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Tax is no deterrent for investors, says Shell boss

David Wroe: June 21, 2012

THE chief executive of Shell, Peter Voser, has applauded the Gillard government’s $23 carbon price, saying it should not deter investment in Australian resources projects and countries that failed to follow suit would fall behind.

Shell, the world’s second-largest energy firm, is investing more than $30 billion in Australia in the next five years. Mr Voser told the ABC’s 7.30 program last night the company already assumes a $40 carbon price when it judges whether or not a project will be profitable.

”We’re investing those sums of money because we take 20, 30 years’ view rather than just the next two, three quarters and in that sense, historical experience and also a forward-looking experience for Australia is very positive,” he said.

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”Shell as a company is actually very much advocating that we need a price for carbon on the worldwide basis and we want that to be on a market mechanism.”

He said Australia was generally an attractive place to develop resources projects and the carbon price should not deter investors. His remarks counter claims by the Coalition and other critics of the government’s carbon price that the policy will damage resources investment in Australia.

Mr Voser said the world would ultimately have to follow in Australia’s footsteps because the ballooning demand for energy would force a shift to cleaner sources.

He said countries that did not have a carbon price would ultimately fall behind: ”I think they will not be competitive in attracting investment.”

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