Abattoir set to reduce emissions
IPSWICH'S biggest private employer is facing a huge $1.84m carbon tax bill this year - but it's working on a plan that will cut the payout to zero.
JBS Swift is negotiating with the Federal Government over the funding of a $10 million green power scheme for its Dinmore plant.
The project would capture bio-gas emitted from decomposing waste products.
The gas would then be used to power electricity generators at the site.
If implemented, the project would cut the plant's emissions to below 25,000 tonnes and move the facility beneath the threshold for the carbon tax.
According to meatworks director John Berry, the Federal Government is offering $1 for every $2 JBS spends to minimise emissions.
"But we're looking to get dollar for dollar funding from the Federal Government," he said.
"We're looking to them to ensure the Dinmore project gets every chance to succeed."
Mr Berry said the implementation of the carbon tax would not force the plant, which employs 2000 permanent staff, to cut jobs.
"Part of our carbon mitigation strategy is not to cut back. Far from it," he said.
Mr Berry said he had held meetings with Blair MP Shayne Neumann and Minister for Climate Change Greg Combet.
Mr Neumann said he was confident the government would be able to provide dollar for dollar support for the project.
"What JBS is doing is exactly what the government wants to see," he said.
"It's clean and green while still protecting jobs.
"I've spoken to every Cabinet minister about this and I'm very confident we're doing everything we can to possibly get dollar for dollar support."
Mr Berry said the Dinmore facility emitted about 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
He said if the project was funded, the plant would still be liable to pay more than $3.6m in carbon tax because it would take two years to fully implement the new power generation system.
Only companies which generate more than 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually will pay the carbon tax from this July.
Affected companies will pay $23 for each tonne of carbon dioxide.