Statement from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack:
Today’s announcement by ANZ to impose emissions reporting on a range of lenders including farmers, food and beverage, building, energy and transport sectors as a condition of lending is sheer virtue-signalling.
These are the industries which produce the food we eat, keep the lights on, build our homes and transport our goods around the nation.
With many farming families experiencing one of their best seasons in recent memory, the banking sector’s entire focus should be on supporting our agricultural producers, not adding an extra layer of administration.
Our farmers are the most productive in the world, producing enough food to feed 75 million people globally.
Transport, fertiliser and fuel companies snared by these new rules could have no choice but to pass on costs along the agricultural supply chain, only to have farmers pick up the bill at the end.
Imposing largely Euro-centric standards to satisfy shareholder activists while our nation recovers from a global pandemic is grossly unfair.
This is a complete over-reaction given Australia has beaten its Kyoto-era targets by up to 430 million tonnes and our emissions are now more than 14 per cent below 2005 levels.
The Nationals will always support a competitive banking sector and encourage banking customers to consider lending options which best suit their sector and its costs and needs.