Rural Victorians supported under a carbon price

The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Dreyfus today visited Castlemaine in rural Victoria to talk about opportunities for Australia’s farmers and regional communities to play their part in Australia’s move to a clean energy future.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Dreyfus today visited Castlemaine in rural Victoria to talk about opportunities for Australia’s farmers and regional communities to play their part in Australia’s move to a clean energy future.

Mr Dreyfus also joined Australian Carbon Traders managing director, Ben Keogh, at a community based project to plant trees on marginal land at Woodbroke farm. The project is expected to create carbon credits under the Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative to help Castlemaine business, Coffee Basics, go carbon neutral.

“Under the Gillard Government’s carbon price, agricultural and land sectors will be excluded, however, these sectors will still have opportunities to secure economic rewards under the Carbon Farming Initiative.

“The Carbon Farming Initiative will enable farmers and other land managers to earn carbon credits for actions to reduce pollution or increase carbon storage," Mr Dreyfus said.

Speaking about the project Mr Keogh said “We wanted to demonstrate how local business can support their community by planting trees, improving biodiversity, enhancing the landscape and creating a carbon asset at the same time… it’s good for local business, local community and it gets more trees in the ground, which can only be a good thing!

"The introduction of the CFI is important to provide certainty to landholders and purchasers and to allow access to international and domestic carbon markets. The passing of the Clean Energy Future package will create a much larger market for landholders and provide an additional revenue stream for landholders," said Mr Keogh

Credits generated under the Carbon Farming Initiative and recognised for Australia’s international obligations under the Kyoto Protocol on climate change will be able to be sold to companies with liabilities under the carbon pricing mechanism. This includes credits earned from activities such as reforestation, savanna fire management and reductions in pollution from livestock and fertiliser.

People on the land will have an opportunity to earn new streams of income and contribute to the national effort to tackle climate change. More than $1.7 billion will be invested in the land sector in the next 6 years, to support the Carbon Farming Initiative, reduce emissions and maximise the benefits of storing carbon in our landscape.

Funding is targeting emerging technologies and innovative management practices by engaging more scientists and independent experts to work on improving soil carbon, reducing emissions from livestock and crops, and enhancing sustainable agricultural practices. Novel approaches, including biochar, biofuels and new crop and grazing species, will be targeted.

Further information on the Government’s Clean Energy Future package is available at www.cleanenergyfuture.gov.au.