Carbon tax to fuel online stores: retailers

Carbon tax to fuel online stores: retailers

Summary: The introduction of an Australian carbon tax is likely to drive up the prices of everyday goods sold in local retailers, which would ultimately force more consumers to offshore online stores like Amazon.com, according to the Australian National Retail Association.

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The introduction of an Australian carbon tax is likely to drive up the prices of everyday goods sold in local retailers, which would ultimately force more consumers to offshore online stores like Amazon.com, according to the Australian National Retail Association (ANRA).

ANRA represents Australian retail businesses with a turnover of over $100 million a year, including Coles, Woolworths, Franklins, Bunnings Warehouse, Just Jeans and Jay Jays.

Speaking to ZDNet Australia at the hearing into the economic structure and performance of the Australian retail industry today, the CEO of ANRA, Margy Osmond, said that a carbon tax would see consumers go offshore to get better prices, leaving Australian bricks-and-mortar businesses to suffer with high costs and low sales.

"I think that's part of our concern and why we brought it up, is the additional costs that may accrue from the carbon tax being applied to every stage of the supply chain for consumer goods may make those prices higher yet again and drive more and more people online.

"The other issue from our perspective will be paying tax and [Australian retailers] will be paying the impact of the carbon price and all of the other things that we've mentioned to the commission that overseas online retailers won't, and that overseas online retailer doesn't provide very many jobs [in Australia] at all," Osmond said.

Despite its concerns, however, Osmond said that ANRA isn't flat-out opposed to a carbon tax. Instead, it's working with the government to better understand the process.

"We need to understand the carbon price and its impact better. We're working with Treasury at the moment to have a better look at the modelling and what the pass-through impact of the price is going to be," she added.

The Productivity Commission's Sydney hearing into the economic structure and performance of the Australian retail industry is set to continue tomorrow.

Topics: Government, E-Commerce, Government AU

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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  • "We need to understand the carbon price and its impact better."

    That is pretty much my gripe with the carbon tax proposal. Where the money will be going, and the flow-through effects from suppliers, distributors and industrial bigwigs.
    dmh_paul