By Claire Reilly
Frank Seeley, the founder and chairman of Australian air conditioning manufacturer Seeley International, has criticised the Federal Government’s carbon pricing scheme, saying that it is an unnecessary imposition on Australian manufacturing.
Speaking to Current.com.au at the Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Building Services trade show in Melbourne last week, Seeley said the carbon tax would be a positive for his company, because it was a leader in environmentally-friendly products designed to reduce power use. However, he also noted it would negatively impact the local manufacturing industry.
“For us personally, it’s a good thing. But for Australia as a nation, it’s a bad thing," he said.
“We’re very sorry to see the carbon tax, because I think it’s a retrograde step for Australia, it’s an imposition that we don’t need, and it’s going to make it harder for Australia generally to compete with the rest of the world.
“At Seeley, we separate ourselves a bit from that because our products are so unique, and they’re not price-sensitive like other people’s are. But the carbon tax, I have to tell you from my point of view, it’s affecting us. It’s going to affect everybody.
“Our steel prices are going to go up, our plastic prices are going to go up, our electrical energy costs are going to go up, everything’s going to go up.
"Now here in Australia, if it was a level playing field, you’re only competing with people who’ve got the same problem. But the problem is that we’ve got an impost on us that other countries overseas don’t have. So that means a lot of them are going to be able to send over their products and they are going to come in under the radar. Australian companies are going to pay the extra, they’re not.”