Tuesday 17 December 2013

The Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter has written to Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce calling on his support for an Australian Reconstruction and Development Bank (ARDB).

A packed meeting of rural producers at the Hughenden Rural Debt Crisis Forum last week unanimously passed a resolution to call on the Federal Government to commit to the provision of a reconstruction model capable of financial stabilization of rural Australia and reduction of rural debt.

“I called the forum to give a clearer picture to rural producers of the structures and procedures to form an ARDB, and to seek their support to take these plans to Federal Parliament.

“I was given that unanimously, and was greatly impressed by the fervour and interest in the forum and the willingness by attendees to learn as much as they could and to work on the solutions with me.

“Many of them are doing it very tough in the drought and carry a massive debt.

“The fact they travelled hundreds of kilometres to attend indicates their willingness to find smart, long-term, sustainable answers to the woes of Australian agriculture.

“Today I’ve written to Barnaby Joyce and Senators Nick Xenophon and John Madigan who tabled a Bill in Parliament in earlier this year to establish an ARDB.

“The Northern Beef Crisis Committee, led by chair Rob Atkinson, will join me in taking the resolutions from the forum to Canberra before the next sitting of Parliament on February 11-13,” said Mr Katter.