David Carter National Agriculture Spokesman
12 September 2003
Govt pulls plug on greenhouse gas research
National's Agriculture spokesman David Carter is slamming a Government decision to cut funding for a greenhouse gas emissions research project at Lincoln University.
"It makes no sense.
'We've got the Government forcing farmers to stump up for greenhouse gas research through the absurd 'flatulence tax', yet on the other hand it's pulling the plug on research," says Mr Carter.
He is commenting on reports that a million-dollar research project at Lincoln has not only had its application for new funding turned down, but it has also had its existing government funding stopped.
"This is despite the private sector already doing its bit to substantially subsidise the project," says Mr Carter.
"This research project had huge potential for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and increasing agricultural efficiency. It's tipped to cut nitrate leaching and slash nitrous oxide emissions by as much as 80%.
"Farmers know only too well the Government's determination to levy for research into greenhouse gas emissions - they call it a 'fart tax'.
"But what they won't understand is why the Government sees fit to axe already-established, essential research into the problem. It makes no sense, "says Mr Carter.
"Agriculture is the engine room of our economy. And it is research, like the Lincoln University project, that will fuel its future.
"It's a real slap in the face for agriculture that the Government can find $34 million for an America's Cup challenge, but can't find research funding for an industry that earns 67% of our total exports," says Mr Carter.