Bowen wants to measure and manage cow farts and sheep burps.

Bureaucracy gone mad!

Ray Payne OAM – 28/O5/24

Australia is charging headlong into the financial quagmire of climate zealotry, now targeting our farmers with yet another layer of bureaucratic oversight and wasteful spending. In a recent announcement, Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen unveiled a whopping $63.8 million investment to supposedly lower emissions from the farming sector under the Agriculture and Land Sector plan. This is on top of a half-billion-dollar injection into the Future Drought Fund, all aimed at dressing up our agricultural sector in the latest green credentials.

At the Sustainable Agriculture Summit in Toowoomba, Bowen waxed lyrical about the necessity of “accurate standardised emissions reporting” to meet the Paris Agreement targets. This initiative includes educating farmers on emissions accounting—an elaborate process involving the use of standardised methods to quantify greenhouse gases, supposedly helping farmers to identify areas for reduction and ensure transparency.

But let’s call a spade a spade: This is a colossal waste of taxpayer money. The idea of spending millions to measure and manage cow farts and sheep burps is nothing short of absurd. Chris Bowen’s grand plan reeks of the same out-of-touch elitism that often characterizes urban environmental policy, disconnected from the gritty realities of rural farming life.

Bowen asserts that this initiative will “unlock new opportunities” for farmers. However, the reality is that most of these so-called opportunities are little more than regulatory hoops through which farmers must jump. Instead of focusing on productivity and innovation, our farmers are now being conscripted into the climate crusade, burdened with new layers of compliance and reporting that do little to improve their bottom lines.

The minister’s vision of a decarbonised agricultural sector is not just impractical; it is harmful. Farmers already face myriad challenges, from fluctuating commodity prices to the ever-present threat of droughts. Adding the task of greenhouse gas accounting is a distraction they can ill afford. This initiative diverts time, energy, and resources away from actual farming, pushing them into the labyrinth of government red tape.

The breakdown of the funding further highlights the waste. Over $28.7 million will be funnelled into improving greenhouse gas accounting from the national level down to individual farms. This is a boon for bureaucrats and consultants but offers scant tangible benefits to farmers. The lion’s share—$30.8 million—will supposedly accelerate on-ground action to reduce emissions, yet these actions often translate into more invasive oversight and restrictions on farming practices.

Moreover, a paltry $4.4 million is earmarked for long-term research through the Zero Net Emissions Agriculture Cooperative Research Centre. While research is crucial, this token amount is unlikely to yield significant breakthroughs, serving more as a box-ticking exercise to appease climate activists than a genuine attempt at innovation.

Minister for Agriculture Murray Watt claims that reducing emissions will benefit farmers, who are on the frontline of climate change. Yet, this paternalistic approach overlooks the resilience and ingenuity that farmers have demonstrated for generations. They do not need government mandates to tell them how to run their businesses. What they need are practical support and freedom from excessive regulation.

The agricultural sector’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, primarily methane from livestock, is well-documented. However, the solution is not to burden farmers with emissions reporting but to support sustainable practices that naturally evolve from the industry’s needs and innovations. Government interventions often create more problems than they solve, stifling the very creativity and adaptability that are the hallmarks of successful farming.

In conclusion, Chris Bowen’s plan is emblematic of the misguided priorities that plague current environmental policies. Rather than throwing millions at fanciful schemes to measure and manage livestock emissions, we should focus on empowering farmers to do what they do best: produce food efficiently and sustainably. This latest initiative is not a step towards sustainability; it is a stumble into bureaucratic excess and misallocated resources. Australia deserves better, and so do our farmers.



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  • Clive Bond May 28, 2024   Reply →

    Bowen is a nut case. Strap him to a cow’s arse and let him do the measurements. Won’t have to watch him ranting nonsense on TV then.

  • Fred Anderson May 29, 2024   Reply →

    Maybe we should do to Politicians (labor) what Bowen is trying to do with Animals ,and all the green activist.

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