Photo caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton pictured at the newly-opened Goodooga Store.
Methane emissions pledge concerning
Last week we learnt that the Labor Government plans on signing up to the Global Methane Pledge at next month’s UN COP27 climate change conference in Egypt. The pledge calls for a 30 per cent global reduction in methane emissions by 2030, which the Coalition does not support as it goes against the agriculture sector’s desire to grow to $100 billion by 2030.
Half of Australia’s annual methane emissions come from the agricultural sector, where no affordable, practical and large-scale way exists to reduce it other than culling herd sizes. There is significant research happening with asparagopsis, a native Australian seaweed which is touted to reduce methane emissions when fed to cattle and sheep. I can see the benefit of using asparagopsis in a dairy or a feedlot, however the majority of Australian cattle are running free-range on large areas of land, so delivering feed supplements would be impossible.
As someone who has been involved in the cattle industry my entire life, I understand that sometimes implementing ideologically driven programs may be difficult in practice. I’m very cautious about the possible tax on productivity, which will do nothing to improve emissions. We need to be careful that this pledge is not the thin end of the wedge – it’s a very small step to having a legislative target.
I urge the Labor Government to rule out a methane tax, giving farmers confidence that they won’t follow New Zealand’s lead.
Christmas Card Photo Competition open
I am on the hunt for a photo showcasing the best of the Parkes electorate for my 2022 Christmas Card.
I’m calling on all keen photographers in the Parkes electorate to send me a photo of your favourite part of the electorate. I’m looking for images that best capture the beauty of our wonderful electorate – whether it be a cotton or canola crop, the dusty red outback of the Far West, the rolling hills of the Warrumbungles or the mighty rivers that flow through many of our towns. It could be a landscape scene or a streetscape, or an image filled with people at a local event. Whether it’s a well-known tourist destination or a hidden gem, I want to see what you love about our region.
The winning photo will be featured on the front of my Christmas Card which will be distributed to every household in the Parkes electorate during the first week of December.
To enter, please email a high-resolution photograph to firstname.lastname@example.org, including your full name, address, phone number and a brief description of your photo. Photos must be landscape in orientation and taken this year by a current resident of the Parkes electorate.
Entries must be submitted by 5pm on Monday 31 October 2022 to be considered. Visit my website for more information: https://www.markcoulton.com.au/search-for-a-photo-that-showcases-the-parkes-electorate/
Coalition funding benefitting the North West
Last week it was great to get out to Moree, Lightning Ridge, Goodooga, Brewarrina and Bourke to inspect various projects that have been funded by the former Coalition Government.
The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) program is continuing to make a difference, helping local councils fund important projects that will benefit communities for years to come. In Bourke, I inspected the progress on the upgrades happening at Bourke Memorial Swimming Pool. Bourke Shire Council is using its $2.4 million Phase 3 LRCI funding to construct a new learn to swim pool and upgrade the kiosk at the local pool which will enhance the popular facility and bring more young families through the gates.
Meanwhile, Moree Plains Shire Council has also been busy utilising its Phase 3 LRCI funding on a number of priority projects, including more than $1.6 million for the redevelopment of the Moree Memorial Hall, which I inspected last week. Once complete, the renovated hall will be a wonderful venue for concerts, performances and events, and I know the Moree community will certainly make the most of it.
It was fantastic to see that the Goodooga Community Store is now open, providing locals and visitors with access to fresh food and general supplies. This store was made possible thanks to $1.7 million in funding from the former Coalition Government.
We also jointly funded the now complete Mitchell Highway upgrade between Nyngan and Bourke, which has made this stretch of road much safer for all road users.