It was a cold winter day in Sydney yesterday but thousands of people left the comfort of their homes and made their way into the city to join a protest march and voice their fury over the introduction of the carbon tax.
Our cost of living is already the highest in the world yet our government has slugged us again with a tax we were told would never happen. Before the election Julia Gillard said "There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead" and after the election, she changed her mind.
The protesters chanted "election now" and "smash the tax" and shut down Elizabeth Street for almost an hour. Organizer Jacques Laxale from the Consumers and Taxpayers Association said "The message of the crowd here today and the majority of Australians throughout the country is the battle has only just begun."
Hotels, butchers, anyone with fridges, freezers and cool rooms will be impacted and the cost of transporting goods will rise. One small businessman, an irrigation farmer from Wagga Wagga, addressed the group. He said that rising electricity costs meant that his farm would soon be too costly to run. "Today when I leave here and drive back to Wagga, to my family and my children, I have to say to them there is no future for you on our farm - it's over, we have no choice, our farms are sitting idle."
Kim Souied owns a mixed business in Alexandria and already pays $950 a month to run her fridges, lights, freezers and cool room. "The sale price will have to go up for anything stored in a fridge or freezer" she said "I will try and keep the increases small for my customers but we need to be realistic, I can't keep the bill down because I can't turn the lights or the freezers off overnight" she said.
Councils will face huge carbon tax bills for household rubbish, emitting carbon, rotting in landfills and those costs will eventually be passed on to ratepayers.
Julia Gillard said that Tony Abbott could not repeal the tax if he were elected into government next year but Bronwyn Bishop was there to tell the people that he would. ‘‘The next election, whenever it will be held, will be a referendum on the carbon tax,’’ Ms Bishop said.‘‘Those people who say we can’t abolish it are wrong - we can abolish it.’’