TEN people at Bundaberg Rum will lose their jobs as the distillery moves most of its bottling operation to a site in western Sydney.
A company spokeswoman said the decision came in response to the continued pressure on the business from lower alcohol consumption and the punitive excise tax on spirits and pre-mixed drinks which has seen volumes decline significantly in recent years.
"We remain committed to the Bundaberg Distilling Company and will continue to distil, mature and blend rum at the distillery as we have done for the last 125 years," she said.
"We will also continue to invest in the distillery and in our Visitors Centre which attracts more than 80,000 visitors annually to the Bundaberg region."
She said roles in the bottling and operations area would be affected by the move.
Consultation with employees had begun and the process was expected to take a number of weeks.
"This was not a decision we have taken lightly, however it is a necessary one to ensure the longer term sustainability of the distillery," she said.
Rick Prosser, brand manager for Waterview Distilling, which announced its own start-up last year, said he was saddened for the employees and their families.
He said he planned to have discussions with the laid-off staff since he had worked with them.
The announcement sparked immediate comments on Facebook, with Jamie Murray saying there was no point calling it Bundaberg Rum any more.
Sharon Davies said people supported a local industry to keep jobs in Bundaberg.
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