CLIMATE FOCUS: Queensland Minister Leeanne Enoch.
CLIMATE FOCUS: Queensland Minister Leeanne Enoch. Contributed

Agriculture sector needs major change

QUEENSLAND'S agricultural sector must adapt to changing climatic conditions to ensure long-term growth, a crucial report has concluded.

The Palaszczuk Government has proposed a long-term strategy devised to protect the state's agriculture industry.

The sector is one of the key foundations underpinning the Bundaberg region's economy.

During Queensland's first Climate Week, Minister for Environment Leanne Enoch revealed the state government predicted technical advancements and sustainable choices would dramatically reduce carbon by 2030 and allow for zero-emissions by 2050 across the state.

"The Summit, being delivered by Climateworks Australia, will facilitate discussions about how we can value a range of natural assets, including soil, water and other living things, to produce positive outcomes,” Ms Enoch said on Thursday.

"That is why our government has established a $500 million land restoration fund, to expand carbon farming opportunities to generate new job and revenue sources for Queensland communities, including the agricultural sector.”

The Department of Environment and Science collaborated with accountants Ernst & Young, compiling a detailed report that assesses the risks and opportunities available, as a result of a decarbonised economy, across eight key sectors, including agriculture.

The findings of this report indicates that half of the agricultural income generated, occurs in regional areas with the Wide Bay identified as a key area.

Extreme weather conditions including floods, droughts, heat waves and bush fires are also impacting farmers and their crops. Failure to control these natural disasters were increasing insurance policy expenses, conditions and risks.

The report said agriculture was the third largest contributing factor to the rise in greenhouse gas emissions in Queensland, something that carbon offsets could eliminate.

Failure to adapt to practices and products that are resilient against a turbulent climate, will harm the economy by contributing to a rise in sea levels, and causing contamination to occur in the water and soil supply. it said.

"(The) agriculture sector must adapt to changing climatic conditions to ensure its long-term growth and resilience,” the report reads.

Promoting a sustainable future for Bundaberg will also improve health and tourism sectors and increase career opportunities within the community.

"Queensland's emerging carbon farming industry could contribute up to $8 billion to the Queensland economy by 2030 helping to generate new jobs, revenue streams and market opportunities,” Ms Enoch said.



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