The Australian Greens today welcomed the Gillard government's progress towards its carbon farming initiative, but warned that it will need further improvements to ensure the scheme does not trigger serious land management problems.
The Greens have long campaigned against managed investment schemes which have left a trail of destruction across rural and regional Australia, replacing farming land with monoculture plantations, taking precious water resources and undermining the viability of regional communities.
"If Australia is to play our fair part in avoiding the climate crisis, we are going to have to increase the amount of carbon in our landscape as well as cutting pollution from stacks and cars," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"But, when we increase our green carbon, we have to do it in a sensible and sensitive way, making sure that we help communities and increase biodiversity instead of rolling over them in the rush to make money out of carbon credits.
"Past experience with managed investment schemes and carbon sink forests has not given me faith that this will be done appropriately, and the guidelines I have seen today do not reassure me at all.
"We clearly cannot rely on state and local planning authorities to make sure we get this right - the Commonwealth must take responsibility.
"I look forward to raising this issue with Minister Combet as we continue our discussions."