QRAA loan changes good

Robbie Katter has welcomed Labor's changes to QRAA funding.
Robbie Katter has welcomed Labor's changes to QRAA funding.

Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter says the Palaszczuk Government's most recent QRAA changes favour of the Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce findings, after committing to more than doubling of the maximum QRAA Sustainability Loan scheme limits to $1.3 million.

"Broadening the ability for producers to reinvest in their operations, and relieve themselves of some of the heat of commercial debt is a step for the current government," Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter said with the previous QRAA loan limit set at a low rate, the uptake was limited, as of December 2015 only four producers took on these loans in his electorate.

"The low threshold placed on these loans was an issue that arose time and time again during the Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce hearings,” he said. "Funds significant enough to stimulate the towns hit hardest by the drought was needed.”

As part of the next phase towards rural reconstruction Mr Katter hopes to pass legislation to develop an alternate loan authority by expanding the capacity of QRAA.

The Rural and Regional Adjustment (Development Assistance) Amendment Bill, which is still in the committee process, is one of the most significant financial reforms proposed for the sector for the past few decades.

"Only through this alternate loaning facility will we sure up the longevity of regional Queensland, and the family producers that sustain it," Mr Katter said.

"We are currently in negotiations with both of the major parties to secure their support for this proposal," he said.

The KAP Rural and Regional Adjustment (Development Assistance ) Amendment Bill is set to be voted on by the end of the year. 


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