Queensland Carbon Farming Industry Forum - Brisbane 2018

The Queensland Carbon Farming Industry Forum took place in Brisbane last month with an aim to share ideas about the future of the industry and how things have changed in the previous twelve months. It was a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with familiar faces, meet new colleagues in the field and open up new avenues for learning, trading, the sharing of ideas and increasing industry understanding.

The Forum was hosted by our good friends at the Carbon Market Institute (CMI) and aimed to explain what the carbon farming industry does, how it does it, who benefits and where our industry is heading.

Peter Castellas, CEO of CMI kicked off and gave an excellent overview of where the industry currently stands. Many changes have taken place since last year, and this has created new opportunities and new challenges. Australia aims to have a net zero emissions trajectory by 2030, so there’s much to be done to get there, but it’ll create a more significant industry with many more employment opportunities. Good news for the Aboriginal Carbon Fund because it means there’ll be more opportunities for Aboriginal Rangers to be trained through our new, nationally accredited Ranger Training Cert II. This will lead to an increase in Aboriginal employment and intergenerational wealth creation.

The Honourable Leeanne Enoch, Minister for the Environment and Great Barrier Reef, Qld Government gave an insightful presentation regarding the Government’s aims and outcomes illustrating that both ministers and the Government are taking the issues of air pollution, sea temperature increase and rising sea levels seriously. This was well received by everyone in the room and showed the outstanding commitment the current Government is showing the industry and the AbCF.

Fiona Simpson, President of the National Farmers’ Association, gave an encouraging presentation regarding the work of farmers and their increasing acceptance of carbon farming either as a sole means of income or as a supplement to their current operations. As the Fund Manager of the Reducing Carbon Building Communities Fund (RCBC), I will be following up with a view to securing continuous supplies of Carbon Credits (ACCU) in the future.

Tony Roberts, Deputy Director General of the Department of Environment and Science, gave a fantastic overview of the $500 million Land Restoration Fund and how it’s going to impact on the environment and the industry.

As a key stakeholder and project developer, I talked about the newly launched RCBC Fund and explained the functions of the Fund, its capacity for job and wealth creation, the core benefits for the environment and Aboriginal Communities and its rapid increase in size. There’s a great deal of industry interest in the Fund because of its capacity to provide so many benefits in the future.

Jeremy Dore of Climate Friendly and Luke Scott from the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) kindly contributed their expertise to the Forum, delivering presentations and participating in the following discussions. It’s evident that the core benefits the fund offers are unique and beneficial in a multiplicity of ways. This led to a number of interested parties contacting me after the Forum to pursue the sale and purchase of ACCU’s.

To round off the first day the CMI launched the Australian Carbon Industry Code of Conduct, to which the Aboriginal Carbon Fund is an early signatory. Check out CEO Rowan Foley’s quote on the Code of Conduct page to find out more.

The launch was a key moment because it shows how seriously the leading industry players take their role and how the industry has matured in a short period. I’m proud to be a signatory and to uphold the values and ethics of the Code of Conduct and look forward to it becoming the industry standard.

The second day of the Forum started with what was probably one of the most prominent events in the Carbon Calendar - the launch of the ‘Native Title, Legal Right and Eligible Interest Holder Consent Guide hosted by David Parker, Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator. As the AbCF had a significant role in the inception and ideas behind the Guide, it was rewarding to be recognised for our work at the cutting edge of the industry. The Guide will give Aboriginal People and Traditional Owners far greater capacity to control their destiny which is good news for everyone at AbCF and on country.

The Forum concluded with a discussion around where the industry is going and the challenges we face. Indeed, there’s much to be excited about as the industry grows, but with growth comes financial and ethical concerns. At AbCF we pride ourselves on remembering that we do what we do to benefit communities, and this will remain at the forefront of my mind as I expand the size and reach of the fund.

I’d like to thank everyone who attended the Forum for their dedication and time, to give thanks to CMI for hosting another great event and to CER for all their excellent work. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to give me a call.

Mark Gasson

Fund Manager – Reducing Carbon Building Communities Fund

Cairns Office: (07) 4031 7756

Mobile: 0423 926 060

Email: mark@rcbcfund.com