Nationals Senator Fiona Nash claims that a carbon tax could see electricity prices jump by $250,000 in some processing sectors.
Nationals Senator Fiona Nash claims that a carbon tax could see electricity prices jump by $250,000 in some processing sectors. Jacklyn Wagner

Meat sector costs sizzle

THE operator of the Casino meatworks has backed a claim by Nationals Senator Fiona Nash that a carbon tax would impact on the meat-processing sector.

Senator Nash said regional Australia would feel the brunt of the carbon tax and an average abattoir processing 3000 cattle a week would see its electricity bill increased by $250,000.

General manager of the Northern Co-operative Meat Company Gary Burridge said his business was looking at an electricity cost increase of more than $300,000 a year because of the tax, and that the cost would have to be passed onto the 30% of his business that supplies the domestic market.

“Our competitors aren't paying a carbon tax and we don't meet the threshold for (assistance as) an energy intensive trade-exposed industry,” Mr Burridge said.

Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin labelled Senator Nash's claim “utterly irresponsible” and said it was part of an “unprincipled scare campaign” being run by the Opposition “which peddles a series of discredited cost and job impacts which fail to take the Gov- ernment's package into account”.

“The meat-processing sector is expected to grow by 12% by 2020 under a carbon price,” Ms Saffin said.

She also said meat processors can access assistance through the government's $150 million food and foundries fund.

“This is more of the usual nonsense from an Opposition that is out of touch and doesn't believe in climate change,” she said.


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