G&S; Engineering chief executive officer Mick Crowe says the tax will make the whole mining industry less viable.
G&S; Engineering chief executive officer Mick Crowe says the tax will make the whole mining industry less viable. Contributed

Businesses to suffer: survey

MACKAY will join businesses across the state that feel the brunt of a carbon tax, according to a survey by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.

The survey shows 750 Queensland businesses will feel the real impact of the tax, suggesting the reduction in coal production of approximately 120 million tonnes by 2020.

Increased fuel charges for rail, bus and air transport, and cost for infrastructure will also be affected.

G&S Engineering chief executive Mick Crowe said the tax would make the whole mining industry less viable.

"The immediate issue is around discouraging current investment through the tax.

"Thinking long term for the region, we need to get as much infrastructure and investment built as possible," Mr Crowe said.

"The major impact for the mining industry and our region is the carbon tax charged on fugitive emissions, which is the gas released in mining coal.

"This gas is released when you mine coal here or anywhere else in the world.

"The whole point of a carbon tax is to drive the behaviour which reduces emissions and if our export coal is simply mined somewhere else in the world, it's still producing emissions," he said.

The introduction of the tax would harm the lifecycle of exporting, he said.

"The coal will be mined else where, the world is not going to drop its consumption of coal just because Australia introduces a carbon tax, we'll just lose the jobs and export opportunity to elsewhere," he said.

CCIQ president David Goodwin said businesses acknowledged they had to take action, but a tax was not the best way to bring about this change in behaviour.

"Opposing the carbon tax is not enough - businesses acknowledge action should be taken, but not one that damages the economy beyond repair," he said.

"The tax creates considerable incentive for domestic business to move offshore and foreign investment to stay out of Australia.

"The greatest challenge is to reduce our emission while maintaining our position in the international economy- it doesn't have to be a one for the other policy solution."

Member for Dawson George Christensen is encouraging Mackay businesses, industries, organisations, and individuals to take action and have their say about the carbon tax by emailing Australia's Clean Energy Future Legislation can be emailed to jscacefl@aph.gov.au by tomorrow.

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