Northern QLD communities to have their say in rural debt meetings

Regional communities in North Queensland will have a chance to voice their concerns when the Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce resume meetings next week.

These meetings will give local residents an opportunity to tell of how the drought is affecting their farms and how the government can best provide assistance.

Funds of up to $52.1 million has been allocated through the drought package from last year’s budget as well as $154 million from the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority.

The Taskforce travelled through parts of Western Queensland late last year and heard from residents on their biggest issues.

Overwhelmingly, they heard a cry for help for families to pay down interest on current debts.

The meetings are vital for input into the processes and procedures of the industry and contribute greatly to the overall health of the state’s economy.

Member for Mount Isa and Taskforce Chair, Rob Katter has praised the level on involvement so far saying the discussions have been well received.

Rural Debt Taskforce Longreach

A community meeting of the Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce in Longreach in December 2015

If you are in the area or want to have a chance to talk to the Taskforce, there are eight more opportunities before they wrap up at the end of the month.

Meetings next week:

Mareeba at the DNRM on Tuesday 12 Jan from 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Innisfail at The Con Theatre Wednesday 13 Jan from 8:30am to 12:00pm

Ingham at the TYTO Conference Centre Wednesday 13 Jan from 2:30pm to 5:30pm and

Ayr at the Burdekin Theatre on Thursday 14 Jan from 11:00am to 2:00pm.

If you would like to make a submission to the Taskforce, they are open until Monday 11 January and can be sent in writing to this email address ruraldebtsecretariat@daf.qld.gov.au.