Feb 2014

Pressure on Government to deliver $7 billion rescue aid for farmers in crisis

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Proof will be in the pudding


KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has welcomed Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce’s position on pushing cabinet for $7 billion in relief aid to farmers.

Ultimately however, the proof will be in the pudding with the pressure on Minister Joyce to deliver outcomes for Australian agriculture.

Mr Joyce’s announcement follows a crisis meeting of farmers in southwest Queensland last weekend.

Mr Katter said he was pleased to hear that Minister Joyce supported calls for an Australian Reconstruction and Development Board (ARDB) to be formed within the Federal Reserve Bank to buy bad rural loans from the private sector.

“I strongly urge the Federal Government to adopt this proposal as the crisis will dramatically worsen if the banks and the Government do not come to the party,” Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter reiterates that without this assistance and the ARDB, Australian cattle will continue to die at a rate of five to 10 thousand head daily.

Rural debt has become a major crisis with the average farm debt rising from $700 000 two years ago to now being over $2 million per farm, and without immediate action Mr Katter warns, the debt will only grow larger.

“It is vital for everyone to grasp the ARDB model and understand that the initial approach will cost taxpayers money but ultimately makes money for the taxpayers; the concept is to reconstruct loans in the industry that can be rescued.

"The $7 billion request by Minister Joyce is a culmination of two years work for all those that have been associated with the National Rural Debt Crisis Council, under the great leadership of Rowell Walton and the Cattle Crisis Council with Barry Hughes at the forefront," Mr Katter praised.

Mr Katter, unmistakable for his unshakable resolve in pushing for a sustainable Australian agriculture industry, said "whether we agree with Minister Joyce’s approach or not, it is imperative for each of us to stand as a force behind Australian farmers and Australian industry".

For more information about the bill to establish the ARDB click here


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