Landholders and farmers have again taken the lion’s share of the Federal Government’s funding to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in the second round of the Emissions Reduction Fund auction.
Drought-hit graziers and northern cattle producers coping with wild savannah fires will receive millions of dollars each over the next 10 years.
Twenty-one graziers in the Cape York region of far north Queensland have secured $36 million, to conduct savannah burning projects, with the money coming just in time to pay down debts and prevent the hottest savannah fires.
Money for savannah burning
Cheree Callaghan, of Fairlight Station, Cape York, is thrilled with the result.
“The news that we’re going to be benefitting for the next ten years, it’s amazing,” Ms Callaghan said.
It will benefit our future generations, it will help our environment on our property, and put money back into the Cape York economy.
Cheree Callaghan, Fairlight Station, Cape York
“It will benefit our future generations, it will help our environment on our property, and put money back into the Cape York economy by increased spending.
“While most of us have debt, it will come down, but the benefits will go into the country.”
Ms Callaghan said the climate is changing, and they have been fighting some of the worst fires this drought.
“The storms are later than they used to be, we always relied on those,” she said.
“Now we have the savannah burning project between January and the end of July.”
Nicholas Cameron, of Country Carbon, who helped with the successful bids in the Emission Reduction Fund auction, said some pastoralists had taken their first holiday in years thanks to the first payment.
“I know a number of them are enjoying a cruise at this moment in the South Pacific. It’s a long time since they’ve been able to do that,” Mr Cameron said.
Hot late season fires in the tropics contribute 4 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gases, with methane and nitrous oxide emissions.
Mr Cameron says the money will help fund fire control.
“They have to manage the very hot fires that we see in the late dry season,” he said.
“We’re trying to manage the emissions from those [through methods like] early season burning, managing fire breaks, a lot of vigilance. The landholders are very busy trying to prevent fires or put them out when they do arise.”