Media Release: Positive step forward in transition to net zero: National Farmers Federation

23 May 2024

MEDIA RELEASE

Positive step forward in transition to net zero

The National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed the detail announced today on the $63.8 million in the 2024-25 Budget to support the reduction of emissions in the agriculture industry.

NFF Chief Executive Officer Tony Mahar is in Toowoomba at the Sustainable Agriculture Summit to help progress the Agriculture and Land Sectoral Plan. Mr Mahar said the support ministers Chris Bowen and Murray Watt outlined on agriculture’s role in the transition to net zero was reassuring and showed they had listened to farmers.

“The agriculture sector has significant concerns it will be the fall guy for other sectors to reduce their emissions through offsets on farmland.

“National emissions reduction must be a shared responsibility and agriculture will play its part, but that part has to be fair and not comprise productivity, profitability nor food security.”

Mr Mahar said the principles outlined by the ministers today aligned with what the sector had been calling for – close collaboration with the agricultural sector, prioritising food security, and making sure farmland is not a carbon dump for other sectors.

“This is consistent with what the NFF has been seeking as we work towards achieving the ongoing reduction in agricultural emissions trajectory.

“Any credible climate plan needs to partner closely with farmers who manage more than half of Australia’s landmass.

“It’s reassuring to hear the government is on the same page and won’t be imposing targets on farmers.”

Today’s announcement has provided further detail on the $63.8 million announced in Federal Budget to support the reduction of emissions in agriculture, including $28.7 million to improve greenhouse gas accounting – an important down payment with further investment expected.

“We’ve been saying for some time that farmers need to ‘know their number’ – improving and standardising approaches to data collection, measurement and accounting are critical to making this easy and accessible, especially at farm scale.”

The NFF has supported the establishment of the Carbon Farming Outreach Program and welcomes the additional $30.8 million to complement this work, giving farmers much-needed independent advice to make informed decisions about their businesses.

Furthermore, the NFF welcomes the additional government investment in the Zero Net Emissions Agriculture CRC – of which NFF is also a foundation partner.

“If we can get this right, there is real potential to unlock opportunities for agriculture and the broader economy and we are heartened to hear Minister Watt share this view,” Mr Mahar said.

“This will allow agriculture to be part of the solution to a lower emissions future while giving farmers the tools to become more sustainable and productive.

“We thank the ministers for working with the farm sector and look forward to continuing to work closely with the government on the Agriculture and Land Sectoral Plan to ensure agriculture continues to lead the nation in a reduced emissions future.”

NFF Media Team

(02) 6269 5617

media@nff.org.au

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