Agriculture CPRS decision ‘years away’


The Age (Australia)
By Patrick Caruana
July 29, 2009

A decision on whether to include agriculture in the climate pollution reduction scheme (CPRS) is at least four years away, the federal government says.

Agriculture Minister Tony Burke says technology needed to measure emissions from farms is not yet available.

"You can’t, with where science is at the moment, and the tools that are currently available, make a smart decision as to whether it would even be in agriculture’s interest to be in the scheme," Mr Burke told the NSW Farmers Association annual conference in Sydney on Wednesday.

"I know that there’s been some statements … that agriculture’s definitely coming in. That’s not the case."

He said it would be four years before an outcome was reached over whether to include agriculture in the CPRS.

"We’ll make a decision in 2013 about whether it should come in in 2015. That’s the government’s position," Mr Burke said.

"In part because you cannot make an informed decision right now. The science that we need for measurement and the tools that we want to make available for farmers are simply not there."

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) president David Crombie last month said the CPRS "does not fit agriculture".

He said the NFF had been successful in having agriculture excluded from the CPRS until 2015.

"We need to get the science right, we need to get the rules right – rules that properly account for the biological cycle that is agriculture," Mr Crombie said.

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