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Carbon tax on animal emissions on Govt agenda

Gavan Herlihy National Agriculture Spokesperson

13 December 2001

Carbon tax on animal emissions on Govt agenda

Minister of Agriculture Jim Sutton refused to rule out a carbon tax or quota on farm animal emissions in Parliament today.

Under repeated questioning in the House by National's Agriculture Spokesperson Gavan Herlihy, the Minister refused to give any assurance at all that the Government has ruled out what is commonly referred to as a 'flatulence tax'.

"Farmers the length and breadth of the country have been demanding that the Government hold back on ratifying the Kyoto Protocol until it clearly state what the cost will be to our land-based industries and to individual farmers within each sector.

"Until the Government is up front with the costs, early ratification would be tantamount to signing a blank cheque on New Zealand farmers' behalf.

"We have to ask how sincere the Government's consultation with farmers is over whether it should ratify the Protocol when Jim Sutton's colleague has already announced that the Government will ratify next September.

"All New Zealand's farmers understand that it is in their long-term interests that the world develops a response to global warming. But the Government's gung-ho insistence on a legally binding ratification, prior to our major trading partners, has farmers, the business community and Opposition parties united against the Government.

"My message to the Minister is unequivocal - don't destroy the international competitiveness of the engine-house of New Zealand's economy - our land-based industries," concluded Mr Herlihy.

Ends


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