A new distillery capable of producing 20,000L of spirits per year is set to open at Homebush.
A new distillery capable of producing 20,000L of spirits per year is set to open at Homebush.

New ‘paddock to bottle’ distillery to open this year

A NEW distillery in the Mackay area will transform regionally-produced sugar cane, fruit and botanicals into 20,000L of delightful drops per year.

Mackay Regional Council has approved an application for the Greater Whitsunday Distillery to be constructed on a family-owned sugar cane property at Homebush.

The "paddock to bottle" facility will make a range of spirits including vodka, gin, rum and schnapps with a possible expansion into wine and beer.

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The council stated products would be marketed locally, domestically and internationally, adding value to the Mackay region's economy and promoting its tourism industry.

"The development has potential to enhance our local tourism capacity and provide opportunities to promote our region and the Greater Whitsunday Food Network branding to a larger audience," the approval stated.

Council documents stated the distillery was also an example of a rural property diversifying business opportunities and taking "advantage" of "natural assets".

The proposed plan for the distillery at 162 Bentleys Rd, Homebush. Picture: RPS Australia East Pty Ltd, Mackay Regional Council.
The proposed plan for the distillery at 162 Bentleys Rd, Homebush. Picture: RPS Australia East Pty Ltd, Mackay Regional Council.

The $154,000 privately-funded project at 162 Bentleys Road, 25km southwest of Mackay, is set to begin construction next month ready for an October opening.

It will support eight jobs during the build and three full-time employees once open for business.

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At the Ordinary Meeting this Wednesday, the council will debate the motion put forward for the distillery to be granted a concession of $2931 for infrastructure charges and a 100 per cent discount of food licence fees for the first year of operation followed by 50 per cent for the second.

The application is dependent on the distillery being completed and in operation by July 22, 2022 and council not incurring additional infrastructure costs.

The developer must also use local contractors and suppliers during construction.