On 24 March the Queensland Government announced that Bundaberg Rum is donating 100,000 litres of ethanol that will be used in the production of around 500,000 bottles (250ml) of hand sanitiser across the state.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the 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 this response shows just how much local companies are willing to do to help Queenslanders. I can’t thank these mighty Queensland manufacturers enough. We want to see more of this and are ready and eager to work with and support manufacturers who can help us get more products into our hospitals, our schools and our supermarkets and stores.”

David Smith, Managing Director of Bundaberg Rum’s parent company Diageo Australia, said the company had a duty to support the community in this unprecedented time of need through its donation of ethanol. “Bundaberg Rum is a Queensland icon, we’ve felt the love of Australians since our distillery was first established more than 130 years ago in 1888," Mr Smith said. "At a time like this we will always step up and contribute when Australians need it most."

This will provide a much needed supply and is part of a global response by Diageo to help produce more than 8 million bottles of hand sanitisers in countries around the world. In these difficult times, it is a good news story of how iconic Queensland brands can play their part.