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Climate Report hype incorrect.



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Media Release Tuesday 8 July, 2008 PR/123/08

Climate Report hype incorrect

The NSW Farmers’ Association says suggestions that a CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) report found that droughts would occur one in every two years in the future is incorrect.

NSW Farmers’ Association President Jock Laurie says whilst the Climate Report does say ‘exceptionally high temperatures’ are likely to occur frequently, this does not equate to drought, and alarmist reporting has added confusion and pressure to farm families at a time when they can least afford it.

“We have received a number of calls from Members who were extremely agitated, confused and upset about the reports of drought every second year in future,” Mr Laurie said.

“The CSIRO and BOM were asked to look at likely changes in temperature regimes; rainfall deficiencies; and soil moisture, as well as the existing climate trigger for Exceptional Circumstances declarations,” he said.

“The report acknowledges that there are four types of drought, being meteorological, agricultural, hydrological and socio-economic, and temperature is only one of many contributing factors.

“We are disappointed that industry was not invited to contribute to the climatic review, and as such, the bank of industry’s climatic, hydrologic and irrigation knowledge was not included,” he said.

The Association says the CSIRO/BOM Climate Report is an important component to the national review of drought policy, but the report must be considered in the context of the wider national drought policy review which also includes a social and economic assessment), as well from a solutions-focused, risk-management approach at the farm and regional level.

“It is not an assessment of the profitability or sustainability of agriculture,” Mr Laurie said.

“The Association is closely reviewing the report’s messages for farmers in NSW, and our assessment will consider how best to utilise the report in the context of the wider national drought policy review, as well from a solutions-focused, risk-management approach at the farm and regional level,” Mr Laurie concluded.

A full briefing note on the CSIRO/BOM Climate Report is available for Members at www.nswfarmers.org.au.

Contact: Ellen McNamara (Media Officer) 0429 990 218 Amanda Barwick (Media Manager) 0428 400 736