The NSW Government has ruled out imposing a methane tax on agriculture, promising to support – not tax – farmers to reduce emissions and grow their businesses.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole said a proposal by the New Zealand Government to tax farmers for agriculture emissions from 2025 would only drive up farmers’ costs without giving them the necessary support to genuinely reduce emissions.
“We have a clear policy to partner with farmers to improve their productivity while reducing emissions – New Zealand Labour’s policy is the complete opposite, and has raised fears it will shrink their livestock industry and drive up the cost of food,” Mr Toole said.
“Our government has worked hard to shift the emphasis from regulation to incentive-based outcomes, putting us on track to halve our emissions while attracting up to $37 billion in private investment by 2030.
“We call on NSW Labor to provide certainty to farmers and consumers that they will never introduce an agricultural methane tax like this.”
Nationals Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the NSW Government is already working with the agriculture industry to reduce emissions in a way that doesn’t involve a great big new tax – and instead rewards farmers for actions that help drive down emissions.
“The NSW Government has introduced a range of measures to assist farmers to tackle climate change, as we head towards our target of net zero by 2050,” Mr Saunders said.
“We have the Primary Industries and Productivity Abatement Program, Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund and we are working on a range of new programs through our Natural Capital program.
“We are also collaborating with Angus Australia, the University of New England and Meat and Livestock Australia on a $19 million research project that aims to identify cattle that have a low methane output through breeding values.
“These sorts of programs will make a real difference to improving our climate and reducing emission, demonstrating you don’t need a great big new tax to reduce on-farm emissions.”
Angus Australia CEO Scott Wright said the announcement was welcome news for NSW beef producers.
“Additional taxes on beef producers are not a solution to the problem,” Mr Wright said.
“Collaborative research to help producers adopt breeding values with regards to lower methane emissions is a real solution. Angus Australia values the long-standing relationship with NSW DPI and welcomes the sensible approach taken by the NSW Government today.”