Car­bon tax cru­sade

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Ryan Mathe­son ryan. mathe­son@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.’’

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