Manufacturers form new group to fight carbon tax

Manufacturers have formed a new industry group to oppose the Federal Government carbon tax which is due to commence mid next year – the carbon tax is expected to be voted on in the House of Representatives this week.

Major manufacturers Amcor, BlueScope Steel and Boral, along with several other large companies, have formed Manufacturing Australia, a new industry group which will act as a voice for the industry on issues relating to the carbon tax.

Former Reserve Bank board member Dick Warburton has been appointed at the group’s first executive chairman.

Warburton said the carbon tax could pose disastrous for Australian manufacturing in the currently global economic climate and has called on the Government to defer the bills till at least there was more certainty how other countries are going to deal with carbon emissions.

“I’d like to see them certainly deferred if not necessarily voted down but certainly deferred until we have a clearer picture of what is going on in the rest of the world,” Warburton told ABC’s radio program AM.

“It seems quite wrong to be going ahead of the rest of the world when in fact countries are actually pulling out of carbon taxes and ETSs and therefore for us to go ahead with very little protection of the emissions at a distinct disadvantage to our economy just doesn’t seem right.”

Warburton said that as long as there is going to be a tax of this nature on manufacturing in Australia, the nation’s manufacturing sector will always be at an disadvantage.

“The manufacturing industries that have received help they are very grateful for that help but it is not going to be sufficient in the long haul to match the disadvantage held by those other companies in manufacturing areas overseas.”

According to Warburton, this disadvantage would gradually lead to losses of jobs and plant closures.

To read the full transcript of Warburton talking to ABC’s AM, click here.