Ratepayers in more than 100 council areas around Australia stand to suffer yet another hit from the carbon tax, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham said today.
Clean Energy Regulator or ‘Carbon Cop’ officials have told a Senate Estimates hearing that, on top of those ten councils* recently named on a list of entities expected to be liable to pay the carbon tax, they have written to a further 104 councils that might also be hit.
The Regulator recently published a ‘Liable Entities Public Information Database’ (or LEPID) of 248 entities including the ten local government councils.
Under questioning from Senator Birmingham, the Regulator’s Chair and CEO, Chloe Munro, said they had written to a further 104 councils, as well as 30 corporate landfill waste entities and 80 other organisations – making a total of more than 200 additional entities that might be liable to the carbon tax.
Ms Munro told the Estimates hearing their ‘best guess’ is that, of these additional 104 local governments, about 70 will actually be liable to the carbon tax.
“All Australians will be hit with the carbon tax, particularly as a result of electricity and gas price hikes that will flow on to push up the cost of everything,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“We now know that many, many thousands of Australians will also be hit indirectly as ratepayers of councils that will be subject to the carbon tax, simply because they own or use a dump or landfill facility.
“It seems remarkable that local councils could account for around 20 per cent of those entities directly liable to pay Labor’s carbon tax.
“Julia Gillard’s carbon tax will mean these local councils have to lift their own fees and charges, raise their council rates, cut services or some combination of these hits, all of which mean more pain for Australians at the local level.
“Australians will rightly wonder at the worth of these measures, given the Government itself has forecast Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions will increase, even under its carbon tax, from 578 million tonnes in 2012 to 621 million tonnes in 2020.
“Labor’s carbon tax is all pain and no gain.”
*The 2012-13 LEPID published on 4 May includes:
  • Brisbane City Council (QLD)
  • City of Armadale (WA)
  • City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder (WA)
  • Council of the City of Shellharbour (NSW)
  • Gladstone Regional Council (QLD)
  • Maranoa Regional Council (QLD)
  • Southern Region Waste Resource Authority (established by the Cities of Onkaparinga, Marion and Holdfast Bay, SA)
  • Wagga Wagga City Council (NSW)