Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler) (16:13): I begin my contribution by tabling a petition of 1,477 signatures calling for an end to the current unfair tax treatment of small brewers in Australia. I do that to support the craft brewing sector, a sector that, I know, has got some bipartisan support in this parliament. The petition recognises the inequity which is there for how the Commonwealth excise is calculated between small- and large-scale brewers, disadvantaging the smaller craft brewers. In simple terms, this means that the current rate of federal excise charged for a keg containing 50 litres of beer is less than the rate charged for a keg containing 30 litres. With excise making up approximately 40 per cent of operating costs for most craft breweries, this must change.
Craft breweries are growing. There are now over 400 around Australia. They are small businesses employing people in local communities and providing a centre for community activity in our suburbs and in our regions right around Australia. They will contribute some $35 billion to the overseas market by 2020. The sector has become an economic powerhouse. With proper support from the federal government, there is enormous potential for future growth. It should get that support.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Claydon ): The document will be forwarded to the Petitions Committee for its consideration. It will be accepted subject to confirmation by the committee that it conforms with the standing orders.