Sharyn Badman, of One Mile, works hard to keep her family’s electricity bill to a minimum.
Sharyn Badman, of One Mile, works hard to keep her family’s electricity bill to a minimum. David Nielsen

Carbon tax could hurt Ipswich

IPSWICH families could be the hardest hit in Queensland if Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s carbon price initiative is passed next year.

Critics say $300 a year could be added to the average family power bill but a recent survey has found Ipswich residents already pay more for their electricity than other regions.

Labor Blair MP Shayne Neumann said the carbon pricing move would create green energy jobs while households and businesses would be compensated for price rises.

But Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said it was a terrible move that would cost manufacturing jobs and slug Ipswich families hard.

A government committee flagged the tax to start on July 1, 2012, followed by an emissions trading scheme three to five years later, but so far a carbon price or what sectors the tax will apply to has not yet been decided.

One Mile resident Sharyn Badman said it was this lack of detail that had her and many Ipswich residents worried about what the carbon tax would cost average families.

“I’m concerned for families and everyday people, especially those on a low income. We don’t know how it will affect people,” Ms Badman said.

She said a lot of people, including pensioners, single parents and working families, would struggle if bills went up by an average of $300, a figure Opposition Leader Tony Abbott spruiked yesterday.

Mr Neumann said that figure was scaremongering by Mr Abbott, and families would not be disadvantaged as his government tackled climate change.

Mr Buchholz said concerned constituents had already raised the issue with him and it was a raw deal for businesses and families in the region.

Ms Gillard said before the last election that “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”.

A survey conducted by The Queensland Times and seven sister papers in northern New South Wales and Queensland last year found Ipswich residents already paid the most for power.



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