90 second statement - Export Awards, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks
Mr PITT (Hinkler) (13:46): Earlier this year, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks—the maker of Hinkler's iconic ginger beer—was named 2013 Queensland Exporter of the Year. As well as winning the award for manufacturing, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks was a finalist in the agribusiness and regional exporter categories.
The family-owned company started out in 1960. Today it employs more than 150 people and is taking its beverage products to 33 countries. The company's success should be a source of inspiration to other family-owned regional businesses. It is a clear example of how exporting can bring significant benefits to the local economy.
Winners of state and territory export awards automatically qualify as finalists in the Prime Minister's Exporter of the Year Award. The national winners will be announced this coming Tuesday at the National Gallery of Victoria, in Melbourne. While this year's finalists represent some of the best performers in Australia's $300 billion-a-year export sector, I am confident Queensland businesses will do us proud again this year.
Exports comprise about 20 per cent of Australia's gross domestic product and help support about 1.5 million jobs. This year's finalists earned over $9 billion in export revenue in 2012 and employed more than 22,000 people. The Australian Export Awards recognise their efforts and celebrate their achievements.
I congratulate Bundaberg Brewed Drinks on their success to date and wish them the very best of luck at the Prime Minister's Exporter of the Year Award.