The project provides an opportunity to support reforestation and decarbonisation using drought-resilient native tree crops, integrated with existing farming systems.
Having completed an extensive initial assessment of the carbon farming project, the parties will undertake a more detailed feasibility study into the harvesting and processing of native biomass crops and selected agricultural waste residues, to produce low-carbon renewable biofuels.
Under the MoU, the first planting of native trees is expected to take place in the winter of 2023, subject to the completion a comprehensive engagement process with stakeholders.
The unique project model will seek collaboration between the sponsors, landowners and rural communities as a priority. The project will further diversify the regional agribusiness economy, while supporting Wheatbelt farming communities with local employment and regional infrastructure investment.
The three MoU sponsors bring resources, complex project development experience and a long-term commitment to the Wheatbelt collaboration.
INPEX CORPORATION Representative Director, President and CEO Mr Takayuki Ueda said INPEX is proud to actively contribute to a lower carbon future, and the project is a positive step towards achieving INPEX’s sustainable development goals.
“We look forward to realising this exciting collaboration, working closely with Wheatbelt communities, landowners and stakeholders and our fellow MoU sponsors ANZ and Qantas,” Mr Ueda said.
ANZ Chief Executive Officer Shayne Elliott said the project aligns with the bank’s focus on supporting its customers in their transition to net zero, which is core to ANZ’s environmental sustainability strategy.
“We’re looking forward to working closely with landowners and rural communities, many of whom are our customers, on this important project aimed at supporting the future economy of the Wheatbelt and its community,” Mr Elliott said.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the MoU was another example of the national carrier’s ongoing commitment to sustainability with the renewable biofuels aspect, if proven, contributing towards the development of a domestic sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry.
“This partnership ticks a lot of boxes, it’s supporting the environment in an iconic part of the Australian landscape, creating carbon credits, and potentially contributing to a future domestic SAF industry with all of the jobs and opportunities that will come with that.”