Rob and Shane Rural Drought Taskforce announcement

KAP state members Rob Katter and Shane Knuth have secured a government commitment to address rural debt, with the announcement of a bipartisan rural debt Taskforce.

Less than a month out from the deadline for action set by the Member for Mt Isa Rob Katter the Government taskforce will investigate the viability of a Reconstruction Authority and Development bank, long pushed for by the KAP.

Mr Katter who will chair the taskforce said data will be gathered from industries, local councils, communities, individuals and from prior enquiries into banking practice and post GFC circumstances.

“Along with industry experts the panel will include individuals with the ability to understand deeper Banking Practice in contemporary circumstances and then make recommendations,”

Mr Katter said the current economic conditions across the agricultural sector must change and levels of debt in rural Queensland must be stabilised for the good of the whole state.

“This is an issue wreaking havoc through most of Queensland wrecking families, businesses and community,” Mr Katter said.

“Our agricultural industry has been a baseline for this state, now it is on the brink of collapse, we must do all we can to support it.

“Shane Knuth and I have long advocated for a Reconstruction Board and Development Bank to stabilise the finances of desperate primary producers,” he said.

“Rural Debt is the issue we have both seen rear its head again and again through our electorates and at each of the Rural Crisis Summits hosted in Winton and Charters Towers.

Mr Katter has stipulated a strict 60 day reporting deadline to ensure real outcomes are put in place.

“If people can see that their own government is willing to assist them in a real and practical way, hope and confidence will be injected back where it is needed most.”

Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth said it was essential the taskforce have bipartisan support.

“It is important we realise the issue of rural debt in Queensland is also of great importance now and to our and future generations,” Mr Knuth said.

“We look forward to seeing the major parties sitting together and not sniping at each other, this issue is bigger than politics.”

Mr Knuth said the task force will be representative of both the Opposition and the Government and expects the recommendations of the taskforce to be enacted, no matter who holds government at the time.

“I would hope that bankers who are pulling the gun will put it back in the holster and grant a small amount of room for the task force to do its work.”

“This is about finding real answers for real problems – we are looking to make a generational change.”

The KAP will be consulting with the Treasurer to further to ensure the taskforce is equipped with the resources it needs to achieve an effective outcome.


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