Australia’s Cement Industry Federation chief executive officer Margie Thomson says because the cement industry, is internationally competitive, a proposed carbon tax cannot be passed on to consumers.
She said there are three integrated cement companies in Australia – Boral, Adelaide Brighton and Cement Australia.
“Together they produce the majority of the integrated cement,” Ms Thomson said. “They employ the industry federation to put forward the issues that need to be addressed on behalf of the industry.”
She said the cement industry is the largest emitters of CO2.
“It occurs when you process limestone and turn it into clinker, which is the first stage of cement production,” Ms Thomson said.
She said if a carbon tax was introduced, the industry would export its jobs overseas.
“We will then bring in import clinker or cement from other countries, namely Asia, where their emissions will be similar, or most likely higher,” Ms Thomson said. “So we are not going to change the global emissions number. In fact, we will probably increase it. And we will import that product. So we will be importing CO2-emitted product.
“For us, it’s (carbon tax) a fairy tale. All it will do is put us out of business. And because we are such high emitters, we need to have that compensation so we have that level playing field.
“We are struggling with the high (Aussie) dollar at the moment, but that’s business as usual. This is an added cost over and above that that we are really concerned about.