AFGC welcomes Coalition’s proposed amendments to CPRS

Posted by James Ferre on 20th October 2009

The inclusion of food processing in the Coalition’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) amendments has been well received by the leading representative of food manufacturers in the country – the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

Under the Coalition’s proposed amendments to the CPRS legislation, key export industries will be better supported including food processing, which is Australia largest manufacturing sector.

“AFGC congratulates the Coalition for its willingness to support trade exposed industries like food processing and we now urge the government to support these amendments,” AFGC Chief Executive Kate Carnell said.

Food and grocery spending represents 20 per cent of the average weekly household budget and manufacturers contend that prices will rise if the current Rudd Government proposal gets the green light.

“The major dilemma with the CPRS legislation industry is it will mean the cost of power will rise significantly – while industry is doing its best to reduce power use, the CPRS will ultimately impact upon prices on supermarket shelves,” Ms Carnell advised.Under the current legislation, Ms Carnell said people were more likely to buy cheaper imported goods because home-grown manufactured food and groceries could rise on supermarket shelves by as much as five per cent.

Ms Carnell said goods imported from countries in Asia would not be affected as they are unlikely to be subjected to a carbon charge in the foreseeable future.

“This means Australian manufactured goods will be at a major disadvantage and jobs will suffer,” Ms Carnell claimed. “I remind Kevin Rudd of his own words that he ‘didn’t want to be Prime Minister of a country that didn’t make anything’ – so we must to get the CPRS right or that’s exactly the type of country we will live in.”