SEVERAL south-west manufacturers have been included on the federal government’s preliminary list of businesses impacted by the carbon tax.
Portland Aluminium, Fonterra, Hamilton’s Illuka Resources and Murray Goulburn have all been included in the initial list released by the Clean Energy Regulator.
The four employers will have to pay the $23 per tonne price set by the regulator under the federal government’s controversial environmental tax plan.
However, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, Glaxo Smith Kline and Midfield Meat International have been excluded from the list for the time being.
Climate Change Minister Greg Combet released the list last week, adding that a further 80 companies have also been notified that they are likely to face the new tax in the 2012-2013 financial year.
Murray Goulburn spokesman Robert Poole said the milk processor’s inclusion was disappointing but expected.
He said south-west dairy farmers would be financially impacted to the tune of roughly $5000 per annum on average.
“This tax will have an impact on Australia’s dairy industry and put us at a competitive disadvantage on world markets,” Mr Poole said.
“Every farmer will be impacted by the tax, either directly or indirectly.”
More than 200 companies have been added to the list, including mining companies such as BHP Billiton, La Trobe University and some larger city councils.
A Fonterra spokeswoman said the milk processor firmly believed the federal government should provide greater assistance for farmers to allow them to invest in low carbon technologies.
“Our business believes that moving to a low carbon economy is the right thing to do, so we have been preparing for this for a long time by measuring our carbon footprint (and) upgrading equipment at our factories,” the spokeswoman said,
An Iluka spokeswoman said the company recognised the importance of addressing carbon emissions and improving its energy efficiency.
She said the company had been a member of the federal government’s Energy Efficiency Opportunities Program for the past six years.
Portland Aluminium declined to comment on the impact of the carbon tax on its operations.
The carbon tax will operate at a fixed price for three years starting July 2012.