By Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a draft decision proposing that Refrigerant Reclaim Australia (RRA) be allowed to increase the levy imposed on refrigerant gas imported and sold in Australia from $1.00 to $1.50 in order to cope with the increased demand for gas disposal.

The levy, designed to fund the collection and disposal of substances considered harmful to the ozone as well as synthetic greenhouse gases, has been in place since 1994 and was initially set at $1.00 per kilogram of refrigerant gases sold by importers.

While the increase in the levy may result in a slight price increase for consumers, approximately 10 cents for every $1,000 spent, the minimal price rise appears to be truly offset by its benefit to the environment.

The newly proposed levy increase by the RRA has received extensive industry support due to the perceived environmental and social benefits.

While Australia remains one of only two countries in the world yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the ACCC regards the on-going operation of the program pivotal in assisting Australia comply with its international greenhouse gas commitments.