Residents on the NSW Central Coast will be slugged with bigger bills as more councils and businesses are added to the list of big polluters, the opposition says.
Federal opposition climate spokesman Greg Hunt said adding more organisations to the list of big polluters that will have to pay the carbon tax will also increase confusion surrounding the controversial initiative.
He said 25 more councils and business will join the 290 entities already liable, a ridiculous and punitive move for councils that are attempting to reduce their carbon emissions.
“It is absurd that the carbon tax is now penalising councils, which have already done the right thing in trying to reduce their emissions,” Mr Hunt said in a statement on Friday.
Two councils on the NSW Central Coast, the Gosford City Council and the Clarence Valley Council, will now have to pay under the scheme as they have been deemed “big polluters”.
Mr Hunt said the Gosford City Council had been targeted because of the Woy Woy landfill despite the council investing in an energy-generating methane capture project, highlighting confusion surrounding the carbon price.
“Both these councils pride themselves on caring for the environment but their residents will still be hit with bills in excess of half a million dollars,” Mr Hunt said.
“How can councils and businesses be certain about how much carbon tax they need to pay when the list continues to change?”
The move to add more companies, mainly energy organisations, to the big polluters list will affect households, Mr Hunt said.
“The carbon tax will flow through most significantly to households through higher electricity and gas prices,” he said.
“The sooner the carbon tax is scrapped the better and the coalition remains committed to repealing the tax if elected at the next election.”