Action comes with a price

06 Dec 2009Archived News Energetics in the News

PUBLILSHED: Sunday Mail by Carly Hennessy - David Mitchell, Principal Consultant Carbon Solutions, Energetics Pty Ltd talks about how the CPRS tax will be matched by the government.

WORKING families will be paying more at the checkout and petrol pump if the Federal Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme becomes a reality.

Retailers, miners and electricity suppliers are at odds with the Government over the true scale of the price rises. But one thing is clear: Queenslanders will be forced to change the way they run their homes to avoid financial pain.

Government forecasts predict householders will be paying $12 more a week for grocery and energy bills - $624 a year. But industry tips this to be higher.

Australian Food and Grocery Council chief executive Kate Carnell said locally made goods and jobs would be at a serious disadvantage if the scheme were introduced.

She expected grocery prices to rise by 5 per cent.

``Unless our competitors, including Malaysia, China and Indonesia, are subject to the same input costs, Australian manufactured goods will be disadvantaged and jobs will suffer,'' she said.

Retailers Association spokesman Scott Driscoll said the ``massive tax'' was a serious threat to jobs in the retail sector. Petrol prices are expected to rise by up to 10 a litre.

But David Mitchell, from climate change consultancy group Energetics, said this rise would be matched by a government reduction in excise tax.

``It's a change that will get completely lost in the normal weekly (price) cycle,'' Mr Mitchell said.

Ariel Liebman, from the Energy Users Association, predicted electricity prices would rise by 17 per cent from 2011 to 2013, adding $208 to the average household bill over the two years.

But he warned that the CPRS would not be the only driver, citing grid upgrades to further affect prices by another increase of 40 per cent by 2015.

The mining sector believes up to 8000 direct mining jobs are at risk from the emissions scheme, which will be ``the only one in the world that taxes emissions from mining of coal''.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the sector directly and indirectly employed 12 per cent of the state's full-time workforce, and he feared for regional Queensland.

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