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Thursday, 18 August 2011
Page: 8630

Mrs MARKUS (Macquarie) (16:49): I want to draw the attention of the House to the adverse effects that the carbon tax will have on all of Australia and, more particularly, many of the people that live in my electorate. Those that I have talked to in recent weeks, particularly small business owners, manufacturers, families and seniors, are deeply concerned about how the tax will impact them directly. These are good, hardworking Australians who try on a daily basis to make ends meet to provide both for themselves and for their loved ones. Many business owners with vision, with plans and ideas not just for their future but for the future of all those that work for them and for their families, are putting those ideas to one side. They are concerned about the effects that the carbon tax will have on their capacity to build their businesses and to build businesses that will be able to employ and build the lives of workers that are part of their workforce.

A local bed and breakfast owner in Faulconbridge is worried about how the carbon tax will affect his electricity prices and his already very low margins. A local manufacturing company that has operated for nearly 20 years, based in Mulgrave, is another example. This company specialises in distributing mining related products and has seen a marked decrease in customer inquiries as miners begin to put jobs on hold. Another company in South Windsor who employs around 30 staff members has seen electricity prices skyrocket. They are uncertain about how they will be able to pass the costs on to their consumers and keep all their workforce if electricity prices continue to rise, particularly as a result of the carbon tax. There is also a particularly wonderful woman, a senior citizen, who lives in Springwood who is deeply concerned about how she and her friends are going to be able to afford to keep themselves warm in the middle of winter in the mountains. I want to highlight one thing: there is no compensation for small business. To implement a carbon tax would damage the economic prospects of our great nation, of these small business owners and of every pensioner and family that resides in the seat of Macquarie.