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Local mines slam carbon tax

Tuesday, 12th July, 2011

Perilya and CBH have claimed that the carbon tax will reduce their competitiveness with overseas traders.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Sunday announced the details of the $23-a-tonne carbon tax which begins next July.

Perilya’s Managing Director, Paul Arndt, said yesterday that the tax will affect its Broken Hill mine.

Mr Arndt said until he reads through the Federal Government legislation he will not know exactly how the company will be hurt locally and nationally but he said that “any tax that goes to the heart of affecting competitiveness is not a good tax.”

“A carbon tax on its own may or may not be the deciding factor in competitiveness,” he said.

Mr Arndt also said that mining companies, unlike some other businesses, were not able to pass on the cost of the tax to consumers.

CBH Managing Director, Stephen Dennis, told the BDT that the costs involved in running their mines will rise.

“It will affect CBH in terms of its cost of operations,” Mr Dennis said.

He said power companies would pass on the costs to businesses and these included mining companies.

“It’ll significantly affect our bottom line,” Mr Dennis said.

He described the carbon tax as a “dreadful” idea which would not achieve its stated objective of improving the environment.

“It’s going to be affecting in a negative way on competition,” he said.

He said he felt that Ms Gillard’s description of businesses as the “big polluters” was an insult.

“These businesses are the backbone of the country and they are being talked about as if they are the big, bad bogeyman, “ Mr Dennis said.

“It is unlikely renewable energy could ever be a base load source of power in this country.”

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