Sunday, August 14, 2011
Abbott's bold stand on food security and farmland
Tony Abbott has given his support to the farmers'' rights to lock mining companies out of farming land. He agreed to back farmers and their struggle against the expansion of mining and gas. On Alan Jones's Sydney radio program, Tony Abbott said the criteria of the Foreign Investment Review Board should be reviewed and restrictions made on foreign companies buying land. Only foreign land acquisition above $231 million is reviewed. Mr Abbott said that may have to be lowered. Minerals and resources are owned by the Commonwealth and farmers have to negotiate land access with mining companies. "If you don't want something to happen on your land, you ought to have the right to say no," Mr Abbott said. Farmers can argue that their losses from mining extend far beyond the loss of production due to water supply problems. Include the potential revenue from the Carbon Farming Initiative - soil carbon offsets, offsets for avoided emissions from animals and fertilisers, etc. - and the losses mount up exponentially. The Carbon Farming Conference 2011 will reveal the potential returns to farmers as the markets for farm-based offsets come on stream in the following months.
Posted by Michael Kiely at 9:30 AM