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Burke denies climate change support to many farmers.



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Tue, 15th July 2008 BURKE DENIES CLIMATE CHANGE SUPPORT TO MANY FARMERS

Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion Leader of The Nationals in the Senate Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

The imposition of a mean means test has resulted in many Australian farmers being denied assistance in adapting and adjusting to the impacts of climate change, said Senator Scullion today.

''A means test attached to the Australia's Farming Future Climate Change Adjustment program that includes the value of the family farm in the $1.5 million ceiling has meant that thousands of farmers who need assistance in adapting to climate change are automatically denied any help.

''The new program promised farmers grants up to $5500 to fund among other things, training to update or acquire new skills to manage the risks of climate change.

''In what is becoming a pattern with this government, the minister has again launched a program with much fanfare and self promotion, but when you read the fine print, you learn that there are strings attached that render the promise next to worthless, said Senator Scullion.

''Minister Burke needs to get out of his office so he may learn that farming is a capital intensive industry. Land, machinery and implements all add to your asset list but do not result in disposable income.

''The strong property values coupled with the prolonged drought have left many farmers in an asset rich cash poor position, said Senator Scullion.

''Farmers should not have to put their future at risk with farm mortgages up to their eye balls before they are provided help with climate change.

''If our farmers are not given the help they need when they need it to ensure their long term viability then farm productivity and Australia's food security will be placed at risk.

''Minister Burke must immediately remove the family farm from any means test so that help can be provided to all farmers to combat climate change'', said Senator Scullion.