Carbon tax a poison pill for coal: ACA

DRAFT legislation for the carbon tax contained a “poison pill” which would forever exclude coal mining from being treated the same as every other trade exposed industry, according to a submission by the Australian Coal Association.
Carbon tax a poison pill for coal: ACA Carbon tax a poison pill for coal: ACA Carbon tax a poison pill for coal: ACA Carbon tax a poison pill for coal: ACA Carbon tax a poison pill for coal: ACA

Australian Coal Association executive director Ralph Hillman.

Lou Caruana

The coal industry had been discriminated against in the tax draft legislation to satisfy the Greens demands to stop the development of new coal mines, executive director Ralph Hillman said.

“The legislation, in Section 145 (3), specifically excludes coal mining from being defined as an emission intensive trade exposed industry [EITE] despite meeting the criteria,” he said.

“This is a dramatic shift from the previous CPRS legislation.

“While unfairly not providing EITE for coal mining, at least the CPRS legislation left open the inclusion of coal mining at a future date should conditions in the industry change.

“This clearly is one of the concessions the Greens extracted from the government for support for the carbon tax legislation.”

The clause also locks the industry out of the review process the Productivity Commission will undertake into the jobs and competitiveness package to determine the ongoing support for industry, Hillman said.

“Coal mining has been singled out for punishment by this legislation, no doubt because we refuse to accept the Greens’ push to close down our industry,” he said.

“If the government’s rhetoric on support for the coal industry was real they should immediately agree to remove this discriminatory provision from the draft legislation.”

Hillman said the treatment of Australia’s largest export industry, coal, by the government during the development of the carbon tax proposal has been “very poor”

“Many in the coal industry and the wider business community believe the government has reached agreement at any price with the Greens – without due consideration of the very real damage the carbon tax will do to Australia’s trade exposed industries,” he said.

“It should not be forgotten that no other country in the world taxes coal mining in this way and our competitors will be ready and waiting to move into our markets.

“Australian jobs will be lost, with no reduction in global greenhouse emissions.”