing but also ensure we're fair with them when it comes to the levy."


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