New Opportunities for Rural & Regional Australia
Industrial hemp production in Zacatecas, Mexico. (Image: Wikipedia)
New Opportunities for Farmers
- No Income Tax on Carbon Farmers - Farmers who use Carbon Farming techniques would pay no income tax. Farmers using partial Carbon Farming techniques may qualify for a tax reduction.
We see farming to sequester carbon in the soil as the key way to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. (Visit Carbon Farmers - How To page for details on these farming techniques.)
- No Land Tax - We propose eliminating land tax and shire rates on land reserved for wildlife or used exclusively as a carbon sink.
- Industrial Hemp -
NewAustraliasupports the growing of Industrial Hemp as a substitute for cotton and wood chips as well as many other useful products.
"Hemp can be grown in two months, does not require herbicides or pesticides and uses a fraction of the water compared with cotton. Hemp can produce four times as much pulp per hectare than trees and can produce over 50,000 products including paper, plastics, cosmetics, clothing, food, fuel, wood products and medicine." ( Green Hemp Australia) .
- Pongamia Pinnata: This legume is native to Australia and is now being invested in for areas such as Northern Australia by Pacific Renewable Energy.
- Jatropha - This tough genus of plants has a range of species that can be used to produce biodiesel. It is highly resistant to drought and pests and grows in poor soil which make it an ideal crop for Australia. (It could also be an ecological disaster like Prickly Pear or Cane Toad and in fact is banned in West Australia. Research should be conducted to see if sterile versions of a useful species could be produced via genetic engineering.) more...
- Farming the Sun - Out tax proposals strongly encourage low-carbon energy production. This creates opportunities for farmers with sunshine to spare.
- Farming the Wind - We encourage installation of wind turbines provided the majority (by area) of land owners within 1 kilometre of the turbine agree.
- Harvesting Carbon - We support incentives for farmers to soak up the excess Carbon in the atmosphere using techniques such as bio-char or forestry.
- Tourism - We support allowing farmers to use their land for tourism purposes as an adjunct to primary production. This could involve farmers offering powered camp sites or holiday cabins at suitable locations on their properties.
This is not to create 'dormitory suburbs' to feed long-distance commuters to the major cities - it is to strengthen the regional centres as viable self-contained entities.
Decentralisation can be actively promoted by:
- Distribution of Government Agencies: Agencies should be widely distributed across Australia. High speed networks can link the offices to ensure the agency functions as a whole.
- Distribution of Defence Assets: For strategic reasons ADF assets should be well distributed. Except for the Navy, ADF assets should be well inland to reduce their vulnerability. (See also Defence pages.)
- Distribution of Services: While location of all services in the major cities may produce some nominal savings to the government it is at the cost of the rural citizen who have to travel to them and also at the cost of vulnerability. It is more likely that one central mega-hospital will be destroyed by some event than that a few dozen distributed hospitals will be destroyed.
Carbon Farmers Of Australia web site. 'Carbon Farming can give growers additional income while rewarding them for changes in their land management that restores soil health and farmland Biodiversity.'
Carbon Coalition Against Global Warming web site. 'Farmers can play a central role in sequestering carbon in their soils by fostering deep-rooted perennial plant species that have significant biomass in their root systems.'
Livestock methane issue
17th Feb 2008: 'Livestock reform is just a greenhouse whisper'. An Age article looking suggesting carbon labelling of food. (