The Nationals' Senator Ron Boswell said that he was relieved by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's new policy to rule out the use of prime agricultural land for carbon sinks.
“The change in direction on this issue is great news for the regional Australia and vindicates the strong position of The Nationals against tax incentives for the establishment of Carbon Sinks because of concerns that carbon sinks would overtake prime agricultural land,” Senator Boswell said.
“Until now this has been a point of differentiation between the two Coalition parties, but Mr Abbott has listened to and adopted The Nationals' position meaning we can speak with one voice on the issue.”
“The Nationals have said all along that food and trees should compete on a level playing field rather than one having a tax advantage over another.”
“The problem has been that measures that give incentives for the establishment of carbon sinks only disadvantage the farming sector because it gives tax advantages to big carbon emitting companies to buy up prime agricultural land.”
“There have been problems in North Queensland already with prime agricultural land being purchased by Managed Investment Schemes who have a similar tax advantage to the carbon sink establishment deduction.”
Senator Boswell said that “by listening to the grassroots so early in his leadership, Mr Abbott will be more inclined to take the public with him on major policy issues.”
“The new leadership style of Mr Abbott, together with his new policy direction, bodes well for regional Australia.”