2 Jun 2010

Debate over ETS costs continues

12:50 pm on 2 June 2010

Debate over the likely cost of the emissions trading scheme continues.

Federated Farmers calculating that the cost for the sheep and beef sector alone would consume the profit from more than 4.5 million lambs.

Using the Minister of Agriculture's figures, it estimates that once the ETS is introduced in July, it will cost sheep and beef farmers almost 43-million dollars, or more than 14-hundred dollars a farm.

Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson says that would amount to almost 4% of the average pre-tax profit for sheep and beef farms

And he says by 2015, when agriculture will be required to join the scheme, it could erode almost 10% of that profit.

Federated Farmers has estimated that the ETS will cost the economy more than $500 million in the first year.

But the Sustainability Council has weighed into the debate.

Executive director Simon Terry says calculations by Federated Farmer and ACT don't take into account the extra costs the taxpayer faces, through effectively having to subsidise agriculture until it's fully brought into the scheme.

His figures are based on a $25 per tonne price cap for emissions.