“Hypocrisy knows no bounds,” was the Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter’s response to members of the Federal Coalition who are now talking about getting drought assistance after their own party has just voted down the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board (ARDB) in Parliament.
The implementation of the ARDB was knocked back by a federal Senate inquiry and now Mr Katter says coalition members are commenting on the rural debt crisis.
“It is commendable that they are finally speaking up for the graziers in their electorates, but at the same time it’s enormous hypocrisy for members of the Federal Coalition to now talk about getting drought assistance after their own party just voted down the ARDB bill in parliament.
“The ARDB bill is a financial instrument that is desperately needed to stop the spiraling rural debt crippling a large portion of the cattle industry. It has wide industry support and the support of peak lobby groups and has in the past had support from both sides of politics.
“The Nationals on their own won’t support it now as it would require them to grow a backbone and stand up to the city-based Liberals who abhor any form of industry support and are gladly overseeing the decline of agriculture in Australia.”
Mr Katter said the National MPs were not doing their job.
“They need to either step up to the plate by standing up to their colleagues or back out of the coalition.
“It is nothing short of cruel to keep mouthing platitudes to people on the land but failing to stand up when it really counts,” Mr Katter said.
He said the KAP would be doing everything within its power with the government in Queensland and already had a commitment from the LNP in Queensland to deliver a reconstruction board.
“We are hopeful of delivering this with the intention of not only stimulating the cattle industry but also the towns that are built around it.”
Mr Katter paid tribute to his father, Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter who had introduced a similar bill in the Lower House, and to Senators Nick Xenophon and John Madigan who instigated the senate inquiry into ARDB legislation.