THE carbon tax has forced Barrett’s Frozen Foods to use more electricity instead of less, managing director George Tanos says.
Mr Tanos said he had to redesign construction of the Barrett’s Frozen Foods building opposite Bunnings to include an energy-inefficient power system to offset a price hike in refrigerant gases. He said the energy-inefficient system would better manage the risk of leakage. Mr Tanos said the cost of re-gassing after a leak had increased 500 per cent from July 1.
“It’s [the carbon tax] backwards, we’re using more electricity and more power to offset the increase in the cost of re-gassing,” he said.
The Australian Refrigeration Association said the price increase was due to a carbon equivalent price on imports of hydroflurocarbon (HFC) refrigerant gases that are ozone safe but are powerful greenhouse gases. The association said businesses should switch to alternative gases and look at the long-term benefits of the tax.
Mr Tanos said any benefit was nullified because he would use more electricity in the long run.
Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (ECCO) member Tony Smith said the term carbon tax was not the right expression.
“Only the major emitters will be taxed,” he said. “People like you and me will not have to pay a tax.
“Nine out of 10 people will receive compensation.”Mr Tanos said while the biggest emitters were taxed consumers would wear the cost.
“Unfortunately it comes back down to the consumer ... when he goes to sit down to eat he is going to get less for more,” Mr Tanos said.
“We’ve passed on the cost to our consumers just like any other cost and any other business.”
Mr Smith said any business that increases prices and blames the carbon tax must be prepared to justify the rise.
“They will be investigated by the ACCC [Australian Competition and Consumer Commission] and they’ll need to justify that,” he said.
Mr Smith said people who feared the carbon tax did not fully understand it.
“The government did not do a good enough job of explaining it to the public,” he said.
“We made a stand and were commended by the UN (United Nations).”
Mr Tanos said the government did not understand the carbon tax.
“The government has got it wrong or misunderstood ramifications of carbon taxing and I believe that it is unsustainable and detrimental to all consumers,” he said.
“It’s detrimental to sustainable economics for the country.”