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Submitted 6 March 2024

Farmers for Climate Action (FCA) appreciates the opportunity to provide a submission on the proposed Clean Economy Jobs Bill 2024.

Key Points

  • Farmersfor Climate Action (FCA) supports the Bill to establish targets for emissions reduction as this provides certainty to Queenslanders to take action to reduce their emissions.
  • To ensure that the Bill supports a just and equitable transition to a low carbon economy, FCA requests that:
    • Sector Plans are developed in close consultation with related sectors.
    • The proposed Expert Panel includes a representative from the agricultural sector.
    • The Queensland Government considers interstate and Commonwealth emission reduction plans when developing its own plans, to ensure alignment, leverage efficiencies and streamline compliance for Queensland farmers.

About Farmers for Climate Action
Representing over 8,000 farmers and backed by 45,000 supporters nationwide, Farmers for Climate Action (FCA) recognises the importance of safeguarding the ability of farmers to produce food and fibre for the nation and export, while seeking the deep emissions reductions we need to limit warming to 1.5 degrees if possible. FCA is a movement of farmers, agricultural leaders and rural Australians working to influence Australia to adopt strong climate policies by growing the number of farmers, farming communities and elected representatives championing ambitious action.

An opportunity for Queensland farmers
FCA supports the Bill as it will establish a robust framework for emissions reduction, including annual reporting to Parliament and the development of sector-specific plans. With targets set to achieve a 30% reduction below 2005 levels by 2030, 75% reduction by 2035, and net zero emissions by 2050, the legislation presents a pivotal opportunity to drive emissions reductions and create new jobs. By formalising these targets into law, Queensland is demonstrating its commitment to environmental stewardship and will attract investment in clean industries. Agriculture stands to benefit from innovations in renewable energy and sustainable practices.

For farmers, the Clean Economy Jobs Bill presents a multitude of economic opportunities. The transition to a clean economy will provide opportunities to drive cost savings through energy efficiency and productivity measures, and investments in renewable energy infrastructure and clean energy technologies offer farmers the chance to lease land for renewable energy projects, providing stable additional income sources.

The need for consultation for an equitable and just transition
The Queensland Government must now work with farmers across the state to ensure that the design and implementation of emissions reduction strategies enables farmers to realise these opportunities and does not unduly burden farmers or rural communities. As advocates for agricultural profitability, productivity and sustainability, we stress the need for policies that support a just shift to clean energy, respecting the livelihoods of those in the farming sector. As highlighted in our recent survey, 92% of respondents are supportive of Australia’s shift to more renewable energy in the national grid, however they do have concerns regarding the development and siting of transmission infrastructure and renewable energy projects.

It is also essential that there is an equitable distribution of benefits. FCA believes that policies developed under this Bill should prioritise investment in rural areas, and support job creation and economic development in regions heavily reliant on traditional industries. Additionally, targeted incentives and support programs can facilitate the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, enhancing the resilience of farming communities to climate change impacts.

Proper consultation with the agricultural sector, including but not limited to the proposed Expert Panel, will help ensure that these projects have the social licence they need to be successful. As an organisation representing over 8000 farmers across Australia, FCA is well placed to assist. If you would like more information or to discuss this submission further, please don’t hesitate to contact Megan Hill, General Manager Policy and Advocacy, at [email protected] or via 1800 491 633.

Yours sincerely,
Natalie Collard
CEOof Farmers for Climate Action

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