The Australian Government has repealed the Carbon Tax with effect from 1 July 2014. The Carbon Tax repeal legislation received the Royal Assent on 17 July 2014 and the bills, as part of this package, are now law.
In anticipation of the repeal, the government reviewed funding arrangements related to the Carbon Tax in 2013, and is not proceeding with any new projects under the Carbon Farming Futures program.
Through its Direct Action Plan, the government will introduce a mix of new policies, including the Emissions Reduction Fund. The Emissions Reduction Fund will build on the existing Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) and provide ongoing opportunities for farmers and land managers to participate in emission reduction projects.
Action on the Ground projects already funded under the Carbon Farming Futures program will support the Emissions Reduction Fund by continuing to trial activities that could be used to manage on-farm greenhouse gas emissions and enable participation under the CFI.
Action on the Ground is a component of the Carbon Farming Futures program which is currently providing grant funding to farmers and land managers over the six years to June 2017.
Action on the Ground funding is assisting farmers and land managers to undertake on-farm trials of abatement technologies, practices and management strategies to measure and demonstrate how they can reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions of methane and nitrous oxide or increase the sequestration of carbon in soil while maintaining or improving farm productivity.
89 multi-year grants worth up to $44.29 million have received funding under rounds one and two of the Action on the Ground program.
These projects are trialing a diverse range of on-farm practices and management strategies, on more than 530 properties across the country.
Action on the Ground funded projects
Under round one, the program provided $25.2 million to 59 multi-year projects (to June 2015) involving more than 400 farmers and land managers. The projects are trialling and demonstrating a range of on–farm technologies and practices that store carbon, reduce or mitigate emissions of nitrous oxide and methane and improve farm productivity.
More information on round one
Under round two, the program provided $19.09 million to 30 multi-year projects (to June 2017) involving more than 130 farmers and land managers, farming groups, researchers, industry sectors and non-government organisations to undertake projects that address at least one of the program’s three key priorities: reduced methane emissions from livestock production systems; reduced nitrous oxide emissions; and increased carbon sequestration in soils
More information on round two
Expert Advisory Panel
An Expert Advisory Panel was established by the department to assess applications for grant funding against the assessment criteria and advise the department on the most effective funding investments.
The Expert Advisory Panel is an independent panel comprising leading research scientists, industry representatives and senior government officials. The panel assessed round two applications to both the Action on the Ground and Filling the Research Gap programs.
Guidance for the measurement of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon
All round one and two Action on the Ground projects are required to carefully measure emissions abatement and/or soil carbon, using standard procedures.
The department has published the ‘Guidance for on-farm measurement of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon’ to assist grantees in developing appropriate sampling practices and measurement regimes.
Action on the Ground webinar
On Friday 19 April 2013, the department held a web-based information session for prospective applicants. The webinar discussed the aims of Action on the Ground and the application and assessment process for round two. A recording and transcript of the webinar are available.
For more information, please call the Action on the Ground hotline on 1800 025 005 or email the Action on the Ground team.
Action on the Ground is administered by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture. To find out more about the other programs administered by the department under the Carbon Farming Futures program, please follow the links below: