Coalition climate scare campaign continues, in desperate pitch to farmers

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Federal agriculture minister claims 1% emissions reduction could slash national herd and flock by 10% – “more than 2.5m cattle and six million sheep.” Says Labor being “tricky.”

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Forget sausage sizzles, there won’t be enough sheep or cattle with which to make any sausages – or meat trays for that matter, if the federal Coalition’s latest carbon scare campaign is to be believed.

Today’s fantastical forecast on the impact of the federal Labor’s proposed climate policies is brought to you by the Morrison government’s Queensland-based agriculture minister, David Littleproud, who claimed that just a 1 per cent cut to national emissions could carve livestock numbers by more than 8 million.

“Until such time as Labor explains exactly how it will cut emissions by 45 per cent as it claims, it’s fair to think it might cut from agriculture,’’ Littleproud told The Courier-Mail.

“It cannot possibly achieve a 45 per cent cut from the energy sector alone,” he said.

“Labor is being tricky with its language. To cut emissions by just 1 per cent would mean slashing the national herd and flock by 10 per cent — more than 2.5 million cattle and six million sheep.”

“This could well increase the price of meat for consumers as farmers would need to make more from fewer animals.”

The meaty claim follows hot on the heels of yesterday’s insight from resources minister Matt Canavan, that Labor’s emissions reduction target will be the end of the sausage sizzle as we know it.

As we reported here, Canavan also warned that the price of meat trays – another favourite fundraiser for charities and sporting groups – could leap to $100 under Labor’s “carbon tax.”

“Bill Shorten’s carbon tax means that Queensland sporting clubs will have less to spend on footy jerseys and netball bibs,” Canavan, who also wants a coal-fired generator to be built in Queensland, told the same paper.

Of course, Littleproud and Canavan continue a Coalition tradition of such claims, including Barnaby Joyce’s prediction of $100 lamb roasts, and Tony Abbott’s crystal vision that the steel city of Whyalla would be a ghost town.

And as Giles Parkinson noted yesterday, we can expect plenty more where that came from as the May election looms. Particularly in light of the losses the National Party suffered in the New South Wales state election, as fed-up farmers took their regional vote elsewhere. Pass the tomato sauce.

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