Australia’s Farming Communities Call for Politicians to End the Politics

Canberra, ACT, Australia ( May 26, 2011

Australia’s Farming Communities Want Politicians to End the Politics 2 Australia’s Farming Communities Call for Politicians to End the Politics

Australia’s Farming Communities Call for Politicians to End the Politics

The Opposition’s climate spokesman, Greg Hunt, today moved to delay the Government’s plans to credit farmers’ actions to reduce carbon pollution.

The Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative, currently being debated in the House, will give farmers and landholders access to carbon markets worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year for regional and rural Australia.

The Opposition showed today that contrary to their rhetoric, they’re willing to hold Australia’s regional and rural communities back.

What Mr Hunt has essentially told farmers today is that the Coalition wants to delay farmers from receiving benefit – that is he is signalling that the Coalition would much rather play politics than support farmers.

Farmers and landholders want politicians to end the politics.

The consultation on this initiative has been extensive and has taken place over a number of years.

Let us look at what key groups like the National Farmers Federation actually submitted to the House Inquiry:

“The legislation has also addressed NFF concerns around potential perverse outcomes in relation to food production, water, local communities, employment and biodiversity, as well as reducing some of the uncertainty and administration costs surrounding crediting periods, reporting timeframes and offsets compliance.”

“The Government deserves credit for listening to the farm sector and modifying its proposal to ensure that genuine abatement opportunities under the CFI are not unnecessarily overlooked.”

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has begun to release the first detailed methodologies which show in practical terms how particular landholders can put projects together. Today we released the Draft Methodology For Savanna Burning.

We have also been consulting extensively on the regulations and the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency is providing further details to the Senate Committee today.

We will release the regulations, which deal with technical matters, following independent advice from the Domestic Offset Integrity Committee. This is essential to the credibility and value of the offset credits which are created by the Initiative.

A scheme where the activities added and credited based on politics – which appears to be the preferred approach advocated by the Coalition, rather than science has no credibility in carbon markets and with the community.

The coalition should stop playing politics and support the Government’s efforts to reward farmers who are taking action on climate change.

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