True impact of carbon tax
As 294 of Australia’s top polluters begin paying the $23 per tonne price on carbon emissions, which came into effect on Sunday, Australian rail companies will also pay approximately $110m per year under the Federal Government’s carbon tax, according to a new webpage posted by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).
According to the ARA, the $110m will be passed onto rail customers and eventually end consumers, through heightened grocery costs.
Rail customers are understandably unhappy about the proposed price increases, ARA chief executive Bryan Nye said.
“Some are actively considering switching to road which will put more trucks on our road and increase emissions,” Nye said.
Australia’s rail freight operators will also be forced to pay “tens of millions of dollars” with the carbon tax, he added.
The ARA’s webpage was launched to educate decision makers, rail customers and the general public on the adverse impacts of the carbon tax on rail transport and the likely increase of transport emissions.
“Trains emit one third the pollution of trucks and yet the rail industry is required to pay a $110 million carbon tax each year while one of Australia’s largest polluters is given a free pass,” Nye sad, “Ironically, the carbon tax, which is designed to reduce pollution levels, provides a financial incentive to switch to trucks which will put more trucks on our roads, and increase transport-related emissions.”
The webpage urges government to reconsider the "illogical application" of the carbon tax on the transport sector.
“Rail has repeatedly stated its support for action on climate change but we need to raise awareness that the carbon tax will reduce rail’s competitive ability, put more trucks on our roads and increase transport-related emissions,” Nye said.
Australia’s rail industry, through the ARA seeks amendments to the carbon tax to provide equal treatment for road and rail, by either removing the exemption for the trucking industry or providing the same exemption for rail.
“The gvernment should explain the logic behind taxing the emissions friendly rail sector and exempting the carbon intensive road heavy vehicles,” Nye said.
“If the carbon tax is to be effective in reducing pollution, the way the tax is to be applied to rail and not road needs to change.”
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