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Master Builders calls for carbon tax consultation
Released 23 September 2011



Building and construction industry body, The Master Builders Australia, has called on the Federal Government to establish a special government-industry panel to examine the impact of the proposed carbon tax on the industry. 

Master Builders Australia CEO Wilhelm Harnisch said the proposed carbon tax will have a substantial, adverse impact on the building and construction sector.

“According to the Treasury’s own forecasts, the carbon tax will reduce output in the construction sector by some 5.6 per cent by 2050, much more than the 4.3 per cent predicted for mining and the 2.8 per cent expected for manufacturing,” Harnisch said.

“The Federal Treasury’s “Strong Growth, Low Pollution” report, which provided much of the modelling and forecasting support for the Government’s carbon tax proposal gave extensive treatment to the impact of new tax on the energy and the transport sectors, but said little of its implications for the building and construction sector.

He said the economic importance of the building and construction sector, which accounts for around 8 per cent of Australia’s national output and more than 9 per cent of employment underscores the need for the special panel.

“Key terms of reference for the panel would include detailed modelling and forecasting of the impact of the proposed carbon tax on housing affordability, especially for first home buyers, for commercial construction, and for the small businesses who are the backbone of the sector.

“An effective transition package for the building and construction sector will reduce the adverse effects of the carbon tax particularly on first home buyers, on housing affordability, and on the hundreds of thousands of small businesses who are the backbone of the sector”.