Industry opposes carbon tax

The Federal Government's proposed carbon tax will force trucking businesses out, transport advocates warn

By Ruza Zivkusic | March 1, 2011

The Royal Automotive Club of Victoria (RACV) is calling on the Federal Government to address rising petrol pricing by cutting fuel excise.

It wants the government to stand by its promise to ensure that any carbon price for fuel is part of the existing fuel excise.

RACV General Manager Public Policy Brian Negus says the government’s announcement on the carbon tax was "long on rhetoric, short on detail".

"The carbon price should be part of the existing fuel excise," Negus says.

"This was the case with the original emissions trading scheme (ets) and RACV calls on the government and the Prime Minister to honour their previous commitments to offset any carbon tax on fuel with a corresponding drop in excise.

"The announcement by the government is littered with opportunities for them to renege on prior commitments," he adds.

"The government’s commitment to motorists under the emissions trading scheme clearly recognised that the current fuel excise regime overtaxes motorists."

He wants the tax regime to be overhauled "before any further tax is imposed on motorists".

The Victorian Transport Association’s (VTA) Chief Executive Officer Philip Lovel says the tax regime would affect the transport industry greatly.

He says the industry is already financially strained following the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) decision to increase registration fee charges for heavy vehicles by 2.4 percent.

"Everything’s going up; all of the costs are rising and our diesel fuel credit is disappearing very fast," Lovel says.

"Our members are not vocal about the issue because they don’t understand it and what it will do but we know it will make everything more costly; we have to wait and see how it all comes out in the end but we’re just so sick of all the increasing costs imposed by the government," he adds.

"The transport industry is a link between all the businesses and manufacturing industry, imports and exports, it allows major costs for the whole country."

Opposition Leader Tony Abbot vowed on Monday to scrap the tax if he became prime minister.

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