Queensland Senator calls for urgent action

The Federal government must take urgent action to provide relief for the North West Queensland pastoral industry a government Senator said today.

North Queensland based Senator Ian Macdonald said that the industry was in a diabolical situation from a combination of natural disasters and the decision of the former government to ban live cattle exports to Indonesia.

The grazing industry is fundamental to the economy and food security of

Queensland and the decisions made by previous Labor governments at State and Federal levels, coupled with a series of natural disasters, have pushed the industry into crisis, Senator Macdonald said.

"I am increasingly seeing first-hand the consequences of the perverse decisions that have smashed businesses and hard-working people.

The crisis has a domino effect so its not only the graziers who are suffering but many of the towns and small businesses which service them.

I understand that Barnaby Joyce, the new Minister for Agriculture, will visit the Gulf country this weekend and I urge him to bring forward some practical measures which will help save the industry.

"Families have had to take children out of school, many cannot afford to install new water for stock in drought-affected areas and most say that next year will be worse than this year as next years income has already gone.

Senator Macdonald also called on Assistant Treasurer, Senator Sinodinos, to call an urgent meeting between government, industry and banks to cooperate to rescue this important industry.

Work on the modelling of the Debt/Equity Trade proposal should start immediately, Senator Macdonald said.

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