Farm groups welcome tax-axe

Rueben HaleCountryman
The Senate has finally repealed the nation's carbon tax.
Camera IconThe Senate has finally repealed the nation's carbon tax. Credit: Countryman

WA's peak farm lobby groups are welcoming today's carbon-tax-axe, but remain worlds apart on the environment.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's "great big election promise" to dump the carbon tax became a reality earlier today when the Senate voted 39-32 to scrap the Australian Labor Party's carbon-pricing scheme.

After the repeal of the tax, both WAFarmers and the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA came out in strong support of the dumping of the controversial tax, with the groups saying it was major impost on the competitiveness of agriculture.

The rival lobby groups agreed the carbon tax had jeopardised the competitiveness of agriculture by increasing the costs of key production inputs such as electricity.

WAFarmers president Dale Park said agriculture still had a role to play in the abatement of carbon emissions.

"(The) WAFarmers group recognises the reality of climate change and believes Australian agriculture has the potential to contribute to solutions," he said.

"It is beyond doubt that action is needed to combat climate change, and there are definitely opportunities to use agriculture to reduce emissions."

"While many farmers already use targeted farming practices with the intention of reducing emissions, much more investment is needed for industry to make a greater (difference)."

A spokesman for the PGA slammed the suggestion agriculture should be burdened with the responsibility of tackling climate change through schemes such as carbon-farming initiatives.

"If this is what is being suggested, it would be a waste of money and add unnecessary impost on Australian agriculture," he said.

"Our main competitors have not imposed any carbon-farming measures on their agricultural industries and these types of measures will not reduce our emissions."

The PGA spokesman said the measures would also affect the competitiveness of the nation's agricultural industry.

"The PGA has been unwavering since day one of the introduction of the carbon tax, with its scepticism of the climate change agenda."

"We have never supported any emission-trading scheme, carbon tax, carbon pricing, or any sort of carbon-farming initiative."

The National Farmers' Federation meanwhile said the abolition of the carbon tax would remove an "unnecessary" impost on rural businesses.

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