A survey from the international freight company DHL shows 90 per cent of businesses have not bothered to take the carbon price into account in their business planning.
The survey of 785 small to large exporting companies found the overwhelming majority put the carbon price into the “too hard basket” after being put off by the lack of detail from the Government.
According to DHL's senior vice-president Gary Edstein on ABC’s AM program: “Most of them said that there should be some government intervention or regulation when it came to carbon tax. But it seems that most of the respondents haven't planned or they obviously haven't increased the cost of their products or the price of their products.”
Seventy per cent of those surveyed had a familiar complaint – that the $23 per tonne carbon price is too high.
And 30 per cent were worried the carbon impact would hurt their exports.
But one result stands out. Despite the profile of the carbon tax debate in the lead-up to the first of July, just one in every 10 companies has bothered to make it part of their business plan.
Mr Edstein said the government “can do a lot more education” in making exporters more aware of the impact of the carbon tax.
Economist Tim Harcourt, formerly of Austrade now at the University of NSW, says businesses have badly underestimated the importance of having a carbon plan.
“I was surprised because they were ready for a higher dollar, they were ready for various legislative changes, but on the biggest political issue of the day it hadn't sunk in at an operational level,” Mr Harcourt said.
While the carbon price and the dollar remain critical, the survey says exporters think profits will increase over the next year with Indonesia joining China and New Zealand as the latest money spinner in the region.