Friday, December 14, 2007

Two Enquiries, Three New Ministers

The Coalition needs input for the following:

We are putting together submissions two enquiries and meetings with three new ministers:

1. NSW Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Natural Resource Management (Climate Change) was established to inquire into issues of sustainable natural resource management:

(a) The likely consequences of human-induced climate change on land (including salinity), water and other natural resources; 

"(b) Options for ensuring ecologically sustainable natural resource use, taking into particular account the impacts of climate change;

(c) Approaches to land and water use management practices on farms and other natural resource management practices, having regard in particular to the role of such practices in contributing to climate change or as a tool in helping to tackle climate change;

"(d) The effectiveness of management systems for ensuring that sustainability measures for the management of natural resources in New South Wales are achieved, having particular regard to climate change; and

"(e) The likely consequences of national and international policies on climate change on natural resource management in New South Wales."

(For info:

Submissions by 15 December, 2007. (Right - this is a last minute effort.)

2. The Garnaut Climate Change Review will examine the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy, and recommend medium to long-term policies and policy frameworks to improve prospects for sustainable prosperity.
Part of the Review includes ways in which" land management, agriculture and forestry interact with climate change in Australia, and how that interaction might be affected by policy choices in Australia... The Review recognises the importance of agriculture and forestry in the Australian context of climate change, and the need for appropriate incentives for agriculture and forestry in participating in the mitigation effort."

Submissions due 4 January, 2007.

We are also gearing up for meetings with three new federal ministers: Tony Burke, Minister for Agriculture, Penny Wong, Climate Change, and Peter Garrett, Environment.

So far the indicators are good. Tony Burke was on The Country Hour enthusing about what he was seeing around Tamworth when he visited the Namoi CMA. (He was commenting on the way groundcover was preventing erosion.) A self-confessed agriculture newbie, Mr Burke has impressed everyone with his voracious appetite for knowledge and his openness. He suits us because he hasn't got the baggage McGauran, Turnbull and Campbell had (their connections with the high-input farming lobby). He isn't infected with the official line about Australian soils. Yet.

Penny Wong is a dynamite choice for Climate Change. She is forensic in her analysis of situations and is not likely to be snowed by the spin doctors in the public service. Her first instruction as Minister was to prepare a greenhouse gas costing for all Labor's promises from the Election. As the soil carbon issue requires a mind that can see through the myths and misunderstandings to get to the hard numbers underneath, the Coalition is confident that it will find an open ear when we get to see her.

Peter Garrett is not 'demoted'. He is the apparent victim of the promotion of Climate Change to a separate ministry - which is a good news story - recognising that Climate Change is an economic portfolio as much as it is an environmental one. Peter is 'a friend at court' for the Carbon Coalition. And we present the acceptable face of agriculture to the ALP and moderate Greens. Peter's portfolio will impact on agriculture. We can offer the Government a bridge to the future.

All these presentations need input, if you have any lying around. What input? Data. Evidence. Statements by significant people. Anything that can be used to promote our cause. And what do we want from Government? Clear out the naysayers from the administration. Commit to giving soil C it's best shot at proving what it can do under ideal conditions.

Preparing submissions and planning for our THREE BIG PROJECTS FOR 2008 (see next post) is how we will be spending Christmas. And watching the grass grow.

No comments: