Gld Water downplays tax liability

The local water authority has quickly moved to deny its liability to pay a carbon tax, after it was included on the Federal Government’s ‘Top 500’ polluters list last week.

In a media statement on Tuesday, Gippsland Water said due to raw sewerage emission reductions through the recently established Gippsland Water Factory, a waste water treatment and recycling plant, it was confident it would not be liable to pay the carbon price when it was introduced on 1 July.

The Federal Government’s Clean Energy Regulator released the first 248 additions to its Liable Entities Public Information Database on Friday, which details companies which were “likely to be liable” to pay the tax.

However, managing director David Mawer said the CER produced the list based upon emission figures collected from the 2010-11 financial year, when a full year of water factory performance data was unavailable.

“The regulator has drawn upon data that is based on only five months operation of the new wastewater treatment facilities,” Mr Mawer said.

“It remains our view that the impact of the full commissioning of the Gippsland Water Factory has reduced greenhouse gas emissions below the liability threshold of 25,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions the regulator has put in place.”

The CER has written to about 330 companies advising of their “likely” liability to pay the carbon price for the 2012-13 financial year, who it said accounted for more than 95 per cent of emissions covered by the carbon pricing mechanism.

The second phase of LEPID additions is due for release in June, targeting landfill operators, while further additions will occur in July.

Other companies based in Gippsland (or with an established regional presence) in the first phase of LEPID include Australian Paper, Energy Brix Australia, Esso, Fonterra, Murray Goulburn and Thiess.