Reconstruction bill needed

Robbie Katter said the repossession of a Pentland farming family’s property by Rabobank highlighted the pressures the industry faces.
Robbie Katter said the repossession of a Pentland farming family’s property by Rabobank highlighted the pressures the industry faces.

STATE Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter says the latest foreclosure is a reminder of the need for reconstruction in rural industries.

Mr Katter said the repossession of a Pentland farming family’s property by Rabobank highlighted the pressures the industry has from drought, government intervention, the live export ban and unfair banking practices.

“The Royal Commission into banking practices is obviously long overdue, but they also need assistance to help get them back on their feet from the rural crisis – the answer is the Rural Reconstruction Bill,” he said.

The Royal Commission into banking practices is long overdue, but they also need assistance to help get them back on their feet from the rural crisis – the answer is the Rural Reconstruction Bill

Robbie Katter

“We needed a solution to the rural crisis years ago – and despite some areas having some good rain, the banks are still being heavy-handed with good operators.

“The banks act in their own commercial self-interest, we can’t necessarily blame them for that, but it is coming at the expense of our agricultural industries.”

The Rural and Regional Adjustment (Development Assistance) Amendment Bill 2016 - which will be debated in Queensland Parliament in the coming months, addresses debt issues by enabling the Government to provide suitably tailored loans to rural businesses for the purpose of restructuring their operations.

“Unless this Bill is supported, we’re going to see more families unfairly kicked off their properties by the banks instead of being able to take advantage of the good conditions,” Mr Katter said.

“Also, we want to empower our Aussie families who want to enter the market rather than only relying on foreign institutions and investors.”

Mr Katter said the Bill would not only help farming families, but also small businesses in rural towns.

“This is another example of debt killing our towns and the livelihoods of people in our rural areas,” he said.

“We lose a huge amount of farming experience with each of these foreclosures.”

“The Rural Reconstruction Bill will ensure our farmers survive and improve.”