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Carbon tax will hurt Qld most: Nicholls

Sun July 1, 2012 2:24pm

The carbon tax will hit Queensland harder than any other state, Treasurer Tim Nicholls says.

THE federal government's $23 per tonne price on carbon emissions started on Sunday, directly impacting on 294 electricity generators and other companies.

About 100 of those are Queensland companies, Mr Nicholls says.

In a dire outlook for the state, the treasurer says the tax would reduce Queensland's economic output by almost $10 billion a year by 2020.

Treasury modelling indicates as many as 21,000 Queensland jobs could be lost and wages could fall by up to $2,940, he says.

"...this toxic tax won't just impact the government through higher expenses and lower revenues," Mr Nicholls said in a statement.

"The carbon tax will severely harm the state's economic growth, reduce the living standards of everyday Queenslanders and lead to higher electricity bills."

Premier Campbell Newman said the tax also served as a scapegoat for companies to unjustifiably raise their prices.

His comments were in relation to Origin Energy announcing price rises despite the government freezing the household domestic tariff.

"They're trying to use that (carbon tax) as an excuse, while consumers are confused, to actually put up prices more than what the carbon tax actually justifies," he told reporters in Townsville on Sunday.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association says the carbon tax would impact the state's booming liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry's global competitiveness.

"...Australia is imposing a cost on its gas export industry that will not be borne by any of its LNG competitors," chief executive David Byers said in a statement.

"This will diminish its international competitive standing."

But in a small win for the state's motorists, RACQ's Michael Roth said fuel for private cars would be spared the tax.

The tax would otherwise add about six cents per litre to unleaded fuel, he said.

But Mr Roth said major-off road users, like mining companies, who are exempt from the federal government's 38 cents per litre fuel excise will have have to pay the carbon price on their fuel.

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