McCormack says slice ag from a climate target tax

Regional Australia 'should not pay bill for climate target'

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Ag should not pay for climate target programs, says Nationals leader Michael McCormack, at left, with NFF president Fiona Simson and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Ag should not pay for climate target programs, says Nationals leader Michael McCormack, at left, with NFF president Fiona Simson and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

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Littleproud says ag already doing heavy lifting on carbon control

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Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has backed his Nationals leader, saying agriculture had already done much of the heavy lifting on limiting carbon pollution and should not be hit in any future climate target process.

On the weekend Nationals leader Michael McCormack said Australia should follow New Zealand and cut agriculture from any possible 2050 zero emissions taxes or penalties as this would hurt regional Australian communities.

Any move forward to control carbon pollution had to be done through technology advances, he said.

"Well what we need to make sure is that we don't disproportionately affect regional Australia," he told Sky News.

"And the Prime Minister said that in his National Press Club Speech ... he said that regional Australia was not going to pick up the bill, not going to pick up the bill for anything that we're doing towards zero net emissions by 2050. And that was what we've said all along.

"It will be technology not taxes that get us there. That was a very important point and it needs to be heard by regional Australia that we are not going to tax them like Labor would. Labor, the only way they're ever going to get anywhere where they need to get with their climate policies, because they're all over the place when it comes to this, is that they would whack regional Australia in particular. They would whack agriculture. They would absolutely hurt mining and resources. Well we are not going to do that. It's going to be that technology roadmap. We've put $18 billion towards that."

He said ag should not be hit in any future climate control programs.

"We've encountered drought, we've had bushfires impacting regional Australia, here of course far greater than metropolitan Australia. Then we've had of course floods following that and then of course we had COVID-19.

"The whole nation, the whole world is doing its best to recover from that. And there is no way known that we are going to whack regional Australia, hurt regional Australia in any way, shape or form to get a target for climate in 2050. It's not going to happen. The Prime Minister has said it's not going to happen. If we get there, we will get there through technology."

Mr Littleproud told ABC morning breakfast that agriculture had already done a lot of the heavy lifting in limiting carbon emissions and was actually going further than most industries and "doing better".

There were many exciting new technologies and methods for carbon sequestration on farm, he said.

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