Albo seizes on hoax Nolan's email to harangue Abbott

Transport minister cites misleading email plaguing Nolan’s Transport as reason why discussion on carbon tax should stick to the facts

Albo seizes on hoax Nolan's email to harangue Abbott
Albo seizes on hoax Nolan's email to harangue Abbott
By Brad Gardner | May 31, 2012

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has seized on a misleading email plaguing Nolan’s Interstate Transport to urge the need for sensible discussion of the carbon tax.

Armed with a copy of ATN that highlighted Nolan’s frustrations with the deceptive email, Albanese used Question Time yesterday to take aim at Abbott for constantly claiming the tax will wreck the economy, put workers out of the job and close down businesses.

The email inaccurately states the tax will cost Nolan’s more than $3 million when it begins on July 1. It surfaced after Abbott’s visit to the company last year as part of his campaign against the tax and it is still doing the rounds.

It attempts to rally opposition to pricing carbon, but Nolan’s compliance manager Darren Nolan says it is inaccurate and the company is sick of being used "as a political pawn".

"In this month’s issue of Australasian Transport News in an article headlined, ‘Nolan’s fed up over dodgy carbon tax claims’, they ping the carbon price campaign and the scare campaign being run by this leader of the Opposition," Albanese said during Question Time.

"What we need to do when it comes to the price on carbon is to have a rational discussion about what the facts are.

"There will be some increases in prices, though heavy vehicles, of course, are excluded from the scheme until July 1, 2014."

The tax will apply to the industry through an increase in the fuel excise of 6.85 cents per litre.

The anonymous email falsely claims Nolan’s emits 144,700 tonnes of CO2, which will add $3.32 million to the company’s running costs on July 1. However, the Queensland-based trucking firm emitted 28,914 tonnes of CO2 last financial year.

"We are very concerned about its impact on our company, but it wouldn’t cost us anything like the $3 million per year claimed in the email," Nolan told ATN earlier this year.

"It is very frustrating, considering we didn’t send it. That’s the hard thing, we don’t know who sent it or how it’s been distributed. Whoever sent it, it’s definitely for political reasons."

The email has led to politicians, the public and the media contacting the company, forcing Nolan to spend time correcting the false claims in a bid to stop the document circulating.

Albanese says Nolan’s has been a "victim" of Abbott’s campaign and the company regrets inviting him to visit.

"If you see this leader of the Opposition coming to your business, I have a bit of advice for you: lock your doors, because this bloke will just talk down your business," Albanese says.

"He regards it as his role in life to talk down the economic position of businesses, to talk down the Australian economy and to try and scare Australian workers."

In his address to the 2012 Australian Trucking Convention held recently in Sydney, Chris Richardson from consultancy firm Deloitte Access Economics told attendees the financial impact of the carbon tax was being overstated.

He said the impact would be significantly less than that of the GST, adding that an ageing workforce was a more pressing concern.

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