“The Climate Institute’s desire to inflict more taxes on the farming sector shows just what the CPRS could become in the future if the hippy Greens in the Senate get a chance to change it,” said The Nationals’ Senator Ron Boswell today on the release of the Climate Institute’s discussion paper on farming. “The Climate Institute has proposed a range of new taxes, levies and regulations which would make farming a totally state controlled activity without hope of survival, let alone profitability, in world markets.”
“Their costly and interfering proposals include:-
• Placing a carbon price on land clearing - either as a liability under the CPRS or as a levy - and strengthening state land-clearing regulations. This comes at a time when Qld farmers are already reeling from new land clearing and vegetation management controls.
• An emissions intensity levy on nitrogen fertilisers bought and livestock/milk sold
• A government commitment to regulate fertiliser products and selected farm activities directly if industry performance does not meet agreed goals.”
“The Climate Institute claims that ‘a relatively simply excise-like charge such as this would be calibrated according to the emissions intensities of urea and livestock, or kilolitre of milk and kilogramme of meat’.”
“They envisage a rolling five-year levy, reviewed every financial year and re-calibrated in light of new information, changes in the sectoral target, the price elasticity of demand (of fertiliser), and the consumer price index.” “This would be a nightmare for farmers to deal with and plan for, let alone be able to afford.”
“If these methods don’t work, the Climate Institute says that ‘mandatory use of low-emissions techniques and technologies should be strongly considered’.”
“This involves the government enacting default legislation such that if industry fails to achieve a satisfactory level of performance by a particular date (say, two years from the commencement of the strategy) then it will automatically be regulated.”
Senator Boswell said that a new high-handedness had entered the climate change debate where impractical and immeasurable objectives were being imposed on farmers without industry consultation.
“This is not cooperation or consultation; this is climate change totalitarianism with the elite seeking to dictate to the masses how they should run every moment of their lives.”
“While the Climate Institute proposes that there will be opportunities for new and more stable sources of income like carbon sinks, they propose a package of tax offsets and concessions to the finance sector which would see a repeat of the fiasco of Managed Investment Schemes which cost local farmers dearly, took valuable land out of food production and put pressure on water supply.” “The final recommendation from the green think tank is for the government to consider actively interfering in consumption patterns via demand management tools.”
Senator Boswell said this could include advertising campaigns against certain products like red meat for example.
“Once the CPRS was established, the Senate would forever be considering a litany of changes like this proposed by green groups. And Labor would be supporting some of them in order to get other legislation through or to secure Green preferences at an election.”