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Coalition’s carbon tax pledge on day-one of election campaign

Beef Central, 05/08/2013

 

Coalition Leader Tony Abbott has reaffirmed his commitment to scrap Labor’s carbon tax during a visit to the JBS Dinmore processing plant near Brisbane today.

Day-One of the Federal election campaign included a visit to Dinmore, the nation’s largest processing establishment in the electorate of Blair, where Mr Abbott and shadow treasurer Joe Hockey toured the facility and spoke with staff.

Blair is held by Labor MP Shayne Neumann with a margin of 4.2 percent. Teresa Harding, a former Defence public servant, is standing in the seat for the Liberal Nationals.

During his visit Mr Abbott said JBS Australia, the country's largest meat processor, paid $5 million in carbon tax each year, and he said the a Coalition Government's first act of office would be to move to repeal the carbon tax altogether.

"We believe, based on the work of the Productivity Commission, that it's more than possible to deliver $1 billion a year in red tape cost reductions, particularly to small business," he said.

"If we get taxes down, if we get regulation down, then we can get productivity up."

Mr Abbott said he had written to the head of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to advise that if the Coalition is elected, its first priority would be to scrap the carbon tax.

He said he would instruct his department to draft legislation to repeal the tax, and to have it ready within one month.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation would also be notified that it should stop operations, and Treasury would be advised to draft legislation to shut it down.

Repealing the carbon tax would make the JBS Australia meatworks $5 million a year more competitive, Mr Abbott said.

If the Coalition wins government, it could face a Senate hostile to its attempts to repeal the carbon tax, as both Labor and the Greens oppose the move.

With a huge Senate ballot paper on the cards, polls suggest it is now unlikely that the Coalition can win a Senate majority in its own right. But it does have a good chance of getting a Senate in which enough senators share its views on key issues to get its legislation through.

Mr Abbott said that whoever won government would have a mandate.

A JBS spokesman said the company’s Dinmore plant emitted 80,000 tonnes of carbon equivalent emissions annually paying $23/tonne for those emissions last year.

Its major competitors in international markets in North and South America were not subjected to carbon taxes, and were unlikely to be.

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