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We might become a nation of vegetarians?



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Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia Liberal Senator for Queensland

MEDIA RELEASE

WE MIGHT BECOME A NATION OF VEGETARIANS?

Evidence given at a Senate Committee hearing in Sydney today suggests that Australians might have to become a nation of vegetarians.

Federal Opposition Spokesman on Northern Australia, Senator Ian Macdonald said that the Australian Farm Institute confirmed in its submission to the Senate Select Committee looking into the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) that the accounting standard imposed under Kyoto Treaty was detrimental to Australian pastoral industries by including the greenhouse emissions from the livestock industry in its emissions calculations, but not allowing for the offsets that carbon sequestration of grazing lands might give.

Mr Mick Keogh, Executive Director of the Institute, told the hearing that Australia farm industries would be disadvantaged against competitors from the projected treatment under the Rudd Government’s CPRS.

“Mr Keogh agreed with me that, taken to its conclusion, Australians would not be able to afford meat - in fact there may not be a meat industry left in Australia,” Senator Macdonald said.

“While I have nothing against vegetarians, many Australians will be appalled at the prospect of not being able to have their red meat fix.”

“Northern Australia contains some of the world’s most efficient and profitable cattle and sheep industries, and these could be put at risk if Rudd’s ill conceived CPR Scheme ever becomes a reality.”

“It is essential that the Rudd Government wipe the slate clean and start again on an Emissions Trading Scheme that does not destroy Australia’s productive industries.”

“The North, with its minerals, mineral processing, and grazing industries, stands to be a real loser from the Government’s proposed Carbon Trading Scheme.”

“Unfortunately in the North we are only small in number and don’t have the political pull, with only 6% of the voting population. But governments would be foolish not to recognise that the North produces more than 30% of Australia’s export earnings.”

“Rudd’s CPRS will destroy many of the industries that make the North such a contributor to our national wealth.”

“And it could change us into a nation of vegetarians!” Senator Macdonald said.

ENDS

19 February 2009

Media Contact: Troy Reeves (07) 4771 3066 BH 0427 960 255 AH