Anti-ETS protesters march on Parliament
The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) comes widely into force late next week, but farmers from around the country are still hitting the streets in protest.
About 100 people marched from central Wellington to Parliament today as part of an ETS protest organised by Federated Farmers and the ACT Party - the only political party totally opposed to the scheme.
Federated Farmers president Don Nicholson said the protesting group was calling for the Government to drop the scheme, which would place extra costs on consumers, mainly in the form of rises in the price of power and fuel, from July 1 due to the cost it places on greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr Nicholson said the ETS was the "start of a winter of discontent" which would initially cost sheep and beef farmers an average of $1475 extra a year and dairy farmers an average of $3300 extra a year.
Others speaking outside Parliament directed their outrage at the National Party for proceeding with a scheme when New Zealand's main trading partners had not committed to their own schemes.
ACT leader Rodney Hide was already looking ahead to the 2011 election, saying with a few more members his party was likely to be able to derail progression of the ETS. Give party votes to ACT at the election and "we'll do the business for you", he said.