Carbon tax crusade
THE Federal Opposition has proven they have a few tricks up their sleeve as debate over the federal gove r nment’s c o nt r o v e r s i a l c a r b o n t a x p o l i c y t o o k centre stage in Townsville yesterday.
Queensland Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek and federal Opposition spokesman for Climate Action Greg Hunt touched down in Townsville to brief local leaders on the policy’s potential impacts.
Herbert MP Ewen Jones, Hinchinbrook MP Andrew Cripps and Deputy Mayor David Crisafulli were yesterday told of the potential fallout for North Queensland families.
The tax is expected to bring higher prices for electricity, fuel and food when introduced from July next year.
M r H u n t s a i d N o r t h Queensland motorists could be paying at least 6.5 cents a litre more for fuel and an extra $ 300 on their annual power bill under Labor’s UNITED: Hinchinbrook MP Andrew Cripps, Queensland Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek, Herbert MP Ewen Jones and federal Opposition spokesman for climate action Greg Hunt discuss the carbon tax at Lamberts Food and Produce carbon tax, while small businesses would be hit with a substantial increase on electricity charges each year.
‘ ‘ T h i s t a x i s a t r i p l e whammy for the people of North Queensland,’ ’ he said.‘‘ The carbon tax poses a real threat to the cost of living for mums and dads and pensioners living in Townsville.
‘‘ For small business there is a $ 30,000 rise in the cost of electricity that could amount to the loss of a parttime job for somebody.
‘‘ Local extractive industries such as nickel processing will be far less competitive with overseas companies without reducing global emissions.
‘‘ Whether it’s in the first year or whether the govern- ment decides to play a game and defer the costs until after the election, those price rises are coming.’’
Mr Langbroek said North Queenslanders were set to feel the brunt of the tax.
‘‘ North Queensland will be affected more if anything, because of electricity use t hrough air-conditioners and clothes dryers not to mention added transport costs,’’ he said. ‘‘ Queensland as a whole will feel the effects more than any other state because of our mining sector.
‘‘ We’re all worried about the future and maintaining our environment but we are also worried about 2011 and securing jobs for our kids and growth in our state.
‘ ‘ P r e mi e r Anna Bl i g h should be standing up and opposing this decision on behalf of Queensland.’’
The Federal Government recently announced plans to impose a fixed price on carbon from July 1, 2012.
Cr Crisafulli said ratepayers couldn’t afford to carry any further financial burdens.
‘‘ There are just so many costs associated with this policy that the community just can’t afford to cover.’’
Mr Jones said he would stand up for North Queenslanders’ rights as the issue went through parliament.
‘‘ It’s not like living in Melbourne or somewhere like that where you have access to a tram or cheap public transport,’’ he said.
‘‘ For me this is an attack on the cost of living and the people who are already struggling to deal with it.’’