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Greener, cheaper, smarter ETS.

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THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Friday 14 August 2009

Greener, cheaper, smarter ETS

Food producers will take an almighty hit if the Rudd Government continues to push ahead with its ill considered Emissions Trading Scheme this week. Under Labor’s plan agriculture has to take all the extra costs but would have no chance of offsets or other benefits with their situation reviewed in 5 years.

“According to ABARE an average sized farm will be faced with a loss of $11,000 and will have no chance to claim credits for the large amount of carbon sequestration they may achieve for example tree planting,” Dr Sharman Stone, Federal Member for Murray said today.

“Unfortunately farmers are price takers; they cannot push their extra costs onto consumers, who continue to expect cheap food.

“Food producers will have to compete with imported foods grown in more sympathetic countries, such as New Zealand, the United States or the United Kingdom where farming has been shielded from their carbon emission reductions scheme impacts. Alternatively our farmers have to compete with imports from other countries with subsidies or cheap labour like China,” Dr Stone said.

“The Government has refused to acknowledge the dilemma for agriculture.

The Coalition’s nine principles, which must be included in an ETS, include the shielding of agriculture from the impacts and opportunities to be benefit from offsets.

Dr Stone said the Coalition and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon commissioned independent economic research which demonstrated that the Rudd Labor Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme would drive up electricity costs and destroy jobs.

“The results released this week make it clear that Mr Rudd should immediately withdraw his carbon pollution reduction scheme legislation and negotiate to design a more effective proposal.


“This week the Coalition has put forward a proposal that doubles the Rudd Labor Government’s reduction target, it is 40 percent cheaper for Australians and will save the Australian Economy over $49 billion over the next 20 years.

“The study shows that with amendments an appropriate ETS will ensure more jobs, with more Australians in work, earning higher wages, particularly in regional Australia.

Dr Stone said the onus is squarely now on the Government to sit down and discuss this alternative approach.

“The Coalition believes that it will be job destroying to move ahead of similar or competing economies in imposing higher energy costs on our economy that will not reduce emissions, because high energy users will simply relocate to offshore to places where energy prices remain competitive.

“There is no doubt that there are solutions to the greenhouse gas problem which are at the same time better for our environment and economy, but the Labor party’s Greenhouse legislation which has been rejected by the Greens, Independents and the Coalition is hopelessly inadequate and job destroying,” Dr Stone said.

Media enquiries: Jo Shannon 0417 148 110