Coalition climate scare campaign continues, in desperate pitch to farmers

The federal Coalition’s carbon scare campaign continues this week with claims from the Morrison government agriculture minister, David Littleproud, that just a 1 per cent cut to national emissions could carve livestock numbers by more than 8 million.

Littleproud, who is based in Queensland, said federal Labor could not possibly achieve a 45 per cent cut from the energy sector alone, and accused the party of being “tricky” with its language around climate.

“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.

“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.”

The comments constituted the second “meaty” carbon scare cooked up by the Coalition in two days, after resources minister Matt Canavan claimed Labor’s emissions reduction target would be the end of sausage sizzles and meat trays – a fundraiser favourite for clubs and schools.

“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.

But as Giles Parkinson has noted, 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 sauce.