As the election looms, the Australian Greens have delivered a policy which provides $100 million in funding to help farmers switch to renewable energy.
The proposed policy also pledges a further $2 billion to help fast-track renewable energy development through a ‘clean energy map’.
Christine Milne, leader of the Greens, says the farm energy policy will provide farmers with assistance to reduce their electricity cost by changing to renewable energy farms, such as solar or wind, despite which political party wins the September election.
“The Greens understand that many farmers are subject to extremely high electricity bills, especially those in horticulture, dairy, piggeries and poultry,” said Senator Milne.
“Furthermore we recognise the potential for renewable energy to help farmers lower their costs and increase their business sustainability.”
According to Senator Milne the Greens are the only party to have such a policy for farmers on its agenda and consequently it is a priority for the party.
“Our priorities are different to other parties as Tony Abbott doesn’t believe in climate change and Kevin Rudd is more concerned with his backflip on carbon pricing,” she said.
Increasing government assistance for the farming industry through sustainability and energy efficiency is, as the Greens see it, in the public interest.
“Switching to renewable energy farms and increasing energy efficiency also builds Australia’s reputation for clean, green and high quality food,” said Senator Milne.
The Greens have also announced a $2 billion package to identify Australia’s clean energy resources and tender out power projects to link renewable energy locations to the grid.
“Based on extensive consultation, a national task group would identify and create the new zones to help remove investment and infrastructure barriers,” Senator Milne said.
The policy suggests the $2 billion be handled by a task group within the Department of Energy to identify clean energy hot-spots with the involvement of local communities.