Trucking to bear down on Canberra over carbon tax

Industry group organises convoy to Canberra in an attempt to force an election on the carbon tax

Trucking to bear down on Canberra over carbon tax
Trucking to bear down on Canberra over carbon tax
By Brad Gardner | July 21, 2011

A trucking group seething over the imposition of a carbon tax is rallying support for a convoy to Canberra to try and force an early election.

The National Road Freighters Association (NRFA) is planning a convoy involving a coalition of industries to descend on the nation’s capital on August 22 to issue a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s government.

NRFA Vice President Darryl Pedersen says "the phones have been running hot" in support of the convoy, which will depart from different parts of the country from August 16.

He claims there needs to be an election on the carbon tax because Gillard went to the last poll stating she would not introduce it.

"Julia Gillard went to the last poll guaranteeing no carbon tax under her government. And she’s now been elected and is turning around and saying, well, sorry folks I’ve changed my mind," Pedersen says.

"That’s not right. That should be done on a democratic system, not on what she wants to do."

Gillard was forced to make deals with the Greens and independents following last year’s election, which delivered a minority government. However, Pedersen believes it is no defence for introducing a carbon tax.

"She made a promise, she’s broken a promise and that should have been a consideration when she was doing the deals to get the support of the independents and the Greens," he says.

Eight separate convoys will depart at different times from multiple centres across Australia, including Western Australia, Queensland, NSW and Victoria, and Pedersen expects a big turnout from a range of industries.

"So far we’ve definitely got a lot of agricultural businesses, some retail. It’s really in the early stages so it’s going to be interesting to see just how many groups come on board. We’re getting a hell of a lot of interest right across the sectors," he says.

"We are not out there to create roadblocks or anything else or act in any derogatory manner. We’re there to take a message clearly to Canberra in a professional way."

Pedersen says he does not believe the findings from Treasury released in conjunction with the carbon tax on July 10 that argue the scheme will have a modest impact on the economy.

"At the end of the day we are just killing off our country, which in turn kills our industry. Carbon tax is a bad tax for all industries in the country I believe," he says

According to the modelling, electricity prices will increase $3.30 per week once the $23 carbon tax begins on July 1, 2012.

The department says CPI will rise by 0.9 percent between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2015, which is the date the tax will transition to an emissions trading scheme.

Furthermore, the modelling says the mining and construction sectors will continue to grow strongly and that the tax will not affect most people.

"The majority of the economy will be largely unaffected by carbon pricing. Industries employing more than 90 per cent of the workforce account for less than 10 per cent of emissions," Treasury says.

The Federal Government says more than half of the revenue raised from the carbon tax will be used to assist households. Revenue will also be used to promote the development of clean energy technology.

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