PM "misleading'' on carbon impact

ROCKY'S Own Transport chief executive Bryan Smith  says says the proposed carbon tax will make it tougher for freight companies already struggling with low margins to survive.

He said the government was misleading the public when it claimed most households would not feel pain.

“It has to hurt the work. It has to hurt the consumer,” he said.

Mr Smith cited uncertainty about the flow-on costs from the top 500 polluters and a reduction in the fuel tax credit as the two biggest areas of concern for his business.

His company services 310 mines around Australia, employs 230 people and uses 23,000 tonnes of carbon a year.

The company is obligated to report its emissions annually under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System.

Chief financial officer John Bryant said companies in the industry generally had about a 4% profit margin.

“It's a low margin and people die in the industry because of it,” Mr Smith said.

Currently operators receive a fuel tax credit of 15c a litre but under the carbon scheme that will fall to 8.2c according to the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA).

Mr Smith estimates this will see him lose $1m in 2014 and the QTA estimates it will cost the industry and consumers $510m alone.

Mr Bryant said Rocky's Own replaced every truck after four years of use with a Euro 5 standard emissions truck.

He said the engines burned cleaner but consumed more fuel.

“We do not get any reimbursement for that.”

Mr Bryant said under a previous investment allowance, the company could claim back 40% of the cost of a truck.

“You imagine the uptake if you buy a truck for $350,000 and you get 40% back in a tax rebate,” he said. 

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