Joe Hockey sticks it to carbon tax

MACKAY’S Werner Engineering has been forced to put expansion plans on hold as a direct result of the uncertainty surrounding the effect the new carbon tax.

“Our capital expenditure for a new shed over at Paget would cost us around $4 million and of course we can’t invest that sort of money not knowing what businesses are going to stay operational,” manager Chris Geach said.

Such uncertainty was the reason shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey visited the region yesterday, supporting the fight against the carbon tax, which he said was “going to hit small and medium sized businesses where it really hurts”.

“Here is another real illustration of a business that will be affected by Julia Gillard’s carbon tax,” Mr Hockey said. “The injury is real and this is a classic business in North Queensland that is doing a great job employing more Australians, creating wealth, stimulating economic activity and it’s going to hit right between the eyes.”

If roles were reversed, Mr Hockey said the LNP has a direct action plan that would reward businesses for putting in place reduction programs for carbon emissions. “We are not about increasing taxes,” he said. “We’re about providing incentives, not penalising businesses.”

The plan was fully funded and capped at $3.2 billion over four years, he said.

Mackay was going to be one of the hardest hit areas when the carbon tax was imposed and it would cost jobs, Mr Hockey said.

“This is the agenda of Bob Brown and the Greens, who are the co-government.

“Julia Gillard is weak and insipid and unable to govern in her own right, so she relies on Bob Brown and (he) wants to see these sorts of businesses closed.”

Mr Hockey was concerned by Ms Gillard’s admission on Perth radio that any closedown costs associated with major power stations would be funded out of the emergency reserve. “The same emergency reserve she wouldn’t touch for the Queensland floods,” he said.

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