FARMING IN A CHANGING CLIMATE
A Greens Initiative for adaptation in WA Agriculture
It’s time to face up to the impact that a changing climate is having on WA farmers.
WA is home to hardworking, ingenious people, but rather than supporting that ingenuity and investing in WA farmers, the Liberal/National Government is putting WA farmers under more pressure at a time when changing climate, water shortages and extreme weather pose enormous threats to the survival of farming families.
The Greens care about people as well as the environment and will stand up for farmers. We’ve been showcasing a range of stories that demonstrate the resilience and creativity of some farmers in the South West but we know that these individual efforts need to be encouraged and expanded upon.
Policies from the Liberal and Nationals that focus on trying to re‐make the harsh landscape of the North by redirecting water with canals and dams ignore the needs of most farmers, particularly those in the South West, who now face less predictable rainfall, poor returns and extreme weather events as a result of climate change. Only the Greens are focused on addressing the impacts of climate change on our existing farming land.
True Progress in WA would be a resilient agricultural sector that supports farmers to remain on the land and earn a healthy return on their produce. That’s why the Greens are campaigning for solutions that will help farmers adapt to climate change with the following initiatives:
Research and Development & Practical Design fund
Records from the last four years show that the Climate Change Unit inside the Department of Environment has consistently underspent its budget, the research unit in the Department of Agriculture has been reduced and both State and Federal
Government are yet to develop strong cross departmental adaptation plans which directly addressed the needs of farmers.
This is why the Greens are campaigning for:
• More funding for research and development into climate change adaptation for agriculture
• Commitment to coordinated cross‐departmental effort that combines the practical, on‐the‐ground knowledge of farmers with the broader scientific community, agro‐economists and local governments to develop real solutions for climate change adaptation
• Funding that encourages innovative local projects and rewards people for adopting new adaptation processes and support to develop, evaluate and share successful programs
Extreme Weather Preparedness
The Greens have already initiated a national inquiry into extreme weather preparedness, which will visit WA in March and will deliver recommendations later this year. In response to this inquiry, the WA Greens are campaigning for a commitment to extreme weather preparedness which includes:
• Ensuring WA’s agricultural sector is aware of, and prepared for, extreme weather events
• Driving cross‐governmental action to prepare for future extreme weather events
• An on‐going fund for responding to the impacts of extreme weather
The Greens know that our farms and rural communities are too precious to lose and are the party that is committed to help WA farmers adapt to climate change.