“Media statements that the Federal Government is considering changes to the carbon tax package indicate that the proposal doesn’t go far enough”, said Simon Bennison, Chief Executive of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC).
“AMEC has consistently stated that the carbon tax was a step change in public policy in isolation of global action, and that it would impose significant costs and inflationary pressures to Australian businesses, consumers and the economy.
“That view still remains even if Australia moves to an emissions trading scheme and a floating price earlier than planned.
“The cost imposts on industry of the Clean Energy Future Plan, which commenced on 1 July 2012, are significant and need to be removed in order to restore some of the lost international competitiveness that Australian mining companies are currently faced with.
“There is no doubt that the Clean Energy Future Plan should be rescinded in full. In doing so, the part removal of the diesel fuel credit arrangements should be re-instated to pre-carbon tax levels as soon as possible.
“This will go a long way to recovering some of the lost competitiveness that has occurred over the past few years, as a direct consequence of this and other public policy announcements targeting the Australian mineral exploration and mining sector. These announcements have also dented much needed investor and banking confidence in the industry.
“Diesel fuel is a major business input as it is a primary source of energy for mining and exploration companies, representing 4-7% on typical mining projects. The cost is however more pronounced for smaller miners and mineral exploration companies, who in many cases have no other option than use diesel fuel for their essential energy requirements.
“If the Federal Government is admitting that it got it wrong, it should rescind the Clean Energy Future Plan in its entirety and re-instate the diesel fuel tax credit in full”, said Mr Bennison.