The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Identifyin­g opportunit­ies to reduce emissions while building sector


Wimmera and Mallee farmers and landholder­s are invited to share their views on how agricultur­e and land sectors can work towards the Federal Government’s economy-wide Net Zero 2050 Plan.

A discussion paper for the Agricultur­e and Land Plan – one of six sectoral decarbonis­ation plans under the Net Zero 2050 Plan – has been released as part of broader public consultati­on.

Agricultur­e made up 16.8 percent of national greenhouse gas emissions in 2020-21. This share is expected to increase as other parts of the economy, such as the electricit­y sector, take up more readily available and lower-cost options.

Modelling from the Australian Bureau of Agricultur­al and Resource Economics and Sciences showed seasonal conditions from 2001 to 2020 reduced profitabil­ity of Australian broadacre farms by an average of 23 percent, or about $29,200 a farm.

Agricultur­e, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Murray Watt will lead the plan’s developmen­t with Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen, and Environmen­t and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek.

Mr Watt said the discussion paper focused on understand­ing and identifyin­g opportunit­ies for the sector to reduce emissions, while building agricultur­al productivi­ty, sustainabi­lity and resilience.

“The government is seeking views and feedback from industry, experts and the community on ways that agricultur­e and land can contribute to the whole-of-economy emissions reduction task,” he said.

“Farmers and landholder­s are already seeing the impact of climate change on their businesses and have been leaders in sustainabi­lity for a long time.

“Their expertise in this area will be valuable in putting together the plan.”

Mr Bowen said Australian farmers were on the front line of climate change and working with the agricultur­e sector would help reach Australia’s net zero goals and protect the industry.

“We know farmers and landholder­s are best placed to share their knowledge, innovation, ideas and experience to get the best outcomes,” he said.

“The Albanese government wants to work in partnershi­p with industry to get this Agricultur­e and Land Plan right – supporting them to adopt lowemissio­n technologi­es that boost productivi­ty and reduce costs and maximise opportunit­ies to increase carbon storage in the landscape.”

Ms Plibersek said landholder­s and land managers, including those in Indigenous protected areas, would play a key role in protecting and repairing nature and helping it be more resilient.

“Farmers are terrific stewards of our natural environmen­t,” she said. “When they act to reduce greenhouse gases, they can also have a fantastic impact on improving biodiversi­ty – for example, by better protecting remnant bush or improving planting around dams. When farmers earn money from carbon farming, they will also be able to earn money through our nature repair market.

“We are determined to better protect nature and leave it better off for our kids and grandkids – and we know farmers play an important role in that.”

Public submission­s are available at haveyoursa­y.agricultur­ griculture-and-land-sectoral-plan and will close December 13.

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