National Farmers' Federation

Garnaut Report fails to ease farmers concerns

The release of the final climate change report by Professor Ross Garnaut has not eased the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) concerns that agriculture’s competitiveness will not be compromised under the Government’s proposed carbon tax.
NFF President Jock Laurie said that the Garnaut Review acknowledges that farmers are naturally anxious about the costs they will bear as a consequence of the tax.
“Garnaut says in his report that farmers, more so than most other Australians, will face higher fuel and transport costs under the proposed tax. It is these costs that will add enormous expenses back into our farm businesses,” Mr Laurie said.
“Fuel, transport and processing costs are the major areas of concern for the agricultural sector, as costs incurred by other businesses in the supply chain will simply be passed on to farmers at the end of the line,” Mr Laurie said.
Based on the independent research conducted by the Australian Farm Institute, at a $23 per tonne carbon price (within the $20 to $30 per tonne carbon price range recommended by the Garnaut Report), an average WA grain producer would be hit with an additional $24,171 of input costs into their business, reducing their net farm income by 8.6 percent.
“Professor Garnaut has challenged industry to embrace a carbon price as an economy-wide reform, as it has done in the past through issues such as the tariff reforms of the past 1980s and 90s,” Mr Laurie said.
“The NFF has never been shy of reforms that aim to bolster agricultural productivity and improve the position of Australian farmers in international markets, but we draw the line at reforms that threaten to add unsustainable costs directly onto Australian farms,” Mr Laurie said.
The Australian Farm Institute paper The impact of a carbon price on Australian farm businesses: Grain Production is available below.

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