Tony Abbott's plan for an alternative to an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) or Carbon Tax, has hit a snag - his partners in Opposition, the National Party. Together, they were instrumental in using the Senate to block, a second time, an ETS proposed by Kevin Rudd's Labor Government.
As the Liberal Party worked on an alternative to an ETS, National Party Senator Ron Boswell, has hit out at a key element - planting more trees, and granting (financial) incentives to farmers to do so.
Mr Boswell's reasoning is that farmers shouldn't plant trees, and governments should not pay them to do so. Fair enough - he wouldn't want to be socialist in his ideas of financial support for farmers ... oooh, wait a sec, yes he does. The Nat's policy is is often summarised as 'privatise profits, socialise losses'. And climate-induced long-term drought and diminishing farm viability will be socialised with government support: at least, that's the Nats' view. There is no doubt that more of our primary industries need to be restructured, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin. John Howard, to his credit, did it for the sugar industry.
Boswell's a dinosaur, and Tony Abbott, as Leader of the Opposition, should tell him so.