MARK M ALDRIDGE - "voice of the Community" Community Advocate
Dear Friends on the land, and in the Australian community The Gillard Labor government is hell-bent on destroying what generations of Australians and farmers have worked for and is doing so in the name of a regressive carbon tax that ordinary Australians have been denied a say on, considering it can easily be said the people voted Not to have the tax.

This week the warning bells farmers and regional communities just rang even louder, nby way of the words we did not need to hear.

Labor’s chief climate advisor Professor Ross Garnaut exploded the government’s myth that only the big polluters will pay, confirming in his own words:

‘Australian households will, ultimately, bear the full cost of a carbon price.’

His final report, released this week, exposed the plan to fully include agriculture in the carbon tax regime from as early as 2015, overseas nations have already found the tax not only wanting, but with continued increase is the very emissions it is said to reduce.

Australian farmers have been promised for years that their direct emissions will be excluded under a carbon regime. Now, in the final stages of a deal with the Greens and a hand full of sell out Independents, it appears all bets are off.

Farmers are now squarely in this government’s carbon tax sights. Prof Garnaut’s report says:

The proposed date for inclusion of New Zealand agriculture (2015) is a good time for a review of whether circumstances have changed enough for Australia to have full coverage of the land sector.’

The paper also justifies farmers’ concerns that the proposed Carbon Farming Initiative may be just a Trojan horse to get bureaucrats through the farm gate to develop measurement systems accurate enough to ensure agriculture’s full coverage under a scheme. Again, Prof Garnaut writes:

‘The Independent Committee should undertake this review in 2015 and examine the barriers to full coverage of the land sectors in the emissions trading scheme. The review should examine experience in measuring and administering offsets for land-based emissions within the Carbon Farming Initiative.’

The Nationals figures show these revelations coincided with new research from the Australian Farm Institute. Modelling shows that a carbon price of $36 per tonne would wipe almost $37,000-a-year off the bottom line of WA grain growers. Overseas countries have proven their respective governments have had no success at such a low price on carbon, so what may lie ahead in terms of price increases, with over 11 billion estimated to be raised based on $25 a tonne.

The National Farmers’ Federation added its voice, on behalf of Australia’s 136,000 farmers, to the growing mainstream chorus saying ‘NO’ to a carbon tax.

Saying No brings with it attacks on ones credibility, yet those blindly following the Gillard governments price on Carbon, do so with little or know idea of the terms to be applied by the legislation, one wonders when Julia earned such trust, considering a vote for Labor was a vote for No carbon tax, only months ago.
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It will be ordinary Australians footing the bill for the government’s $13.7 million carbon tax advertising blitz, earmarked in the federal budget, and the sell will have no truth what so ever, pictures of old power stations closed over 30 years ago, showing enhanced emissions to scare the people into action, all at our expense and Australians will keep on paying once a carbon tax is in, not the big polluters. Norway as an example, has increases its Co2 emissions by over 40% since the introduction of their Carbon tax, and their people and industry have suffered as a consequence, good reason for Gillard to keep the details of her legislation out of plain sight.

Another example, agricultural production in this country is a mainstay of our economy and fundamental to our quality of life. Our farmers drive $155 billion-a-year in production, $32 billion in annual exports and support 1.6 million jobs.

That’s a hell of a lot to sacrifice at the altar of a carbon tax, considering our farmers are amongst the most efficient in the world.

We must act in the best interests of our environmental future, but a carbon tax is not the solution. It will kill Australian production and jobs in favour of jobs in countries that don’t tax carbon dioxide and will result in us importing more from countries with higher CO2 emissions than our own, resulting in zero gain for the planet.

To throw all that we have worked for out the window, only to see rising global food demand shift to higher polluting countries, makes no sense, and blindly following the promises of a government that have not earned such faith even more so. 

 Yours Faithfully,

 Mark M Aldridge Independent Candidate South Australia 
 Proud members of the Alliance Australia


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