Independents proud of tax

11 Jul, 2011 09:10 AM
Independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor in Canberra for 'Carbon Sunday'.
Independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor in Canberra for 'Carbon Sunday'.

INDEPENDENTS Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor have welcomed the carbon pricing package saying it would inject funds into agriculture to help make farming more profitable, as improved farming methods made land more productive.

Mr Windsor said the government’s package and the act of putting a price on carbon, sent strong messages to heavy emitting polluters about the need to reform current behaviours.

But he said it also signalled the “enormous opportunity” to reap rewards from a cleaner environment.

“To those who say regional Australia is going to be penalised by this package, I encourage them to take a closer look,” he said.

Mr Winsor said the packaged contained enormous opportunities through areas of innovation, such as solar power generation, that are expected to generate future employment.

“Innovation will take place once the signals are received,” he said.

“There’s enormous opportunity here and I’m very proud to be part of this process.”

Mr Oakeshott said he expected the legislation to pass through parliament and be debated in the next few months.

A government advertising campaign is expected to start in the next few weeks.

Mr Windsor was also pleased the proposed carbon tax excluded fuels for cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy vehicles and fuels used in agriculture, fisheries and forestry.

He believes those exclusions will considerably reduce the tax’s impact on farm input costs.

He is also pleased the tax won’t apply to agricultural emissions.

“For years, governments have treated the agriculture industry as a poor cousin - that’s about to change,” Mr Windsor said.

“Now that farmers have been recognised as a key part of the effort to address climate change, the agriculture industry can look forward to better treatment through the programs associated with the package.

“These initiatives will drive improvements in the natural environment, while also increasing the carbon content of soil.

“That can only improve the productivity of farm land.”

Fellow Independent, Andrew Wilkie, reiterated his support for the Federal Government’s “clean energy package”.

“The Government’s done a good job, in particular by the way it will establish a mechanism with modest start-up settings and the capacity to evolve as our main trading partners embrace comparable climate change policies,” he said.

Mr Wilkie said Tasmania has an overwhelming reliance on clean Hydro power and is well positioned to benefit from the clean energy package.

“On balance I think the Federal Government’s got the settings about right on this.

“Yes, there are some compromises and yes, some high income earners will be disadvantaged.

“But we do have to clean up our environment and prepare for the future global economy and this package is a positive step towards achieving that.

“One day, I’ll be proud to explain to my two young children that it was this Parliament that finally did something to address climate change.”

Key agricultural features of the package for agriculture:

  • A 15 percent tax rebate on machinery used in no-till or direct-drill farming methods that will not only assist in carbon sequestration but also helping to reduce the impact of drought. It also puts an extra $37,500 in the pocket of a farmer who buys a $250,000 machine.
  • Direct funding to help farmers store more carbon in their soil, with a particular focus on new farming technologies, including biochar, biofuels and new crop/grazing species.
  • Funding for research into the development of a system to measure the amount of carbon stored in soil.
  • New agriculture industry jobs for carbon service providers, who’ll help farmers obtain funding for projects that store carbon in soil.
  • Funding to help control weeds, pests and feral animals.
  • Funding for local Natural Resource Management organisations to guide reforestation and revegetation projects and develop climate change scenarios that’ll help farmers adapt.
  • Guidelines to prevent carbon forests from being established on existing agricultural land or from taking water from farms and other water users.
  • An independent board to oversee these initiatives.
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    Mrs Mac
    11/07/2011 9:59:37 AM

    There is an idiot born every minute and Tony Windsor, you are the most recent. I would not expect any better from Oakeshott but I thought you were representing your constituents but you have swallowed the Labor lies all the way down. Just wait until they drop those promises to agriculture, it won't be long and then revel in the damage you have done to us
    dave water
    11/07/2011 10:05:51 AM

    They better enjoy it all while they can because they are gone next election.
    11/07/2011 10:51:43 AM

    Well, we are not proud of you pair of doublecrossers!
    11/07/2011 12:10:20 PM

    I'm proud of these Independents. They have done what no-one from the major parties have had the balls to do: make a stand for what they believe is right.
    11/07/2011 12:35:04 PM

    Traitors to our country, Traitors to our creed, All that you are proud of, Is making our people bleed! Smiling smugly you pose, for the cameras of the Press, Whilst all around the rest of us, Are dealing to the Mess.
    11/07/2011 2:25:04 PM

    what a crock this is, so we're gonna get a rebate on a new disc seeder or whatever, that is probably gonna cost an extra 15 or 20% to build under the scheme any way..... as well as an army of consultants and bureaucrats that are going to assist us in the transition ......for nothing. If one of the big 500 polluters manages to reduce their emissions to the point they they are neutral, won't that then affect the revenue stream for the tax collectors and hence drive costs up for taxpayers? An independent board to oversee the government's initiatives??......give me a break!!!
    Dave the Cow Cocky
    11/07/2011 4:08:36 PM

    These two men have the courage of their convictions, a rare thing in politicians these days especially from the right of centre. Meanwhile Tony Abott who is yet to get over losing the last election will do or say anthing to get a vote, he has no notion of what leadership is about and is a hollow man with no scruples.
    11/07/2011 5:36:19 PM

    In 2007 China was commisioning a new coal power station every 10 days. Although this figure might not be as high today, anyone that thinks Labor's lttle tax grab will do anything for the environment is delusional. Fuchsia, the only thing this government has balls about is blatantly lying to the public and then standing up and telling us that it's for our own good. Even though 85% of the public disagree. The GG should stand up, do her job and sack this imcompetent lying government. But I suppose with a family member stuck in the pig trough it makes it a little harder!
    11/07/2011 6:31:48 PM

    So these two, who represent the brains trust for Australian Agriculture, think that a Government that can’t manage to set up simple little websites to ‘Watch’ grocery prices or fuel prices are fully competent to manage something so complicated that no other nation on earth has even attempted, or is ever likely to attempt. With a tax on energy production, what economic model are they going to use to stop tax off-set creep through production, processing, wholesale to retail? Oh that’s right, it’s going to be based on ‘Honesty’. Me thinks we are in for some very interesting times.
    11/07/2011 8:37:59 PM

    I cannot overstate the sincere thanks that I extend to these visionary leaders. Simplistic morons who listen to Alan Jones and disregard the CSIRO have their head in the sand. Wake up and look outside your radio, have a thought for yourself - you might like it! I'll have a quiet beer for you Tony and Rob - Cheers Fellas.
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