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Queensland 'hardest hit' by carbon tax

QUEENSLAND Treasurer Tim Nicholls has warned that the state faced the loss of up to 21,000 jobs under the impact from the impending carbon tax.

Mr Nicholls told parliament on Thursday that the state's major energy suppliers Ergon Energy and Energex would pass any costs directly onto Queensland families and businesses when the new tax arrived on July 1.

He said the Queensland, out of all the states, would be hardest hit as it relied on cheap energy for its manufacturing, construction, tourism and agricultural sectors.

He said Queensland government-owned corporations would be forced to pay $700 million to $750 million in carbon tax costs which would, in turn, hit councils, the resources sector and about 108 businesses.

Mr Nicholls said Stanwell Corporation would be the hardest hit, estimating a total carbon cost of $389 million, while CS Energy would be slugged about $225 million and OzGen Holdings about $230 million.

He said he expected residents in Gladstone and Maranoa council areas would be worst hit as the tax effects were passed on to ratepayers

Mr Nicholls said modelling from Queensland Treasury and Deloitte Access Economics, which used the Commonwealth Government's own assumptions, found up to 21,000 Queensland jobs could be lost, real wages could be reduced up to $2940 and Queensland's Gross State Product could take a $9.6 billion hit by 2020.

"This toxic carbon tax will harm Queensland's economic growth, reduce standards of living for everyday Queenslanders, increase electricity prices and significantly harm our state budget to the tune of up to $1.2 billion over the next four years," he said.

"Next year, our state government expenses will rise by $148 million as a result of Labor's carbon tax.

"We are taking the pain of the increased cost, the increased price and the increased expenses but not one cent of compensation is received by Queensland.

"It will not be just the big end of town that will cop it; everyday Queenslanders will find the cost of utilities like electricity going up or they will find their job in a trade exposed industry threatened."

The Federal Government's carbon tax has been described as a carbon emissions trading scheme with a fixed price.

Topics:  carbon tax, electricity, tim nicholls


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