Big news events don't usually fall on Sundays. Normally our news anchors, politicians and journalists have the good grace to leave us all more or less alone on our traditional day of rest, however like it or not Sunday’s event was anything but normal. Placing a price on carbon emissions (if the measure passes in parliament) is possibly one of the most fundamental changes in Australian government policy in decades and has the potential to fundamentally change the way Australian businesses conduct their affairs. With all of this in mind we decided to write up what impact on fuel the changes would introduce to the fleet managers of Australia.
Small to medium business expenses were largely left alone in terms of additional fuel taxation as petrol and diesel from the bowser has been taken off the agenda for the time being. More specifically trades people, small business people and families were left without any additional payments on their fuel bills (the rules are likely to change in 2014 when heavy commercial vehicles end their 2 year exemption from the tax).
|Area||Significant notes||Significant quotes|
| Small to
| No additional charges on petrol
| Internal travel
Additional charges on fuel for
aviation, shipping & rail
associated with the carbon
price & there will be a full pass-
through to customers
| "The Qantas Group will be
unable to absorb the
additional costs" Qanats
|Truck drivers|| No additional fuel charge until
"The tax will cost truck drivers
up to $200 a week in fuel
costs" Transport Workers
| This rebate drops by 6c per
| Exempt from any tax for the
For many fleet managers who work closely with their companies transport and travel arrangements, the news on rail, shipping and aviation will be particularly disappointing. All three areas will see costs increases which may pose challenges for regional manufacturers or for businesses where internal business travel is a significant cost. The three f's of forestry, fishing and farming have luckily been exempted from the tax, however the diesel tax rebate (for off road vehicles) has been pared back by 6c per litre.
Currently the carbon tax policy is just that, it is still at the policy stage. While it seems that the deal has been signed and sealed between the Greens, Labor and the handful of Independents, the policy still needs to get through parliament. For now the exact details of the scheme are still to be released and the implications will not be felt in any way until at least July of 2012. With this in mind it still remains difficult for most businesses to plan for the new tax and for analysts the words "wait and see" (or something of a more formal nature!) will be plastered across a high quantity of planning documents.
At the moment the only real chance of the the policy being derailed lies in Tony Abbots campaigning in Labor mine seats in an attempt to pressure just enough rebels to vote against the government. While it is unlikely he will succeed it should all be very entertaining to watch.