Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today that once again the Government has failed to address climate change when producing important framework for Australia’s farmers through the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
“We know that climate change is one of the biggest threats to Australian agriculture, the Government failed to address it in the Green paper and once again they have failed to effectively address it in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper released by Barnaby Joyce today.
“Funding towards drought affected areas is obviously welcome but until our Government begins to seriously address climate change agriculture will suffer.
“Rather five short paragraphs near the end of the white paper, the Government should place addressing climate change at the centre of the Government's efforts to ensure this sector remains strong in the years to come and ensuring that the volume and quality of produce remains high, delivering strong returns at the farm gate.
“In recent estimates the Government openly admitted that consultation was ‘ad hoc’ and that there has been no criteria to assess ideas when developing this comprehensive framework for the future of the Agriculture sector.
“When producing the white paper the framework should have been rigorous and inclusive of genuine efforts to address climate change in this country. This Government should not claim to deliver ‘certainty of farmers’ in this document, particularly when they have yet to announce their post 2020 emission reduction target.
“It is particularly concerning that more money has been thrown at the construction of dams; building more dams will not provide certainly for agriculture, with a drying climate this approach is irresponsible for the agricultural sector.
"The drying climate is already having an impact in SW Western Australia, the Government's approach outlined in this paper does little to address this.
“The Government should go back to the drawing board and address these white elephants in the room”.