WAFarmers supports rural debt working group

The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc) supports and endorses all key resolutions emanating from the Rural Debt Roundtable Working Group (RDRTWG).

The RDRTWG was morphed from a collective gathering of industry leaders who met the Federal Treasurer, Hon Wayne Swan, in October at the Rural Debt Roundtable in Brisbane.

WAFarmers Senior Vice President and Farm Business Spokesman, Tony York, highlighted the deep concerns throughout the Wheatbelt with the level of farm debt, difficulty in obtaining carry-on finance and poor levels of business confidence.

“Some of the eight key resolutions presented by the RDRTWG include a Federal Government-led debt moratorium, the formation of a national rural debt reconstruction authority and more equitable funding for Rural Financial Counselling Services in Western Australia and Queensland,” Mr York said.

“Farmers in some areas of Western Australia are experiencing extremely low equities, and with land not selling or values being significantly written-down, we are facing the reality of hundreds of families literally walking off their land.

“We are also hearing reports that increasing amounts of land will not be farmed this year due to restrictions on finance and the subsequent inability for many farmers to consider extra leasing of land.”

Mr York said the RDRTWG are constructively working with the Federal Government on the key resolutions, which will help stabilise the financial positions of growers, protect the well-being of their families and local communities and assist growers to help return rural and regional Western Australia to prosperity when the seasons allow.

“Ensuring the sustainability and well-being of farming communities is what WAFarmers wholeheartedly stands for, so it is only natural that we fully endorse what the RDRTWG are doing and working towards and WAFarmers will be making a submission to the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF), asking them to also support this group,” Mr York concluded.

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