Linfox tries to strike down alternative fuel tax

Linfox joins BOC's push to scrap a federal tax on alternative fuels from December this year

Linfox tries to strike down alternative fuel tax
Linfox tries to strike down alternative fuel tax
By Brad Gardner | June 1, 2011

Linfox has joined a campaign to stop the Federal Government from slapping a tax on alternative fuels from December this year.

The transport and logistics operator has sided with bulk gas supplier BOC to scupper the Taxation of Alternative Fuels Legislation Amendment Bill, which will impose a 12.5 cents-a-litre tax on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The changes are due to begin on December 1 and will be phased in to July 1, 2015. Trucking operators will be eligible to claim a rebate under the fuel tax credits scheme.

Linfox has supported BOC Managing Director Colin Isaac’s claims the proposed legislation will disadvantage LNG as an emerging alternative to diesel and other fuels.

Linfox CEO Michael Byrne claims the current Bill will have a significant effect on the environment, regional economies and the supply of goods and fresh produce.

"We support BOC in the development of alternate, cleaner fuels which will reduce carbon emissions and lead to a healthier transport industry,’’ Byrne says.

BOC says Linfox is one of its major suppliers, providing the gas company with 105 vehicles that travel about 8 million km a year.
The Bill will also apply a tax of 19 cents for every cubic metre of compressed natural gas (CNG).

Biodiesel, ethanol and renewable diesel will remain under the current Energy Grants (Cleaner Fuels) Scheme Act, which reimburses users the full 38.14 cents-a-litre the government gathers from the fuel tax.

Isaac claims the Bill will curtail an industry that has the potential to provide energy security and reduce Australia’s carbon emissions.

Tasmanian Independent Andrew Wilkie has already announced he will oppose the Bill on the basis it will cripple the state’s local taxi industry by raising LPG prices.

"I cannot in all conscience vote for an excise that will have such a negative impact on Tasmania," he says.

"A vehicle powered by LPG emits up to 13 percent less carbon emissions than a petrol powered vehicle. This is a cleaner fuel – why slap a tax on it[?]"

The Opposition has also opposed the legislation but supports retaining the grants scheme for biodiesel, ethanol and renewable diesel.

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten says the new tax arrangements will retain the grants scheme for the next 10 years and leave methanol untaxed. He says the Federal Government will review the grants scheme and the stance on methanol after June 30, 2021.

"Australia enjoys the lowest LPG prices in the OECD. By introducing taxation on these fuels we bring Australia into line with the taxation treatment of LPG in most other OECD countries," he says.

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