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The Palaszczuk Government’s Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce will hold its first public hearing today, giving those most affected a chance to tell the Government firsthand the impact of the drought and their debt levels.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the Taskforce will meet in Normanton today and in Hughenden and Winton tomorrow.
“The Palaszczuk Government announced the Taskforce to help identify and recommend solutions to address the debt issues faced by Queensland’s primary producers,” Mr Pitt said
“The Taskforce will recommend solutions for Government’s consideration, which will complement the Government’s existing $52.1 million drought package announced in the State Budget in July.
“Together with $154 million in financial assistance from the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority in the last financial year, initiatives such as this provide some relief to farming families.
"The Rural Debt Taskforce will play an important role in informing the ongoing support and assistance Government can offer to drought-affected farmers.
“The agricultural sector makes a substantial contribution to our economy, so it's important we hear firsthand about the difficulties faced by drought-affected farmers.”
The Taskforce is chaired by the Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter and includes an MP from the Government, Opposition, mayors, representatives from the agricultural sector and economists.
Information on the Taskforce is available at www.daf.qld.gov.au/ruraldebttaskforce/about-us/taskforce-members
A total of of 14 meetings will be held around Queensland through to the end of January, with meetings to be held next week in Barcaldine, Charleville and St George.
A closed session will follow each public forum where people can talk about their submissions or other matters in private with members of the Taskforce.
People who would like to request a private discussion can contact the Secretariat on 07 3224 6415 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org