FEDERAL MP Warren Entsch has taken aim at the Carbon Tax on behalf of people in Leichhardt in a bid to raise awareness of the impact that the tax will have on local families, businesses and tourism operators.
Mr Entsch has today launched a petition on his website, Can You Afford The Carbon Tax? giving Leichhardt residents the opportunity to register their opposition.
And he will also address the House on Tuesday night during Adjournment Debate to highlight local case studies – from refrigeration businesses who face huge increases in the cost of refrigeration gas, to the impact of rising transport costs on Northern Queensland producers and businesses.
Speaking in parliament on May 29, Mr Entsch told the government that the tourism industry will be among those hardest hit when the Carbon Tax comes into effect on July 1.
“Increases in fuel prices will hit these small businesses hard – fuel is one of the biggest expenses for companies offering coach tours into the Daintree Rainforest, dive trips to the Great Barrier Reef and scenic flights around Cape York,” Mr Entsch commented.
“They work on wafer-thin margins as it is, they can’t afford to wear these costs, particularly after the very, very tough few years the industry has had as a result of the high Australian dollar, the disastrous start to 2011 and low economic confidence.”
Mr Entsch said that while the government had “loudly trumpeted” the Family Assistance Package and School Kids bonus, in reality it was a flash in the pan – all on borrowed money – to try and lessen the blow of the Carbon Tax on top of already increasing Cost of Living expenses.
ABS Consumer Price Index figures show that between 2007 and 2012, education costs have risen by 31 per cent, water and sewerage prices have gone up 59 per cent, electricity costs up 66 per cent, gas prices up 39 per cent and health costs up 25 per cent.
Mr Entsch has already spoken to marine operators and boaties in the North who fear that the tax will be the final nail in the coffin for their businesses, and they won’t need to wait until the closure of the Coral Sea.
In the Daintree, the slashing of the diesel fuel rebate from 38 to 32 cents per litre means additional costs to low income families and pensioners and reveals the compensation is a farce, he said.
Not for profit organisations such as Meals on Wheels, who work on the thinnest of margins to better the living and social situations for many sectors of the community, will be put under increasing pressure.
In areas where agriculture and pastoralism are strong, producers face increasing water tariffs and an additional load of Carbon Tax price hikes on energy and transport costs.
And Cairns Regional Council is still waiting to hear how much it will pay in substantial extra costs on landfill after natural disasters.
“Air fares are going to rise so it will cost more to come here, hotel rooms are going up so it will cost more to stay here and entertainment will be more expensive so it will cost more to play here,” Mr Entsch said.
“Julia Gillard promised that there will be no Carbon Tax under a government she leads.
“This was clearly a blatant lie, given that the introduction of the Carbon Tax is now imminent. This tax will increase prices, cost jobs and not help the environment one little bit.”
Mr Entsch is urging people to visit his website, www.warrenentsch.com.au, to register their opposition through the Can You Afford The Carbon Tax? portal.
Alternatively, as people start noticing the effects of the tax through rising costs and other impacts, Mr Entsch is urging them to email him directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
He is calling for specific examples from industries that are highly affected – including butchers, bakeries, drycleaners, bottle shops, restaurants, fruit and vegetable outlets and others.
The Coalition has committed to rescinding the Carbon Tax.