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Australia: Carbon tax repeal welcomed by farmers

15 July 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: ABC Online
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Author: ABC Online

Farmers say they are hoping to make significant savings from the demise of the carbon tax.

Farm groups have been among the most vocal opponents of the tax over the last three years, arguing it puts the competitiveness of the agriculture sector at risk.

Gary Sansom is a chicken farmer at Stockleigh south west of Brisbane and says the carbon tax accounts for around 10 per cent of his annual power bill of $37,907.

He says he's hoping that same amount will be passed back to him after the repeal, but concedes that electricity billing is complex and 'it could get very messy'.

'It doesn't sound a lot but with tight margins every little bit helps. It could be the difference between making it and not making it.'

Jeff Parry is general manager of the West Corugan private irrigation district in southern NSW, representing 200 irrigators using electricity to pump water our of the Murray River.

He says the group spends $600,000 a year on electricity and is hoping to save between $50,000 and $60,000 over the next three years.

'It depends a bit on what sort of deal our electricity broker can negotiate with the power companies.'

John Hamparsum, is cotton and grain farmer near Gunnedah, north-west NSW. He spent close to $250 million last summer on electricity keeping pumps running to irrigate his crops.

He says the irony with the carbon tax is that it applies to 'the supposedly less carbon polluting electricity pumps and not the dirty diesel pumps.'

Mr Hamparsum says he initially was not opposed to the carbon tax but changed his mind when the money generated was not used to fund carbon abatement projects and the development of renewable energy sources.

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