Almost six weeks after the controversial carbon tax was introduced, few businesses have done anything to integrate its real or potential impact into their long-term strategies.
A survey from the international freight company DHL shows 90 per cent of businesses have put the carbon price into the 'too hard basket', put off by the lack of detail from the government.
The annual export barometer from DHL spoke to 785 companies - ranging from small home businesses through to large corporations.
Seven out of 10 had a familiar complaint - that the $23 per tonne carbon price is too high - with three in 10 worried the impact would hurt their exports.
But one result stands out.
Despite the profile of the carbon tax debate in the lead up to July 1, just one in every 10 companies has bothered to make it part of their business plan.
DHL senior vice-president Gary Edstein says the survey detected more than just a little carbon apathy.
"Most of them said that there should be some government intervention or regulation when it came to the 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," Mr Edstein said.
More education "I think the government can do a lot more education in making the exporters more aware of the impact of the carbon tax." Economist Tim Harcourt, formerly of Austrade and now at the University of New South Wales, 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 on an operational level," Mr Harcourt said.
"I think a lot of companies have thought, 'Well, it is about consumers, it's about electricity prices,' but they haven't realised that it could actually affect their business operations.
"Having said that, most were supportive of action to do with climate change.
This idea of growing more trees was not appealing to them at all." Business are also worried about the high Australian dollar, which broke through 106 US cents earlier this week.
Companies say that factor is continuing to put pressure on their ability to compete, with manufacturing and agriculture taking the brunt.
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.
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