Busi­ness wary of car­bon tax

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

D E V E L O P M E N T g r o u p Mount Isa to Townsville Eco­nomic Zone wants more in­for­ma­tion on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s plans to in­tro­duce a tax on car­bon but has in­di­cated op­po­si­tion to the move.

The peak re­gional de­vel­op­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion for an area en­com­pass­ing seven coun­cils in­clud­ing Townsville, met in Rich­mond on Fri­day where the is­sue was raised but fur­ther dis­cus­sion was de­ferred un­til more in­for­ma­tion and clar­i­fi­ca­tion was avail­able.

Chair David Glas­son said at this time a car­bon tax, as a straight out tax, would be op­posed by its mem­bers if there was no in­cen­tive or re­turn to busi­ness in the re­gion.

‘‘ MITEZ wel­comes the ex- clu­sion of agri­cul­ture un­der the pro­posed tax on car­bon, how­ever, other in­dus­tries in the re­gion, par­tic­u­larly min­ing and min­er­als pro­cess­ing, need to be pro­tected from ad­di­tional costs of do­ing busi­ness in Aus­tralia as many com­peti­tors op­er­ate in coun­tries where there may be less or no cost to in­dus­try such as a car­bon price,’’ Mr Glas­son said.

Townsville Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent John Carey said the cham­ber also needed more de­tail on the po­ten­tial im­pacts on small b u s i n e s s a n d t h e c i t y ’ s met­als re­fin­ing sec­tor.

Mr Carey said there was also concern about the vi­a­bil­ity of met­als re­fin­ing in Townsville.

‘‘ If, as a con­se­quence of its im­po­si­tion, the re­finer­ies – im­por­tant cogs in our com­mu­nity – be­come un­vi­able, that will be a prob­lem.’’

Townsville branch pres­i­dent of the Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute of Aus­tralia Pat Brady said he per­son­ally b e l i e v e d t he c o mmu­nity needed to ac­knowl­edge there was a cost from car­bon and that putting a price on it was a way of ac­count­ing for that cost.

David Glas­son

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