23 March 2023
Farming groups back Haines’ climate support plan
Industry leaders from the National Farmers Federation and Farmers for Climate Action have stood with Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines and joined her call for government support for farmers as they reduce emissions and take action on climate change.
Dr Haines has developed a plan for a network of 200 agricultural extension officers across 20 locations to support farmers to implement new technologies and practices that reduce emissions, and make decisions about engaging in the carbon market.
Following a motion on the plan in the House of Representatives on Monday, Dr Haines was joined by Chief Executive of the National Farmers Federation Tony Mahar and Chief Executive of Farmers for Climate Action Fiona Davis to make the pitch to the Government.
“We’re absolutely 100% supportive of more measures, more assistance, more support for farmers to actively engage, play their part,” Mr Mahar said.
“Farmers and agriculture can be part of the solution, when we’re talking about reducing emissions, being more sustainable, and importantly producing the food and fibre that Australian farmers are renowned worldwide for.”
Dr Davis said a survey by Farmers for Climate Action of more than 600 farmers showed there was a need for Dr Haines’ plan.
“Farmers are looking for extension officer support, they need that support to be able to do the emissions reduction that is so important,” she said.
“Farmers are looking to be part of this solution. They’re doing all that they can. We have a survey of over 600 farmers and the majority of those are not getting the information they need to do the work that they know is important on their farms.”
Dr Davis said Farmers for Climate Action was “right behind” Dr Haines’ plan, which “offers the opportunity to invest in extension and invest in that support for farmers”.
As the House of Representatives debates the Safeguard Mechanism Bill, which has a high reliance on offsets created by the agriculture industry, Dr Haines said her plan was the right idea at the right time.
“This is an evidence-based approach to a new transition,” Dr Haines said.
“In Australian agriculture, it’s a very new space that farmers are operating in. There’s noise coming from everywhere when it comes to offsetting. And it’s absolutely incumbent upon the Albanese Government to support our farmers through this transition.”