Australia’s favourite spread, Vegemite, is being taken off shelves in remote communities across Queensland, with authorities concerned i’s being used to brew beer.
News Corp reports the move is part of a government crackdown on the sale of alcohol in dry communities in Queensland where alcohol-fuelled violence and domestic abuse is a problem.
Indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion said Vegemite was being brewed in backyard bathtubs and children weren’t turning up to school, hungover from drinking the home brew.
Scullion did not specify which townships were using the yeast-based product in this way.
The sale of alcohol is restricted or banned in almost 20 communities across Queensland.
Despite the concerns, prime minister Tony Abbott said there would not be a legislative “Vegemite watch”.
“This is a deregulatory government and the last thing I want to do is to have a Vegemite watch… because Vegemite, quite properly, is for most people a reasonably nutritious spread on your morning toast or on your sandwiches,” he told the ABC.
“What’s important is that we ensure that remote communities, all communities, are being properly policed.”
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