TWU

Families will hear of carbon tax help

Release date: 6/07/2011

Julia Gillard will promise that seven out of 10 families will face no added financial burden from the carbon tax as she prepares to embark on a campaign selling her climate change laws next week.

Steven Scott, Courier Mail

But the Prime Minister faces a growing backlash from unions and some of her own backbenchers plus a huge fight with the resources sector.

Australian Coal Association executive director Ralph Hillman will today attack the Government for cutting investment in carbon capture and storage, which he said would do more to cut emissions than renewable energy.

ALP national secretary George Wright told Labor MPs that 70 per cent of families would be "fully compensated", according to sources who attended a confidential campaign meeting on the tax.

Ms Gillard has previously said nine out of 10 families would get some compensation, with the "vast majority" fully compensated while low income earners would get a 20 per cent extra buffer.

But Ms Gillard yesterday warned Labor MPs that it would take months of hard work to convince voters to support the carbon tax.

"We won’t see an instantaneous jump in support," she said. "It will take months of explanation and campaigning." Taxpayer-funded advertisements are likely to start one to two weeks after the carbon tax is announced on Sunday.

Ms Gillard has shelved a planned Council of Australian

Governments meeting that was set to sign off on national health reforms next week to focus on the carbon tax.

"I will be wearing out my shoe leather literally around the country, making sure Australian families who want answers about the carbon pricing package get those answers," Ms Gillard said.

Labor MP Anna Burke urged Climate Change Minister Greg Combet not to share the stage with the Greens when the carbon tax is announced on Sunday.

Queensland Labor senator Mark Furner and West Australian senator Glenn Sterle both backed warnings from the Transport Workers Union that the tax could hit truck drivers and threaten road safety.

"Every added cost on drivers is an added cost to their hip pocket and that flows down to maintenance of vehicles," Senator Furner told The Courier-Mail.

This could lead to truck drivers replacing tyres less frequently and driving longer distances to make up the cost.

The Government has not ruled out the possibility that the carbon tax will hit trucks and other large commercial vehicles, but motorists and small businesses will be exempted from higher petrol costs.

"Our figures show a driver could be slugged with an extra $150 to $200 a week," TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon said.

"They will be working the equivalent of an extra day a week in a six or seven day week to make the same wage they are on now."

Click here to read the story on Courier Mail website

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