Katter sees red over farm white- paper
THE Federal Government’s new Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper has come under stinging attack for a perceived lack of support for North Queensland farmers.
Outspoken Kennedy MP Bob Katter ( left) says he speaks with “considerable bitterness and hate” about the white paper’s neglect of the region.
Mr Katter has raised concerns about the level of foreign investment he said was occur- ring in North Queensland, where cashed- up overseas buyers were snatching up large swaths of agricultural land.
He said it was alarming there was not a clear record of the amount of property owned by other countries, saying the most recent survey was completed 12 years ago.
“Do we sit back and let our country be sold out?” he said.
Mr Katter pointed to the story of NQ grazier Jim Whelan, who was forced sell his two large cattle properties to repay bank debt. “I say this with considerable bitterness and hate – six cattle stations have been foreclosed on in the past few weeks,” he said.
“There’s nothing in this ( white paper) that helps the Jim Whelans of this world. They don’t need tax deductions for them to borrow more money to get in more debt.”
From July 2016, farmers will be able to use Farm Management Deposits to offset their business loans, reducing interest costs.