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Thursday, 18 August 2011
Page: 4841

Senator LUDWIG (QueenslandMinister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery) (13:29): I understand the amend­ment. The government does not support it. This amendment would effectively allow Greenhouse Friendly companies to receive CFI credits for abatement right back to 2008. The CFI does allow some backdating which goes back to 1 July 2010. This is a new piece of legislation designed to assist the farming community. Further backdating to 2008 could literally undermine the environmental integrity and value of the CFI credits. This legislation is designed to ensure that we do have integrity within this system. In looking at this issue though, the government will consider options for including some or all Greenhouse Friendly credits under the National Carbon Offset Standard for a transitional period. So it is not all bad news. This would increase the value of Greenhouse Friendly credits.

In this area, the government's view is that you are in the wrong place. I understand what you are trying to do, but it is about the Carbon Farming Initiative and it is about ensuring that we have a system that allows backdating to 1 July 2010 and that we use the methodologies under this to assist the co-benefits, which I described earlier, in the agricultural areas. But in dealing with Greenhouse Friendly companies, who have those types of things out there, the place to deal with the Greenhouse Friendly credits is under the National Carbon Offset Standard. That legislation is coming before this parlia¬≠ment, so it is not something that we are putting off. A much better opportunity to use that type of action again—in other words, this type of amendment—would be in the guidelines or in the next piece of legislation. That is by way of suggestion. I am trying to gabble with your amendment. We oppose it.