Australia — LABOR’S carbon farming initiative (CFI) has passed in the Senate but agricultural groups remain sceptical of its worth until details are made available.
Under the scheme, graziers could sell carbon credits on to businesses to offset emissions.
The scheme is designed to both reduce carbon emissions and provide graziers with an alternative stream of income.
Richmond Mayor John Wharton said he supported the scheme in principal but had reservations.
“I don’t think there will be millions of dollars in it for graziers,” he said.
Councillor Wharton said increased vegetation could cause problems in the bushfire season.
“The big issue is going to be fire,” he said.
“If you don’t manage your country and it becomes a huge infestation of fuel and November comes along and you get a lightning strike the whole lot is going to go up.”
AgForce policy director Drew Wagner echoed Cr Wharton’s concerns.
He said the agricultural lobby group supported the initiative so long as it did not jeopardise Australia’s food security.
“AgForce is supportive of something that enables landholders to play an active role in environmental management but we are cautious as the principle of this intitiative will involve large scale removal of agricultural infrastructure,” he said.
“We can’t afford to lose our food and our farming capacity.”
Mr Wagner said just what benefits would be available to graziers who participate in the scheme were as yet unclear.
“It’s still yet to be seen if there’s going to be a lot of income to be gained by this,” he said.
“The devil is still very much in the detail.”
Iconic Australian western wear company RM Williams recently bought the Northern Territory’s Henbury Station and has announced it will destock the land for use as carbon farming property.