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Sutton has rocks in his head over Kyoto

Gavan Herlihy

National Agriculture Spokesperson

23rd July 2002

Sutton has rocks in his head over Kyoto

Jim Sutton has rocks in his head if he thinks signing up to Kyoto before our major trading competitors is good for New Zealand farmers, says National Agriculture spokesperson Gavan Herlihy.

"The 'flatulence tax' on stock, the 'research levy', and a carbon tax leading to increased energy and transport costs will dramatically increase farmer's expenses just as they are facing the consequences of reduced competitiveness in export markets against non-Kyoto countries like Australia and the US.

"To add insult to injury, the Government's climate change legislation details draconian laws over powers of entry on to private land. Ministry for the Environment inspectors will effectively have permission to enter a property at will and seize any information they deem pertinent to confirming that farm's emissions levels.

"There are no provisions in this legislation for farmers to refuse entry to these 'Kyoto Police' for health and safety reasons or concerns over livestock welfare. These inspectors could jeopardise farmers' livelihoods by marching on to a property in the middle of lambing or calving and demanding to do an audit.

"It is not even clear what the full economic impact of Kyoto on New Zealand will be, nor what our carbon credits will be worth even if an emissions trading market does get up and running.

"Labour must be starting to panic if they are making such patently false claims as saying Labour's policies are good for the agriculture sector. Farmers have been almost united in their concerns about early ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

"Sutton should spend more time listening to the concerns of farmers and less time carrying around the Prime Minister's hand bag," Mr Herlihy concluded.


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