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Farmers to benefit from white paper actions

Victoria’s farming and forestry industries will be able to play a major role in tackling climate change through the establishment of the Victorian Carbon Exchange, Premier John Brumby announced on Monday.

Under the Taking Action for Victoria’s Future, Victorian Climate Change White Paper – The Action Plan, the Victorian Carbon Exchange will allow farmers, the forestry industry, community and Government to voluntarily offset greenhouse gas emissions through a central offset purchasing system that will see incentives for tree planting and improved farming practices.

The action plan will also see a greater investment in understanding how to store carbon through soil sequestration and will set a course for a sustainable food future through the development of the new Victorian Food Strategy.

“Our Government is rising to the challenge of climate change, supporting new initiatives to cut emissions and creating a climate of opportunity,” Brumby said.

“Our Government’s disciplined economic management means Victoria is in a position to lead the country in tackling climate change and locking in our sustainability for the future.

“Victoria’s farming and forestry industries are worth billions of dollars to the Victorian economy which is why the Government is taking action to ensure they will remain vibrant and become even more sustainable in the future.

“The Victorian Carbon Exchange will create an incentive for landholders and forest operators to develop offsets through activities such as new forest plantations, improved farm practices and soil carbon sequestration.”

“This exchange will not only see more trees planted in new forest plantations but will also promote a move towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly use of farming resources,” Jennings said.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings said the Government would release a Victorian Food Strategy, which would help ensure a sustainable food supply for all Victorians and help the farming and forestry industries combat climate change through improved practices.

“Through the Victorian Climate Change White Paper, the Victorian Government will also invest in research into how to maintain and enhance the amount of carbon stored in our natural eco-systems by analysing the science and practice of soil carbon sequestration.

“This research will give Government a better understanding of how best to achieve our aims of harnessing carbon storage in our natural environment with supporting a sustainable timber harvesting industry.”