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Energy security and affordability key priority for farmers in Climate Review

5 December 2016

The President of the National Farmers’ Federation, Fiona Simson has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a review of climate change policies and has called on the government to ensure that energy security and affordability are front and centre considerations of the review.

”The NFF recognises that climate change poses a significant challenge for Australian farmers. As a nation, we must act to ensure that our economy is well placed to cost efficiently reduce our national greenhouse gas emissions profile,” Ms Simson said

“Given that around one third of our national emissions are from electricity generation, as our energy mix changes, we must ensure we have a national plan to ensure a smooth, affordable and reliable transition.

“Our revised Climate Policy released only last week clearly articulates it is critical that the suite of Government policies that seek to address the challenge of climate change are fully examined, to ensure the policy levers of Government work cohesively to achieve our national objectives.

“A long term consistent approach to climate and energy policy is crucial for Australian business and industry.

Ms Simson said that a coordinated national strategy is necessary to ensure access to affordable, reliable sources of energy and that Australian agriculture and downstream value adding sectors remain internationally competitive.

“The NFF recognises that Australia’s energy mix needs to change as existing generation assets reach the end of their useful lives and also in order to meet the Paris Commitment and beyond.

“We have seen that the extractive industry has, in many parts of Australia, not engaged with the community as well as they might have and failed to provide confidence they can act responsibly, with Governments acting to restrict development in many states.

“To ensure that we will have reliable and affordable energy it is paramount that this confidence is rebuilt. This means companies engaging with the farming community, acting responsibly, and negotiating fairly

“They need to make sure that their practices do not damage the precious land and water resources on which farmers rely to feed the nation and the world.

“Governments too need to act to ensure that we are investing in the best science so that we make sure that developments happen in the right place and in the right way – to prevent irreversible damage to agricultural land and water resources.

“With COAG to receive the Finkel Review in the coming weeks, we expect Governments to act collectively in the best interests of the Nation and set a clear and agreed path for the future.

“There are both exciting opportunities for Australian agriculture to contribute to our emissions reduction goals, and key challenges to ensure that our sector is well placed to adapt to more challenging climates. NFF has long said that investment in innovation will be key to achieving both these outcomes, and we look forward to making a solid contribution to the Review of Climate Policies.”

NFF's Climate Policy can be found here www.nff.org.au/policy/nrm.html#cat_448

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