KATTER’S AUSTRALIAN PARTY TO LAUNCH STATE BANK
President of Katter’s Australian Party and candidate for Gympie Shane Paulger today unveiled KAP’s major policy announcement – The Queensland Industry Development Bank (Q.I.D.B).
Speaking with Federal member for Kennedy Bob Katter in Gympie, Mr Paulger stated the Q.I.D.B is a long overdue and vital initiative for rural and regional communities.
The Katter’s Australian Party intends to transition the existing Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA) into the Q.I.D.B to provide suitably tailored funds and capital arrangements for the sustainability and development of at risk Queenslanders.
Through the Q.I.D.B regional businesses, land owners and local industries will have access to much needed ﬁnance, loaning at concessional government set rates.
“I think years of neglect and failed ideology has lead us to the situation today, where many small businesses and farms can’t get access to acceptable and reliable ﬁnance,” Mr Paulger said.
Currently up to $650,000 is available through the QRAA via sustainability loans, however this amount of money is very short of the mark required by today’s agricultural industry, with much of the debt running into the millions.
“Every day we see farmers thrown off their land in droves, clearly rural debt and stagnation has to be addressed,” Mr Paulger said.
The KAP Party President suggested the loans should be based on a 20- 25 year term to allow the establishment of the industry.
“There is undeniable evidence that little of the funding is being taken up by the farming community because of the short term loans, this clearly demonstrates the current structure is not working,” Mr Paulger said.
“Young farmers and the businesses who depend on that industry need a hand up not a hand out to get a start, and transition into ownership of farms,” “We believe the Q.I.D.B will go onto beneﬁt both struggling individuals,
businesses and communities with a strong commitment to the rural industry,” he said.
Federal KAP Leader and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter threw his support behind Shane Paulger and said he was ‘dead
right’ when he said that every reconstruction bank in Australia had negligible defaulters and was even making money.
“The bitter irony is that we’re not asking for any money, we never have. We’ve asked for a reconstruction of our debt. We want a State Bank to take over the bad debt, to write off a percentage of the debt and loan it back to farmers at around the mark of two per cent interest.
“In that case over 90% of those at risk, being the farmers and the numerous rural businesses that depend on them, will come through and move onto normal commercial rates over the next 3-4 years,” Mr Katter said.