Kat­ter sees red over farm white- pa­per

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JIM CAMP­BELL

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.

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