Carbon tax hit for vegetable growers
Victoria Bridget McKenzie -
The Leader of the Nationals Warren Truss and The Nationals
Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie met with vegetable
growers at Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market this morning,
and heard how the carbon tax would impact them.
Mr Truss said while in the short term the carbon tax did
not apply to farmers, it would add to the cost of
everything they buy and do.
"It will cost much more to produce and process Australia's
food, and farmers will have great difficulty passing those
extra costs on because imported products will not be
subject to a carbon tax in their country of production."
Senator McKenzie said horticulture was important to
Australia's economy, and was worth approximately $10
"There are 60,000 people employed in horticulture, the
second largest employer in agriculture.
"The government says agriculture will be exempt from the
carbon tax, but right through the supply chain from the
farm gate to dinner plate it will have an impact.
"It was also announced the price of the widely used R404A
refrigerant will increase more than 400 per cent, from
$92.88 per kilo to $377.71 per kilo under the tax.
"Getting fresh fruit and vegetables to consumers requires
constant temperature control, such as refrigerated
transport, cool stores, even refrigeration and air
conditioning in supermarkets.
Vegetable grower Luis Gazzola said the industry expected a
10 per cent increase in the costs of production.
"Everything we touch - fuel, power, gas, packaging and
transport - it's all going to go up.
"Unfortunately, because our industry is supply and demand
we can't pass the costs on."
Senator McKenzie said it was going to be a tough road ahead
for growers under the carbon tax.