Tuesday 21/8/2007 Page: 5
SEVEN leading business and community organisations have formed the Agricultural Alliance on Climate Change to work towards securing the future of rural Australia and building the foundations of Australia's clean energy economy. Rural communities, and the businesses that support them, are at the frontline of climate change impacts like more severe droughts, floods and storms and regulatory impacts like carbon pricing. With a changing climate and uncertainty about future government responses to the challenge, the organisations have recognised that there are significant gains to be made from working collaboratively to take control of our legacy and build one that strengthens our communities.
The Alliance is commissioning research to investigate how rural communities can create climate change resilient communities, and prosper from harvesting clean energy and farming carbon. The organisations are: the Country Women's Association of Australia; Westpac; the South Australian Farmers' Federation; AgForce; Visy; the Australian Conservation Foundation; and The Climate Institute Australia. The group will focus on solutions for rural Australia that -
- Prosper: Create effective and sustainable economic drivers from harvesting clean energy, carbon farming and bio-diversity stewardship, such as a clean renewable energy target.
- Strengthen: Secure a viable, vital and productive future for rural Australia by forward planning and providing for social and physical infrastructure and services such as mental health facilities and workforce skills.
- Adapt: Make information, tools and resources accessible to rural Australians with a view to adapting to and preparing for the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Recognise that farmers have an ageing profile and many operate small or medium scale enterprises. Working together and supported by government, rural Australia can prosper from a clean energy future.