Statement On Australia’s National Energy Plan

Acting CEO Charlie Thomas responds to the Coalition’s announcement on nuclear and Australia’s energy future.

Australian farmers and regional communities are warning policymakers the debate around Australia’s energy mix must come back to the people and land it impacts.

The NFF’s position remains that Australia’s national energy policies must deliver affordable, reliable and increasingly lower emissions energy for all Australians. These policies should be technology-neutral and driven by markets.

This isn’t about cherry picking solar or wind energy or nuclear, but about having all options on the table.

The NFF supports the economy-wide target of net zero by 2050 and we understand a key part of achieving this goal is low emissions energy.

In no way can agriculture be the sacrificial lamb in the pathway to net zero and we will hold the government – and any future government – to its commitment not to impose targets on farmers directly.

Any credible climate plan needs to partner closely with farmers and at the core of future energy plans must be early and meaningful engagement with the impacted communities.

As renewable energy projects have been rolled out across rural landscapes, landholders and regional communities have been treated with contempt, and their concerns and contributions have been ignored.

Engagement on any future energy proposals must do better. Communities must have the right to say no, farmland must be protected and landholders must be properly consulted.

Today’s announcement by the Coalition should sharpen the current Government’s focus on delivering meaningful protections for farmland and affected communities.

There also needs to be a clearer focus on local communities being able to benefit from energy investment.

National energy policy and emissions reduction must be a shared responsibility and agriculture will play its part, but that part has to be fair and not comprise productivity, profitability or food security.

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