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Evelyne
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PostPosted: Sun 14 Oct - 14:23 (2012)    Post subject: Outback carbon farming Reply with quote

Outback carbon farming venture faces shake-up
By Ruby Jones and Caddie Brain
Updated Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:24pm AEDT
Photo: Cattle may be returned to the land in a major re-think about the Henbury Station carbon farming project. (ABC)

An ambitious $13 million "learning by doing" carbon trading venture at a former cattle station in the Northern Territory is going back to school.
RM Williams Agricultural Holdings says it is going to completely restructure its carbon conservation project model at the 5,000 square kilometre Henbury Station in central Australia.
The Federal Government last year contributed $9 million to the $13 million price the company paid to buy the property, about 125 kilometres south of Alice Springs.
The aim at the time of the purchase was to de-stock the land and return it to its natural state to earn carbon credits.
The project would also take a lead in establishing a business model for carbon farming in remote regions.
The land would be protected as part of Australia's National Reserve System, supported by the Commonwealth through its Caring for Country initiative.
But the Henbury Conservation Project's chief executive David Pearse left RM Williams Agricultural Holdings earlier this month.
Chief operating officer Rory Richards says the board felt leadership "needed refreshing".
The company has now partnered in the project with C-Quest Capital.
While the property was completely de-stocked to put the carbon farm plan in place, Mr Richards says future models should include livestock.
"We hope to be able to roll out a model that incorporates beef production," he said.
He added that the company is not planning to be a part of any similar carbon farming projects in the future.
Mr Richards has admitted there are some areas of operation the company wants to improve on.
"Over the past two years, we have drifted apart, we have disengaged from some of the communities, such as the Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association," he said.
The original purchase of Henbury Station drew criticism from both the cattle industry and Indigenous traditional owners.
The Central Land Council said it had been supporting efforts by traditional owners to buy the cattle property since 1974 so they could run it themselves.
The Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association said the de-stocking of Henbury for a conservation and carbon farming project was a worrying precedent in displacing food production from the land.
Association chief executive Luke Bowen told the ABC last year that non-Kyoto Agreement carbon credits earned from the project would be worth very little on the international market.
"The value of those carbon credits ... are next to nothing," he said.

Topics:emissions-trading, programs-and-initiatives, environmental-management, alice-springs-0870, darwin-0800
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