Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart has hit out at the costly impact of a “net zero” policy on farmers, warning of high food prices, food shortages and an exodus of farmers if the Federal Government doesn’t change its direction. 

Ms Rinehart made the comments at the inaugural News Corp Bush Summit in Perth on August 14, where she headlined the event along with Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King. 

She urged economic gains from regional areas be returned to communities and net-zero ambitions abandoned for farmers. Mrs Rinehart said the mining industry would be able to afford the transition to net zero but other sectors, including agriculture would face a tougher time meeting requirements. 

She called on the Federal Government to meet the costs involved or waive it altogether. “They want to implement the net zero,” Ms Rinehart said. “Most farmers and others in agriculture, you know, be it the orchardists and others, cannot afford net zero.” 

She warned that farmers would have to leave the industry and Aussies would see huge price increases for food, along with fresh food shortages, and she also reiterated her support for nuclear energy to be introduced in the country. 

“Let’s not upset many farmers with bird-killing wind generators and massive solar panel stretches, and bring on clean, safe nuclear energy,” Ms Rinehart said. Ms King said as Australia had become a more urbanised nation, with more than 86 per cent of the population living in capital cities, the engagement with, and appreciation of, the bush had diminished. 

“It has, I think, led to many Australians in urban areas losing sight of where much of the nation’s prosperity , food and energy comes from. We need to change this,” Ms King said. “Fortunately, we’re now seeing a reset in favour of the regions. People are continuing to flock to the bush — drawn to amenity, its liveability , its comparatively affordable housing, and in Western Australia, by good jobs with big salaries and bright futures.” 

Ms King said she was committed to unlocking the bush’s full potential and “furthering the multigenerational effort of developing the regions to our north — many of which suffer from the twin tyrannies of distance and disadvantage” . “Australians in rural and remote areas have a right to the same basic services on offer to those of us in the cities,” she said.


HanRoy is part of Hancock Prospecting

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