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Monday, 20 August 2012
Page: 9196

WYATT ROY (Longman) (20:57): I rise tonight to again speak out in support of locals who are being hit hard by the carbon tax. Last week marked the shameful anniversary oftwo years since our Prime Minister misled theAustralian people and declared that there would be nocarbon tax under a government she led. Local smallbusinesses in our community are now bearing theweight of this deception about a tax that is not onlymaking life much more expensive, but squeezingsmall businesses who are already doing it tough.

On Friday I visited a small business in my electorate , a business that is being hit hard by the carbon tax and is receiving no assistance from the federal Labor government for the pain it is causing. I spoke with Craig , from the local Foodworks in Burpengary, who has just been notified by his electricity company that his costs have gone up dramatically due to the carbon tax. Craig receives monthly accounts for his electricity and , upon receiving his July account, realised that his business was footing a $1 , 300 carbon tax bill for one month alone! Th at amount is exactly what Craig's bill actually specifies he is paying for the carbon tax alone. What is clear is that, in contrast with what this Labor government is trying to spin, small businesses are indeed facing huge costs under the carbon tax. Craig's b usiness will be paying more than $15, 500 each year in carbon tax on his electricity alone , which does no t account for his increased costs in fresh produce, freight or meat products, despite the fact that he has had assurances from supplie r s that prices will definitely be rising as a result of the carbon tax. Craig pointed out that :

The carbon tax is going to cost people their jobs and hurt them in the hip pocket. We'll absorb as much as we can but we can't possibly absorb 100 per cent of the cost of the carbon tax.

I was also speaking with another local business on Friday, Redsell Air, whose costs are also rising. The main impost for Redsell Air is refrigeration gas. The cost of the most common type of refrigeration gas has increased by over 350 per cent with the carbon tax. Tony from Redsell Air told me that he was already well aware of the ways the carbon tax will hurt his business. Tony said:

The carbon tax is already having a clear impact on costs for our business. Refrigerant gas has been hit hard with the carbon tax. Prior to 1st July, our most common type of refrigerant gas was $31.40 per kilo. After the 1st of July, it is $112.82 per kilo, directly due to the impact of the carbon tax. This is more than a 350 per cent rise in the cost for what is a key factor in our business.

Last week I also spoke extensively with my two local chambers of commerce. The President of the Bribie Island Chamber of Commerce told me that her members are very concerned about their future prospects under the carbon tax. She said:

People know they will be hit hard with the carbon tax, and many people just aren't spending money. Local businesses are the ones who ultimately lose out.

She further said:

More businesses are closing now than with the GFC. For small business the killer is that customers are not spending money because they are frightened to get their electricity bills.

Commerce Caboolture reports a similar story, saying:

There is little doubt that the recently introduced carbon tax will increase the costs of all businesses. With consumer and business confidence low, there is a great deal of uncertainty about how much of those costs can be passed on. This means that businesses that have been doing it tough already may be squeezed even further.

I note with some obvious interest tonight that the Labor party has preselected its candidate for the Federal seat of Longman at the next election. Let me take this, the first available opportunity, to sincerely congratulate my opponent. I know it is not an easy thing to be preselected by a major political party. I note that he stated in his media release:

I believe our MPs should understand the day to day cost of living pressures in our area.

Well, I would love to know how the carbon tax is going to help one person in our local community. How is any one of the 26 new or increased taxes since federal Labor came to power going to help locals in our community?

The coalition has a very clear plan for how it will help Australians. We will restore hope, reward and opportunity. We will reduce cost-of-living pressures, grow the economy, strengthen the nation and deliver the stable and accountable government Australians deserve.