Queensland Senator Matthew Canavan has welcomed strong support for a Senate inquiry into rural debt from colleagues and others reported in the media today.
Senator Canavan plans to raise the prospect of a Senate inquiry into rural debt when the Senate resumes in Canberra next week.
"I have only been a month or so in the job, but I have consistently heard that rural debt is an anchor that is holding rural industries back. It doesn't matter if you're in Goondiwindi, Cloncurry or Normanton, it is an issue everywhere.
"One of the consistent things I have heard is that people are putting short-term cash-flow needs, including interest payments, ahead of long-term business planning.
“That’s not the approach our nation needs the beef industry to take. There is a big opportunity for us to grow a strong and viable beef industry given record world beef prices. But we will miss that opportunity as a nation unless producers have the financial flexibility to respond, restock and invest.
“At the moment, too many producers are being forced to sell stock down rather than breed cattle.
“Recent rains have lifted both spirits and prices. However, we are not going to see a major improvement in the situation for producers until there is profitability on the income side of the books and more manageable debt on the balance sheet side of the books.”
Thursday 21 August 2014