Farmers feel the effects of Carbon Tax on transport costs

ROAD RUNNER: Fraser's Livestock Transport manager Tommy Hunt, in an industry already burdened by the Carbon Tax.
ROAD RUNNER: Fraser's Livestock Transport manager Tommy Hunt, in an industry already burdened by the Carbon Tax.

FARMERS pushed off the rail system have been slugged with extra costs in road transport.

Despite their 'exemption' from the carbon tax, farmers are feeling the trickle down effects only three months since it was introduced.

Primary produce in the Surat Basin has to travel long distances by road to reach ports, such as Brisbane, for export.

Roma wheat producer Charles Nason has noticed his profits margins narrowing.

"The silly part is that wheat has been pushed off the rail by coal," Mr Nason said.

"I get $287 a tonne for my wheat and it costs me roughly $50 a tonne to get it to Wallumbilla, then $15 to get it to the port, so that's $65 from your profit."

Andrew Butler runs a truck transporting company based at Condamine and is preparing his first quarterly report since the Carbon Tax was introduced on July 1.

"We haven't passed costs on yet. We are still figuring out how much of our cost increase is actually from the carbon tax," Mr Butler said.

Roma based livestock transporter David Scott from Scotts Haulage is one transporter already passing costs on to farmers.

He increased fees by 7-8% from July 1, and said the hike will inevitably continue.

 "You hate doing it," Mr Scott said.

"The cattle prices aren't increasing but all charges are increasing - the whole things is running into a bottleneck and I believe that's where the industry is at."

Federal M.P for the Maranoa Bruce Scott said the State Government needed to improve the rail network so farmers could transport by train and avoid paying fuel taxes.

"When I look at the state of the railway here and I see grass growing between the tracks I think it's a state tragedy," Mr Scott said.

National Farmers Federation estimated $1500 annual increase for Australian farmers under the Carbon Tax

Livestock transport costs increased by up to 8% with Carbon Tax.

Government to impose Carbon Tax on heavy vehicle transport from July 1, 2014.

Topics:  carbon tax farming rail transport

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