Coal association fights legislation exclusion

The Australian Coal Association (ACA) released their submission to the Federal Government on the draft legislation to implement the carbon tax proposal.

ACA executive director, Ralph Hillman said the legislation contained a “poison pill” which would “forever exclude coal mining from being treated the same as every other trade exposed industry”.

“The legislation, in Section 145 (3), specifically excludes coal mining from being defined as an emission-intensive trade exposed industry (EITE) despite meeting the criteria,” Mr Hillman said.

“This is a dramatic shift from the previous CPRS legislation.

“While unfairly not providing EITE for coal mining, at least the CPRS legislation left open the inclusion of coal mining at a future date should conditions in the industry change.

“This clearly is one of the concessions the Greens extracted from the government for support for the carbon tax legislation.

“This clause also locks the industry out of the review process the Productivity Commission will undertake into the Jobs and Competitiveness package to determine the ongoing support for industry.

“Coal mining has been singled out for punishment by this legislation not doubt because we refuse to accept the Greens push to close down our industry.

“If the government’s rhetoric on support for the coal industry was real they should immediately agree to remove this discriminatory provision from the draft legislation,” he said.

Mr Hillman said the treatment of Australia’s largest export industry – coal – by the government during the development of the carbon tax proposal has been very poor.

“Many in the coal industry and the wider business community believe the government has reached agreement at any price with the Greens without due consideration of the very real damage the carbon tax will do to Australia’s trade exposed industries,” Mr Hillman said.

“It should not be forgotten that no other country in the world taxes coal mining in this way and our competitors will be ready and waiting to move into our markets. Australian jobs will be lost with no reduction in global greenhouse emissions.”