Australian household items like Vegemite are now being used to brew alcohol in dry Indigenous communities.
12 Nov 2013 - 5:04 PM  UPDATED 12 Nov 2013 - 6:59 PM

The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), has expressed concern at the growth of homebrew alcohol in Murri communities.

Drinkers are now using everyday household items such as Vegemite and Ribena Juice to make their alcohol.

Vegemite is a by-product of the alcohol industry, particularly for brewing beer, but now it’s being used in Indigenous communities as a substitute ingredient in home brewing.

Homebrew has become increasingly popular since the implementation of alcohol restrictions in remote areas across Queensland.

The former ALP Government implemented Alcohol Management Plans to reduce violence, but the LNP is looking to remove them, claiming they are discriminatory.

CEO of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, Selwyn Button, said he was concerned about the growing homebrew industry.

Mr Button says it can lead to health problems such as type 2 diabetes. In severe cases, Indigenous people may be hospitalised from consuming a ‘bad batch’.

QAIHC is also concerned about people being charged with breaking the alcohol restrictions already in place.

The non-payment of fines can lead to conviction, imprisonment and further dysfunction in the community.

The Queensland Government says it will consider lifting alcohol bans in some communities if they can prove it will not cause problems.

Editor’s Note:

For a closer examination of this issue, we invite you to read NITV News’ 2015 coverage of the same claims that Vegemite is being used to brew alcohol in Indigenous communities.

The story that you are on now is from the NITV News archives. It makes the same mistake that NITV News called mainstream media out on in 2015 – taking the claims at face value.

In 2015, we took an opposing position on a global media beat-up that negatively stereotyped Aboriginal people and sensationalised the very serious issue of alcohol abuse in remote communities. 

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