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Indigenous-owned brewery produces hand sanitiser to increase WA supply

Rachael Knowles -

With toilet rolls and medical supplies dwindling, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has asked companies to make wartime shifts to produce vital medical supplies due to increasing shortages and disruptions to existing supply chains.

Responding to the Prime Minister's request, Aboriginal business, SPINIFEX Brewing Co, has partnered with Limestone Coast Brewing to produce High Alcohol Content Hand Sanitiser for supply across Western Australia.

Proud Noongar Yamatji man and SPINIFEX Brewing Co Managing Director, Michael Little, was born and raised in Perth and dreamt of starting his own business from a young age.

"[I] always had dreams to have my own business and to work with a team to develop something that is special," Little said.

"Times are changing at the moment and our supply is slowing down with the brewery, so Limestone and SPINIFEX have come together to work on something different, which is hand sanitiser."

SPINIFEX PROTECT, which began production on March 20, will meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) Grade, producing 80 percent ethanol for maximum effect.

Based in Malaga, WA, Limestone Coast Brewing will produce commercial quantities of High Grade Hand Sanitiser that include elements of Lemon Myrtle, known for its anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

The companies are beginning discussions with the WA Government and the Shire of Broome to fast-track a manufacturing plant in the town.

Due to the risk COVID-19 poses to Indigenous populations, Little said the provision of hand sanitiser to Aboriginal communities is critical in defending them against the virus.

"We are really hoping to support our Indigenous communities within the northwest, and right through WA," Little said.

"A lot of these diseases have the potential to wipe out our communities and that is something we don't want."

"If one step can make an improvement within our communities and keep [them] active and alive and ongoing, I suppose, it is a breakthrough, making sure people don't get sick."

Little hopes to inspire other companies to consider doing their part to fight the virus.

"As a business, we all have to make money somehow, but we also need to think outside of the box and think about how we can support everyone at need during this time, especially with this virus right now."

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By Rachael Knowles

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