Carbon tax in full effect

Sunday 1 July saw the introduction of the Australian Government’s carbon tax. Although trucking businesses will not pay carbon tax on the fuel they use on public roads until 1 July 2014, they will face increased costs straight away as their suppliers increase their prices.

According to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), many truck and trailer businesses have already increased registration charges, with some state governments increasing charges by more than 30 per cent. As a result, trucking businesses across the country have been urged to review their costs and increase their freight rates or fuel surcharges. 

The government’s intention is that the Carbon Tax is only to be paid by 500 top “polluters”, but statistics say that 47,000 truck businesses around the country will now be forced to pay it indirectly as well. From mid-2014, they will be charged directly.

The basic idea behind the legislation is simple. The price on carbon is intended as an incentive for those that will pay it – nominally those who emit the highest level of CO2 – to change the way they do business. In theory it should encourage businesses to use or generate renewable energy, reduce energy consumption, implement technologies that will improve energy efficiencies and invest in renewable energy such as solar and wind.

The initial price on carbon emissions has been set at $23 per tonne, rising 2.5 per cent annually for the first three years. In 2015, the tax will then be replaced by an emissions trading scheme, allowing the “market” to set the price.

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