Goulburn Valley dairy farmers and fruit growers high-fived the Federal Parliament’s repeal of the carbon tax but a local environmentalist described it as an international embarrassment.ALEXANDRA BATHMAN July 29, 2014 3:00am
Carbon tax repeal was a good break for fruit growers, Apple and Pear Australia chairman John Lawrenson said, pictured with grower Peter Hall at an ‘energy efficiency walk’ last week.
‘‘Australian agriculture is breathing a sigh of relief now the tax has finally been abolished,’’ National Farmers’ Federation president Brent Finlay said.
The controversial tax cost the average dairy farmer between $2000 and $7000 a year, Australian Dairy Farmers president Noel Campbell said, while Tatura Milk Industries listed a direct carbon tax liability of $900
Across the agriculture sector the average power bill increased by 10 per cent — it meant an extra $20
‘‘In a fair world that 10 per cent should be redeemed,’’ Mr Hall said.
He said the carbon tax was counterproductive.
‘‘Putting a carbon tax on food production only drives food production to other countries who do not have to abide by the same tax and who do not have the same respect for the environment.
‘‘It reduced profitably and when you reduce profitably, you reduce job opportunities in the Goulburn Valley.’’
But Goulburn Valley Environmental Group vice-president Terry Court said the carbon tax repeal was a tragedy.
‘‘The adverse impact the carbon tax had on the Australian and local economy has been overstated dramatically,’’ Mr Court said.
‘‘We will be an embarrassment internationally.’’
Mr Court claimed the significant cost increase of power to farmers and fruit growers was not due to carbon tax.
‘‘I believe the majority of the cost of those bills would have been costs from poles and wires,’’ he said.
‘‘The gold plating of poles and wires costs at least six or seven times more than the carbon tax.’’
Mr Court said the carbon tax was needed for industries to move towards renewable energy sources.
Cobram East brothers Erwin and Iwan Van Den Berg milk 1400 cows and Erwin said the tax added an extra $12
‘‘For us it is a positive thing. It will affect our bottom line. Every little bit helps,’’ Mr Van Den Berg said, noting milk prices were coming down.
He said the tax didn’t help the environment.
‘‘I would say 80 to 90 per cent of the tax was used to shuffle paper around.
‘‘It frustrated me more in the way we were going left then right — up and down. We didn’t know where we stood.’’
Mr Van Den Berg said he was considering renewable energy partly because of the carbon tax.
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For a long time, Ben O’Dea was not sure whether he lived at the Royal Children’s Hospital or in Moama.
Rochester Football Netball Club hosted an information evening last week in collaboration with Ambulance Victoria to educate members on the correct use of the club’s defibrillator.
20th Heritage Day a hit
Councillors last night put out for public comment a draft budget which proposed a lower-than-expected increase.
Finley have now formed their own Local Health Advisory Committee.
Heathcote Primary School put on a colourful display for Easter on Friday with an Easter hat parade featuring everything from the very edible to amazingly tall.
VicRoads will review speed limits on the Murray Valley Highway in Cobram and Strathmerton following petitions calling for them to be lowered.
Leading concert artist Daniel de Borah will perform in Deniliquin tonight as part of the South West Music 2015 concert series.
Toolamba Primary School student Felix Turnbull is looking forward to seeing his face on new SPC labels that will be on supermarket shelves across the nation.
Benalla streets have come alive with street art. The large painted images adorn some of the town's buildings, creating a spectacular sight.
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