Thursday, 16 June 2011
Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Bill 2011; Second Reading
Before my remarks to the House last night were abruptly terminated by the procedural requirements of this place, I was coming to the third of the three principal points I want to make, which was that in so far as the necessary details for this legislative scheme have been provided, one of the requirements made clear in the legislation appears to be unnecessarily rigid and impractical and therefore not likely to contribute to the success of the scheme and its fitness to farmers and other private sector interests in being incented to behave in the way the scheme is intended to incent for them to behave. I refer to the requirement that sequestration must be permanent to be eligible under the scheme. The bar for permanence has been set very high. The requirement is that the sequestration must be effective for 100 years.
It seems rather unclear as to the basis on which this 100-year requirement has been set and it appears to be a matter of considerable contention as to whether that figure has any particular scientific basis or whether it has been based upon a bureaucratic stroke of the pen. Quite a number of interested parties have appeared before both the Senate and the House inquiries into this matter, including Carbon Farmers of Australia and the Australian Plantation Products and Paper Industry Council, who have identified concerns with this particular provision.
In conclusion, we say on this side of the House that this particular measure is good in concept but, sadly, is poor in execution. Until we see the details, we are not in a position to support it.