COMMERCE Ballarat's vice chair Andrew Rowan said he couldn't provide specific comments on the carbon tax because nobody knows exactly what it will be."I think everyone is just looking for the detail at the moment," Mr Rowan said."One side is saying one thing and the other is saying another thing."Mr Rowan said he hoped the details were released as soon as possible to give businesses enough time to prepare."As I understand it, the tax is designed to change behaviour, so I suppose it will force businesses to change they way they operate to reduce their carbon footprint," he said."You would want a good 12 months to prepare for the possible changes in the way you run your business."Mr Rowan said a future tax on carbon would be an additional cost for business — but nothing they haven't handled before."Every day businesses have to make decisions on costs — to pass them onto consumers or to try and absorb them," he said."A carbon tax isn't going to be any different to increasing interest rates, higher fuel prices and other costs — it's just another thing to deal with in a whole suite of costs."Click here to take part in The Courier’s climate change surveyThe Australian Industry Group has also adopted a wait-and-see approach, but has also warned against hitting the country's industry-base too hard. Chief executive Heather Ridout said the eventual tax needed to forgo "ludicrous policy options" such as a $40 starting price, on-going fixed prices, exclusion of credible offshore emission reducing actions from an Australian approach and moving to an unconditional 2020 target of 25 per cent below 2000 emissions."These options would be economically reckless and continued discussion of them unnecessarily complicates an already diabolical policy debate," she said."As well, it needs to be understood that the timing of this debate is very tough, especially for manufacturing."