Tuesday, 31 March 2020
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Distillers swap rum making for sanitiser

Queensland distilleries are seeing to it that Queensland has a steady supply of hand sanitiser.

Beenleigh Rum will be swapping rum production for sanitiser production to supply schools and front line workers.

Bundaberg Rum will donate 100,000 litres of ethanol to make hand sanitiser – enough to produce around 500,000 bottles – to the Queensland Government.

And Tamborine Mountain Distillery has swapped production on their numerous liquers to making hand sanitiser.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said Beenleigh Rum Distillery and Bundaberg Rum Distillery will focus on the production of ethanol for hand sanitiser immediately, using existing production lines and staff.

“My department has reached out to Queensland manufacturers, and the response, particularly from two of the most-loved brands in our state, shows just how much local companies are willing to do to help Queenslanders," Mr Dick said.

"The Department of State Development is working to identify more manufacturers around the state who can quickly transition to the production of hand sanitiser.

“I can’t thank these mighty Queensland manufacturers enough.”

The minister said the government wanted to see more of this and are ready to work with and support manufacturers.  

“This is the time to think laterally and broadly about how you and your business can adapt and contribute to our state’s COVID-19 coronavirus response. 

“You might think it’s a long shot but innovation is critical right now, and when it comes to manufacturing there’s no state more innovative than Queensland.”

“Manufacturers can complete a short online form at qld.gov.au/qld-supplies and we’ll work to connect them with any new suppliers, producers and networks they may need.

The managing director of the parent company of the Beenleigh Distillery, Angelo Kotses, said the idea came from the need to keep their own workers safe.

“Ethanol is the key ingredient of hand sanitiser, and we already produce ethanol for our alcohol products," Mr Kotses said.

“We originally planned a small run of only 1500 cartons, but when the Queensland Government approached us we were more than happy to help by providing hand sanitiser for essential needs throughout the state.”