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Neville backs iconic Bundy Rum Bear.

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Paul Neville MP Federal Member for Hinkler

Neville Backs Iconic Bundy Rum Bear

Member for Hinkler Paul Neville has defended one of Bundaberg’s key employers after Labor launched a cheap attack on Bundaberg Rum in Parliament today.

Health Minister Nicola Roxon accused Mr Neville of being a lackey to the distilling industry and encouraging binge drinking because he proudly displays a Bundy Rum Bear in his Parliament office window.

In a personal explanation to the Parliament, Mr Neville said he’d never promoted binge drinking, but had in fact promoted responsible drinking and pointed out that RTDs were a method of delivering that.

“I make no apology for promoting and supporting our local industries and I’m disgusted that the Minister has misrepresented Bundaberg Rum and its employees,” he said.

“The Minister’s attempt at smearing me has also smeared the dozens of local people employed by Bundaberg Rum.

“This is a company which has invested millions of dollars in the local area, expanding its manufacturing capacity and building a state of the art tourist centre - all to the benefit of Bundaberg’s economy, that of the entire region and Queensland tourism in general.

“Labor has tried to undermine all that by using Bundaberg Rum as a political football.”

Mr Neville pointed out that the Bundy Rum Bear was a light-hearted advertising vehicle and one of Australia’s most recognisable icons.

“In fact, the Bundy Rum Bear made the Queensland Heritage Icons List in 2004. Does the Minister’s criticism also extend to the Heritage Trust of Queensland?

“And why has the Minister chosen to single out the distilling industry? Are the wine and brewing industries the next targets in her sights?”

Kate Barwick Media/Research Office of Paul Neville MP Federal Member for Hinkler

Ph: 07 41520744

Mobile: 0408 072 809 Fax: 07 41531752 Email: kate. au Paul Neville Delivers

17 June 2008