HARD TIMES: Brad Zanow of Zanows’ Sand and Gravel said he has laid off staff as a result of the carbon tax.
HARD TIMES: Brad Zanow of Zanows’ Sand and Gravel said he has laid off staff as a result of the carbon tax. David Nielsen

Business blames carbon tax for local job losses

A FERNVALE businessman claims the spiralling cost of the carbon tax is hitting his business hard - triggering redundancies and putting potential private sector contracts on hold.

Zanows' Sand and Gravel manager Brad Zanow said the business has shed five of its 48 staff to cope with a rise of $15,000 a month in the firm's overheads

The company does not pay the carbon tax itself, but Mr Zanow claimed the tax had led to increases in electricity bills, as well as the cost of oil, cement powder and air-conditioning gas.

Mr Zanow said he believed confidence will only return to the economy if there is a change of government on September 7.

He said private firms within Ipswich were inquiring about contracts with Zanows' - but will only go ahead with future projects if the carbon tax is scrapped and bills are lowered.

"We have been involved in quoting jobs where if the carbon tax goes the job will go ahead, but if not they will sit on the job," he said.

"Since the election has been on the cards business has not gone up but there has been a lot more quoting."

But sitting Labor MP for Blair Shayne Neumann said Mr Zanow's business was not paying the carbon tax directly and he was leading an anti-Labor campaign.

Mr Neumann said Zanows' had made no attempt to seek assistance from the Federal Government to offset the flow-on impacts of the controversial tax.

"He doesn't pay the carbon tax. The impacts that they have got would be indirect impacts," he said.

"If he says he has put workers off as a result of the carbon price in his industry, it is from an indirect flow through."

Mr Neumann said Queensland's electricity prices had jumped up 50% in recent years, but only 0.09% is attributable to the carbon tax. The carbon tax has reduced emissions by 7.7% since its introduction.

Last month, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he would phase out the carbon tax - introduced by his predecessor Julia Gillard - next July. Instead, he promised the introduction of an emissions trading scheme (ETS) which would reduce the cost of carbon dioxide emissions from $24 a tonne to $6 a tonne.

Mr Neumann and Mr Zanow clashed at the Australian Christian Lobby debate early in the election campaign.

Mr Zanow was asked to leave the debate after asking Mr Neumann a question on the carbon tax.

LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding said a Tony Abbott government would axe the carbon tax as soon as possible.

Ms Harding said the added costs of the carbon tax were a common concern amongst Ipswich businesses.

"This means they need to charge more for their goods and services, which means they sell less and it has had a big impact on their revenue," she said.



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