According to business lobbyists, delays to the incoming government’s pledged repeal of a carbon price would have costly results.
Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott on Sunday began moves to have legislation drafted to do away with the tax, which has been in effect for 14 months.
The Australian reports that The Energy Supply Association’s figures predicted business would pay $4.6 billion in 2013-14 and $5.2 billion in 2014-15 due to the carbon tax, taking into account the granting of free permits.
The Greens and senior figures in the opposition have said they would block attempts to remove a price on carbon emissions.
"We are absolutely going to defend taking action on climate change – I could not look my son in the eye and walk away from taking action on climate change," the West Australian reports Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese as saying.
"We have supported an emissions trading scheme for a very long time. We have that mandate and I see no reason why we should walk away from our legacy."
Innes Willox from the Australian Industry Group said that if the new Senate – in which the Coalition will have a minority – blocked the legislation until 2015, it would mean another two years of emissions costs higher than were paid elsewhere, and that the Coalition’s mandate should be respected.
"It would seem ludicrous if we got to that point of business paying for almost two years of the carbon tax that the voter has voted against," he told The Australian.
The Business Council of Australia also believes that Australian companies should be relieved of the burden of the tax.
"What must be recognised is that Australian businesses will be continuing to be paying the highest price for carbon reduction across the major emitting countries," the BCA’s Maria Tarrant said.