REQUEST TO DELAY CARBON PRICING IN SENATE

Written on the 14 October 2011

REQUEST TO DELAY CARBON PRICING IN SENATE

QUEENSLAND businesses are asking the Federal Senate to delay implementing carbon pricing mechanisms under the Clean Energy Bills 2011.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) president David Goodwin (pictured) says the Senate should wait for more countries to take action because the forecast power and transport price hikes will severely impact on enterprises.

“A carbon pricing mechanism will sound the death knell for many Queensland businesses particularly those trading internationally, competing against imports, operating in regional areas – or in the agriculture, tourism or mining sectors,” says Goodwin.

“Overseas boardrooms are now laughing at Australia and how the Federal Government has put Australian businesses at such an international trade disadvantage.”

Super Amart CEO Eddie MacDonald says any climate change action should be done in sync with other countries and the biggest polluters.

“Doing it ourselves won’t make a difference. It should involve the bigger polluters. I think the carbon pricing will just move dirtier industries offshore and worsen the environment in those countries,” says MacDonald.

CCIQ research shows a carbon pricing mechanism’s effect on small to medium enterprises will be moderate to critical on business profitability, employment, investment and viability.

MacDonald says the mechanism will inevitably increase the cost of doing business.

“Queensland businesses have really struggled through the recession and haven’t recovered yet,” he says.

“There will be less disposable income for consumers to spend. The smaller enterprises will suffer as a result of this in their sales.”

Super Amart’s 2011 financial year revenue was $400 million, representing a 10 per cent increase on the previous period. The Springwood-headquartered furniture retailer will proceed with plans to open a second store in Melbourne and yet another in Perth by Christmas.

Goodwin says although the private sector has a moral obligation to minimise its environmental footprints, business is struggling with rising utilities costs and low consumer confidence.

Digga CEO Suzie Wright has warned the predicted jump in electricity rates will make it too expensive for her factory to use heat treatment and laser-cutting methods for local drilling equipment manufacturing. In the past three years, the Yatala-based company’s revenue and profit has dropped by 17.3 per cent and 45 per cent respectively.


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