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Australia's NFF welcomes new Climate Change Authority Chair

The National Farmers’ Federation welcomes the appointment of Mr Grant King as Chair of the Climate Change Authority, as well as new members Ms Susie Smith and Mr John McGee.

13 April 2021, at 7:00am

“The NFF has a core focus on ensuring the design and implementation of emission reduction and climate change responses do not disadvantage farmers, and the independent advice of the Climate Change Authority will be an important contributor to this increasingly important debate,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.

The NFF has a policy position of supporting economy wide net carbon neutral by 2050 with key caveats requiring that it makes economic sense for farmers to do so and that there are not policy impediments to doing so.

Mr Mahar said Mr King had already made a significant contribution to climate change policy in his expert panel report examining additional sources of low-cost abatement which made important recommendations to support further opportunities for farmers in the carbon market.

“The King Review addressed a number of key areas of concern for farmers including identifying that the auction system was a disincentive and a fixed price for carbon would be a key option to consider.

“The review also focussed on the need for stacking or co-benefits where farmers ought to be legitimately rewarded for their carbon sequestration and the complementary biodiversity, water quality and other benefits that flow.

“The focus of the review was broadly on refocussing transaction costs and disincentives that exist in the ERF design framework to try and put those delivering carbon outcomes (especially including small farmers) as the key client of the process,” Mr Mahar said.

The King Review is available here.

The two other new members Susie Smith and John McGee bring a diverse and relevant skill set to the role.

“The Climate Change Authority plays an important role in supporting Australia’s emissions reduction goals.

“The NFF has actively worked with the Climate Change Authority over the years, and we thank outgoing Chair, Dr Wendy Craik, for her ongoing engagement with us as well as other departing members, Ms Kate Carnell, Mr Stuart Allison and Mr John Sharp”

“Dr Craik is a former CEO of the NFF and has continued to receive appropriate accolades particularly for her work as Climate Change Authority Chair and as the independent reviewer of the interaction between agriculture and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

“The NFF thanks Dr Craik for her dedication to these outcomes and looks forward to continuing to work with her in a number of her ongoing roles.’

“The NFF looks forward to continuing to work with Mr King and his colleagues to progress these important issues.”