Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said Labor’s plan to underwrite a five-fold increase in new government-backed renewables across Australia will have profoundly damaging consequences in the Parkes electorate and continue to drive up the cost of living.
Energy Minister Chris Bowen has initiated a market intervention to achieve Labor’s 82 per cent renewables by 2030 target by expanding the Capacity Investment Scheme.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has warned that Labor’s panic to push renewables will come at great cost to taxpayers in the Parkes electorate and destroy agricultural land, driving up food prices and impacting food security.
“Labor has to clear farming land to achieve their rushed target but when supply goes down, prices go up. Hurting our food production capability by removing agricultural land means families in the Parkes electorate will pay even more for their food,” Mr Coulton said.
“Labor should tell taxpayers, communities and struggling families in the Parkes electorate how many hectares of productive agricultural land and native vegetation – the very thing renewables were meant to protect – will be destroyed?
“Questions have to be asked: where are the Greens on protecting the environment on this, and the Australian Conservation Foundation, who have been intimidating farmers who legally manage vegetation on their farms?”
Since Labor got into office, food has increased by 8.2 per cent, gas by 28 per cent and electricity by 18 per cent.
“I fear that the Federal Labor Government and the now all Labor states will abandon proper environmental approvals because Chris Bowen doesn’t want to miss their target.
“Labor must guarantee tough approvals processes and that there won’t be shortcuts for these projects.
“On top of wind turbines and solar panels, 28,000 kilometres of transmission lines at a minimum cost of $80 billion will also go through regional communities.
“The Nationals believe this demonstrates why we should also have the conversation about nuclear and let the market decide about energy options, rather than taxpayers having to do all the heavy lifting.
“Labor has the wrong priorities for our nation. If you overburden farmers and reduce productive farmland, then you directly increase the price of fresh food at the checkout for families in the Parkes electorate and Australia-wide.”