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Thursday, 3 November 2011
Page: 8235

Senator WONG (South AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deregulation) (19:10): What I was trying to explain is that there may be a distinction here between the voluntary market and the Kyoto market. Carbon farming credits which are Kyoto compliant would be available for purchase by entities outside Australia. Obviously, whether or not those permits would be able to be remitted under their domestic system would be a matter for their domestic legislation. Non-Kyoto compliant permits might be purchased on the voluntary market. There is a voluntary market. Obviously, this is still a developing market—we acknowledge that—but we have provided a significant amount of funding through the package before the parliament to assist landowners to participate in that market.

On the issue of food security—I think you and I have discussed this before in my previous portfolio—these are obviously choices that landowners make. One would assume, if the scenario that you outlined is correct, that the prices paid for food would be significantly more than the sorts of prices you would get for carbon abatement. I am not sure if the policy proposition you are putting is—

Senator Heffernan: That was just a bit of cover.

Senator WONG: All right, that was a bit of cover.