Benalla may suffer under carbon tax

Benalla may suffer under carbon tax
May 6, 2013 Eldin Didic

The carbon tax could see Benalla’s D&R Henderson factory operations cut back.

Federal Member for Indi Sophie Mirabella toured one of Benalla’s largest employers, D&R Henderson, on Wednesday amid concerns the carbon tax would cost the company in excess of $1 million a year — and possibly jobs.

Mrs Mirabella said it was important local people understood the impact of Federal Government policies.

‘‘This company employs a lot of people — it has been continually improving and restructuring to improve its production,’’ she said.

‘‘Many companies have adopted environmental policies and get no recognition for this under the carbon tax.’’

The Liberal frontbencher was expelled from the House of Representatives last October after refusing to accept a ruling barring her from tabling an anti-carbon tax.

Executive director David Henderson expressed deep concerns for the future of the operation which was established in 1985 and employs 200 people — an increase of 30 in the past two years.

Mr Henderson said the proposed carbon tax would cost the company $1.1 million each year.

‘‘It makes us think, why bother when they (government) just want to clobber us over the head,’’ he said.

‘‘We are trying to install sustainable iniatives and trying to be proactive increasing employment in the area.

‘‘I wish Gillard could come to Benalla to see the impact.’’

Mr Henderson said $25 million dollars had been spent on the enterprise in the past seven years.

In addition, Hendersons has downscaled its Sydney operation from 50 people to five, in a costsaving effort to merge the operation under one roof.

Mentioning the closure of Benalla Spinners and the effects of the carbon tax on other large industries such as Thales, Mr Henderson said the loss of industry would be a ‘‘huge concern for this area’’.