Crafty cut for beers THERE were cheers all around about a tax cut for craft beer brewers after last week’s federal budget but price drops are unlikely to trickle down to drinkers. Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has decided smaller brewing businesses will no longer be slugged a higher excise rate on smaller kegs under 48 litres in volume. Mr Morrison and Coalition finance minister Mattias Corman visited a brewery in Canberra to toast the craft beer tax drop ahead of the 2018-19 federal budget released on Tuesday 8 May. Dunkley Liberal MP Chris Crewther hailed the tax relief measure as “giving local brewers a fair go” when competing against major brewing firms. “Previously, beer kegs larger than 48 litres have been taxed at a lower rate than smaller kegs, which meant that craft breweries were already having to start behind large companies, with far more resources and buying power than microbreweries,” Mr Crewther said. “This was ridiculous and unfair and it is something I met with Mr Banks brewery in Seaford and Mornington Peninsula Brewery in Mornington about, and then put in advocacy to get changed.” The alcohol excise refund scheme cap will rise from $30,000 a year to $100,000, from 1 July next year for all brewers and distillers. Dan Dainton, co-founder of Dainton Family Brewery in Carrum Downs welcomed the excise change. “It’s a big improvement on an archaic tax that makes producing beer on a small and medium scale pretty expen-
sive,” Mr Dainton said. “The ability to claim $100,000 is fantastic and much welcomed, though it is far from the $500,000 that wine and cider producers can claim. So the playing field is still quite unequal in that regard.” Mr Dainton said the tax relief would mean the business could hire more staff. He said drinkers shouldn’t necessarily raise a glass to cheaper craft beer though. “I doubt it will have any impact on pricing for the consumer as energy prices are increasing dramatically,” Mr Dainton said. He said smaller kegs are easier to move and 50-litre kegs weigh about 65kg. “All in all I think it is a smart move for businesses and for the health and safety of everyone involved.” The Independent Brewers Association also welcomed the excise rebate. “Australia’s 450 small, independent brewers will take that additional excise rebate and invest it back in their businesses,” association CEO Ben Kooyman said. “That will mean they will be able to increase their production, invest in quality improvement and most importantly hire more staff to join over 2400 Australians the industry already employs.” Big brewers will also benefit from a flattening of the excise rate if they use smaller kegs. Major corporations including have moved into the “craft beer” label space prompting the IBA to highlight the differences between larger craft beer brewers and smaller independent businesses. Neil Walker
Taking on the big beer brewers: Father and son team Kevin and Dan Dainton established the Dainton Family Brewery in Carrum Downs just over two years ago. Picture: Supplied
MP against electorate changes Neil Walker firstname.lastname@example.org FEDERAL Liberal MP Chris Crewther is lobbying the Australian Electoral Commission to prevent boundary changes to his electorate of Dunkley. Mr Crewther, who won the seat at the 2016 federal election with a slim majority, would face a tight fight to hold the seat if proposed AEC electorate boundary changes are made later this year. The Dunkley electorate will lose Mornington and the northern part of Baxter in its south to the seat of Flinders, held by Liberal MP Greg Hunt, and gain Carrum Downs, Sandhurst and Skye to the north from the Isaacs electorate, held by Labor MP Mark Dreyfus, if the changes become reality ahead of the next federal election. ABC elections analyst Antony Green
estimates Dunkley would become winnable for Labor with a margin of 0.9 per cent based on votes cast in 2016. Mr Crewther wrote to community groups such as Baxter residents and traders group BRATPAC urging them to make submissions to the AEC objecting to the planned Dunkley electorate boundary changes. In an email to BRATPAC seen by The Times, Mr Crewther said: “The proposal that they have indicated would mean that Baxter and Mornington would no longer be considered part of the Dunkley electorate – they would go into the Flinders electorate. “Clearly I am not at all in agreement with this suggestion as I believe that Baxter is a vital part of the Dunkley electorate and very much a part of the lovely village/country feel that we all love and enjoy. I also believe Baxter, Mornington and Frankston are intrinsi-
cally connected.” Mr Crewther listed several potential objections to the boundary change in the email to BRATPAC. “This of course must be BRATPAC’s own submission in its/your own words. The AEC will likely favour arguments around combining suburbs/towns insofar as possible, linking ‘communities of interest’ and clear geographical boundaries (such as roads, locality borders, waterways, etc). “They are not interested in political arguments around seat marginality (and associated funding), or whether the redistribution will favour one party or another.” The AEC is proposing changes to several electorate boundaries across the state in a reorganisation of electorates to accomodate two new electorates to reflect population growth and changes. One new electorate will be called
Monash, taking in the eastern and northern parts of the existing Flinders electorate, and the other will be the Fraser electorate in Melbourne’s western suburbs. BRATPAC founding chairman Peter Baulch submitted objections to the Dunkley changes in both BRATPAC’s and his behalf on 1 and 2 May respectively. Mr Crewther’s email to Mr Baulch and BRATPAC was dated 29 April. AEC spokesman Evan Ekin-Smyth said “there is nothing preventing” MPs encouraging community groups or residents to make submissions to the federal independent agency that coordinates and supervises federal elections and referendums. “It is fine for any person or organisation to campaign for a particular change to boundaries or names of electoral divisions or for people to object to a pro-
posal,” Mr Ekin-Smyth said. When contacted by The Times, Mr Baulch said he believes the south part of Baxter should be moved from the Flinders electorate into Dunkley and all of Baxter should be placed in the Dunkley electorate. “The community shouldn’t be divided by electorate boundaries,” he said. “All of it should be in Dunkley because Baxter identifies with Frankston and Mornington and has no ties with the southern part of the peninsula.” Submissions to the AEC closed on 18 May. Individuals and organisations can make comments about the submissions until 6pm on Friday 18 May at aec.gov. au/electorates/redistributions online or by calling the AEC on 13 23 26. A decision on the changes will be made in June and a reported tabled for the Victorian Parliament in July.
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14 May 2018
Frankston Times 14 May 2018