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Littleproud says farmer subtraction follows Labor's net-zero equation


Agriculture Minister Littleproud at the dispatch box in Question Time

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has poured cold water over Labor's net-zero direction on greenhouse gas emissions, suggesting that the federal opposition's policy will overcome farmers with uncertainty.


The Deputy Leader of the Nationals, said on Monday that farmers could be set to lose out on productive agricultural land, a prime asset for farming production.


Mr Littleproud also implied that price hikes for consumers could be on the way as a result of mandated methane reduction targets.

“This would amount to a sneaky new carbon tax."
"The frightening thing is that Labor’s real target for 2030 has already moved from 43% to 48% in a matter of days...this is before the Greens force them towards their 75% target in their power sharing arrangement. "
“The real risk for regional Australia is that the Labor Party will legislate these targets which means agriculture is vulnerable to the ideology of Labor and Greens."

The Queensland LNP senator zeroed in on the issues affecting grazing agriculture on the broader topic of Labor's policy impacts on farming:

“For the last two elections they have taken a National Vegetation policy to the polls that would lock up productive agriculture land for tree plantings."
“Labor has also not ruled out specific methane reduction targets which could mean a mandated national herd number."
“The Coalition has already said our targets are shared across the whole of the economy."

Mr Littleproud also insinuated that the coalition isn't alone in questioning Labor's net zero direction.

“When even former union leaders are questioning Labor’s modelling, you know something has to be wrong.”

Federal Opposition leader Anthony Albanese hit back on Monday:

"What we didn't do was set a target and work back, what we did was put forward a range of policies...and then have the modelling done at arm's length."
"We've got very precise costings. We have precise analysis, the most detailed policy analysis and modelling of any policy put forward by any opposition in any area since federation."
"This government have had more than 20 policies in the almost decade that they have been in office and they haven't landed one."
"We have one policy that we have announced last Friday. It's fully costed."

The National Farmers Federation's took a more conciliatory tone on Labor's net zero target with president Fiona Simson saying:

"With so much at stake for our regions in the transition to net zero, we commend the Opposition for putting forward a considered and detailed policy, supported by transparent modelling.
"Whatever the model agriculture must be able to continue to grow towards $100 billion by 2030. There can be no outcome that reduces herd numbers or hectares cropped.
"The Labor policy acknowledges the heavy lifting our farmers have already done towards meeting Australia’s climate goals. It also looks to ensure farmers’ future contributions are rewarded – rather than coerced through heavy-handed taxes or green tape.
"Family farmers unjustly carried the burden of the meeting of Australia’s Kyoto targets. And, far from licking our wounds, farmers have continued to bat above our average in emissions reduction and carbon sequestration."

Last week, Mr Albanese announced Labor's plans for Australia to become a 'renewable energy superpower' under a new government in 2022.

"...One of the keys to a Future Made in Australia is the cheap, renewable energy that we have in such abundance. Our Powering Australia plan will create over 600,000 jobs, with five out of six of them in the regions. Labor’s plan will boost renewables to 82 per cent of the grid by 2030."
"Cheap, renewable power will mean household bills drop by an average of $275 by 2025. Powering Australia will reduce Australia’s emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 – which will become Australia’s target, keeping us on track for net zero by 2050."
"We are backing this with the most extensive independent modelling ever carried out for any policy by an Opposition. Our plan has already been backed by the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the ACTU and a range of community organizations."
"It’s a practical example of how I will bring Australians together so we can move forward together. We can put the climate wars behind us. We can unite around a common vision. We can become a renewable energy superpower."

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor also weighed in on Labor's future climate direction last week, stating that Labor have "gone back to the future" and reverted to Bill Shorten's climate policies from previous elections.


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Taylor was also critical of Albanese's leadership, stating that he has cowered to the left-wing faction of Labor.

"After 132 weeks without a climate policy, Labor have gone back to the future and reheated Bill Shorten’s failed climate policies from the 2016 and 2019 elections."
"Anthony Albanese has caved in to the left wing of his party and backflipped on his rejection of a higher 2030 target."
"Unlike the Government, Labor still has no post-2030 plan to achieve their 2050 target."

Taylor also stated that Labor was disguising plans to introduce a tax on carbon, similarly to the party's movements of more than a decade ago under Julia Gillard.


"At the heart of today’s announcement is a sneaky new carbon tax on agriculture, manufacturing, mining and transport."
"A future Labor government will legislate to force the nation’s 215 largest industrial facilities to reduce their emissions by 5 million tonnes each year (to zero by 2050)."
"Labor’s modelling shows they will force these businesses to purchase 40 million tonnes or $1.66 billion of offsets by 2030 (based on current Australian Carbon Credit Unit prices)."
"That’s $1.66 billion in costs that will make these businesses less competitive, forcing jobs and industries offshore."
"Modelling for the Government’s Plan found that forcing net zero by 2050 through a mandated approach would require a carbon tax of between $80 and $400 per tonne, and the conversion of up to 10 per cent of productive agricultural land into vegetation to store carbon."

On Friday, the Australian Industry Group's CEO Innes Willox issued a statement claiming that ambitious net zero targets could be met with hard work:

"The more ambitious emissions reductions proposed by the Federal Opposition, and already adopted by most States, can be delivered with sensible policy reforms, greater collaboration, and a close focus on industry competitiveness."
"Australian industry competitiveness requires successful transition to the emerging net zero emissions economy. At Glasgow we saw further confirmation that our major trading partners and allies are committed both to long-term net zero and deep mid-term emissions cuts. Business is reminded every day that customers and investors increasingly demand low-carbon products and credible pathways to zero."
“A 43 per cent cut by 2030 would be consistent with our trading partners and the directions industry has called for. But just as important as where we’re going is how we get there. No matter who forms Australia’s next Federal Government, the call for greater ambition will need to be answered and the challenges of achieving it will need to be navigated."