The Federal Labor Government has wasted $9m of taxpayers’ money by giving it to a private company to buy Henbury Station which has now gone into receivership, Nigel Scullion (pictured), Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory.
A perennial water hole on the Finke River with Alice Spencer, Program Administrator: Community, Climate and Biodiversity for R.M.Williams Agricultural Holdings. Photo by Martin Vivian Pearse, R.M.Williams Agricultural Holdings.
There's more to carbon farming than locking up land and watching the grass grow. To earn money from carbon credits in this brave new world there needs to be "additionality", in other words, the project needs to have come about as a result of the carbon markets, not as a result of land management improvements for other reasons.
There also needs to be "permanence": the farm needs to keep doing its sequestration job (pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it) in perpetuity.
This is where there is potential for local jobs now and into the future, drawing on a similar skill set to the pastoral industry. So explained Rebecca Pearse, manager for R. M. Williams Agricultural Holdings' carbon project on Henbury Station, when she spoke to the recent ABARES Regional Outlook* conference in Alice Springs.
Ms Pearse and her husband David will be living at Henbury, 130 kms south-west of Alice, when the carbon farm "goes live" next month – quite a change from the esoteric world of the "weather derivatives market" in Europe, which is what they were involved in previously.
KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: Rebecca and David Pearse who will soon call Henbury Station home. Photo by Martin Vivian Pearse, R.M.Williams Agricultural Holdings.