Not convinced tax is the best way
BALLINA-based business owner Bruce Loxton believes in climate change, but is not convinced a carbon tax is the best way of achieving a reduction in carbon emissions.
He is also concerned the new carbon tax will impact on the competitiveness of his business.
Mr Loxton’s business, Kimberley Kampers, produces eco-friendly camper trailers and camping equipment at a factory at Ballina.
The business employs about 80 people, had a turnover last financial year of $20 million, exports to five countries and competes locally with imported goods, particularly from China.
“Personally I am very eco-oriented, and I do believe we need to be proactive and we do need alternative energy investments,” Mr Loxton said.
“But the question in my mind is whether the carbon tax is the right way to stimulate that.”
Mr Loxton said he thinks more direct investment in green technology needs to be made, and community-based green-energy initiatives developed.
He welcomed the government’s announcement of $10 billion to be invested in commercial opportunities around renewable energy, low pollution and energy efficiency technologies.
“We need investment in renewable energy on a much bigger scale, like I have seen in Germany and Spain in solar and wind turbines,” he said.
Mr Loxton uses aluminium and steel to produce his campers, trailers and roof-top tents, all of which he sources from within Australia.
Raw materials account for about 50% of his costs, and he is unsure what impact the carbon tax will have on those costs.
“This tax is going to increase the cost of aluminium and steel, and every time there is a cost increase I go looking for ways to offset it first, and to pass it on second.
“Having read the announcement, I don’t know what I can do to offset the cost other than import that material from overseas, from countries that don’t have a carbon tax,” he said.