Crowd sourced funds

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL UPDATE - Tobi Lof­tus Tobi.Lof­tus@cnbtimes.com.au

A KAT­TER Party can­di­date for the seat of Flynn has had enough of farm­ers be­ing treated badly by banks and gov­ern­ments in the greater Bund­aberg and North Bur­nett re­gion.

Richard Love has de­cided he will do some­thing about it, start­ing a new crowd sourc­ing cam­paign for an in­ter­est-free ru­ral bank.

“The gov­ern­ment has a thing at the mo­ment through the QRAA, which gives you a loan, but the cri­te­ria to get that loan is more strin­gent than a bank loan,” Mr Love said.

“The chance of get­ting it is near zero.

“If you get the loan you can’t use it to square off a higher in­ter­est rate loan you have.”

Mr Love said this left farm­ers worse off.

“It’s like hav­ing a flat tyre and the gov­ern­ment comes along and are like here is an­other flat tyre,” he said.

“They give you an­other loan you can­not af­ford when you have an­other loan you can­not af­ford.”

This led Mr Love to the idea to cre­ate a crowd sourced ru­ral bank, called Far­mBank, for farm­ers in need.

“Be­tween Cairns and Mel­bourne, there are many peo­ple that want (farm­ers) to feed them,” Mr Love said.

“When peo­ple re­alise farms aren’t go­ing to be here much longer, they may turn around and help.”

Mr Love said he be­lieved the fund could raise “a few mil­lion dol­lars”.

“It lays out what is wrong and where we can help farm­ers get out of the rut they are in,” he said.

“Ba­si­cally what it will be is in­ter­est free loans tai­lored to farms and farm­ers based on their spe­cific needs.

“We can fix some of the is­sues in the in­dus­try by crowd fund­ing to help the farm­ers.”

Mr Love said he used to be a cane farmer in Bucca, just out­side of Bund­aberg, un­til it be­came too ex­pen­sive to run his busi­ness.

He said while the ini­tia­tive was sep­a­rate from his po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties in the KAP, party leader Bob Kat­ter knew about the idea and was supportive.

PHOTO: LUKA KAUZLARIC

FUND­ING PITCH: Kat­ter Aus­tralian Party can­di­date Richard Love de­cided to crowd source a ru­ral bank.

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