The National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed today’s announcement of the National Net Zero Authority, noting farming communities around Australia will be among the most acutely impacted by Australia’s energy transition.
NFF Chief Executive Tony Mahar said the Authority must look closely at the cumulative impacts of the energy transition on farm production.
“When we talk about new renewable energy or new transmission lines, we’re talking about old farmland,” Mr Mahar explained.
Mr Mahar said that already, poorly executed transmission line projects had become a major source of tension in rural communities.
“What we’ve seen in recent years is energy companies riding roughshod over farmers, with token consultation and no care given to the role they play in feeding and clothing the population.
“That has to stop. Farmland and the farmers who grow our food need to be valued and respected. I hope this new Authority can help bring some common sense into the frame.”
“A constructive and considerate partnership with farmers is central to delivering the Government’s Powering Australia Plan.
“This new Authority will need to work closely with farmers to strike the right balance between hitting net zero, and maintaining our capacity to produce food and fibre.”
Mr Mahar said the NFF is calling on the Government to introduce an enforceable code of conduct to steer the practices of energy companies.
“Clearly the ‘let it rip’ approach continues to fail. Just ask anyone in St Arnaud, Castra or Batlow. The power companies are abusing their authority at every step.
“The Federal Government has a responsibility to level the playing field here before it embarks on a building spree on farmland across the country. We look forward to the new Authority being an important player in that.”