Tax uncertainty lingers

THE Federal Government's carbon tax is due to officially come into effect in less than a month.

Uncertainty still reigns supreme in many quarters about how exactly the new tax will impact businesses, consumers and everyone in between.

While it has been announced the carbon price equivalent won't be imposed on the road-transport sector until July 2014, many in the industry say they face uncertain futures over what I believe to be an unnecessary tax.

Our own council is still trying to quantify any impacts the new tax may have on our operations, with particular concern for the emissions our landfills generate, which could put us over the threshold and see us paying the tax.

I am also concerned about how the tax will impact our larger industry players in the Lockyer Valley, particularly our sandstone quarry operations, and down the track our heavy-vehicle transport operators.

To me, the carbon tax is completely flawed in what it will set out to achieve. I don't profess to be an expert but what I do know is Australia is a relatively small player when it comes to world carbon emissions and when countries like China, India and Russia continue to pump out huge emissions virtually unchecked, then I fail to see how this tax will fix anything.

Just last week Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls put out some startling figures on how the tax could impact Queenslanders.

He said by the year 2020 as many as 21,000 Queensland jobs could be lost, real wages could be reduced up to $2940 and Queensland's gross state product could take a whopping $9.6 billion hit as a result of the carbon tax.

Mr Nicholls said these figures were modelled by Queensland Treasury and Deloitte Access Economics, which used the Federal Government's own assumptions.

It makes for pretty scary reading in already uncertain economic times.

Let's hope the breathing space provided to the heavy transport industry is enough to allow operators to look at ways to reduce their emissions and increase their fuel efficiency.

Without these measures, it's a worrying thought about what might happen to many transport operators as a result of the carbon tax.

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