Press Release No.9 (3.11.14)

Land Use, Carbon Emissions and Revitalising the Bush

Peter Gardner, an Independent Candidate in Gippsland East running on a ‘Vote Climate Vote Solar’ ticket has praised a new report on land use emissions and possible solutions. The report entitled “Zero Carbon Australia Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry” has just been published by the independent organisation Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE).

The director of BZE Stephen Bygrave stated: “Beyond Zero Emissions has been working for several years on a major research project to look at reducing greenhouse emissions from the Land Use sector — agriculture and forestry. The result, released this week, is the Zero Carbon Australia Land Use Report… The Land Use sector is right up there with the highest emitting sectors of Australia’s economy. But the report also shows that there is massive scope to reduce emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases, giving a relatively fast, sharp reduction to Australia’s global warming impact…”

Bygrave added: “We also need to find ways to put trees back into the countryside on a (large) scale…Farmers and communities on the land should have the support to operate on the front line of Australia’s efforts to combat climate change; they are certainly the people most affected. Regional centres will benefit from implementing changes to land use in a way that reduces carbon pollution. New revenue streams could open up to farmers, allowing them to remain on their properties; bringing young people back to rural Australia. Regional areas could be rejuvenated by new jobs, more people, and more income – a stark contrast to the situation we face where farmers are being forced to leave their land from drought and increasing number of extreme weather events.”

Gardner noted the report highlights a path to reduce Australia’s agriculture emissions to around net zero, with reductions from land clearing, enteric fermentation, soil carbon and manure management. Substantial carbon sequestration will also be achieved by revegetation. He also agreed with Bygrave that farmers and people in Gippsland have the most to gain from reducing greenhouse emissions and the most to lose if they are not addressed.

Gardner has practiced reafforestation on a small scale on his property in Ensay in association with Landcare and Greening Australia. “These are wonderful organisations but a lot more needs to be done. They are just the embryo of much bigger organisations that will be required in the future.”  Gardner makes all his campaigns carbon neutral by offsetting his election expenditure with tree planting.

He calls on East Gippslanders to help to rejuvenate regional and small town Gippsland by a massive program to combat carbon emissions and to prepare for the most harmful effects of climate change.  “You can help send a direct message to Spring St and the major parties by firstly voting independent or minor party before casting your preference for the party of your choice.”