Exit Grants were not intended to be a support mechanism for banks

The reluctance of the Rudd Government to quarantine exit grants from creditors for farmers leaving drought-stricken farms is a major issue for farmers in South Australia.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey has spoken out in Parliament in support of farmers facing the worst situation experienced in South Australia since the depression.

“Farmers resist leaving agriculture for good reason, they don’t want to leave, in most cases farming is their life, however, the continuing drought has pushed so hard that for some, options are running out,” he said.

“Those who make the heart-breaking decision that they simply cannot continue on the land deserve the dignity of leaving their farms and being able to salvage some hope for the future for themselves and their families”.

“The Coalition Government introduced the Exit Grants as part of a package targeted at helping farmers leave agriculture and was planning legislation to facilitate the quarantining of exit grants from creditors when the government went into caretaker mode.

Federal member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey reminded parliament that, ” The Coalition never intended the $150,000 grants as a support mechanism for banks to retrieve money on bad loans. “The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke would have had this legislation put on his desk when he was appointed.

His lack of action suggests he either doesn’t care or he approves of the arrangements.

Failure to quarantine means farming families are not applying for the exit grant as a way of leaving farming. This may not seem a big thing to Mr Burke but it is a big thing for these families.”

Coober Pedy Regional Times

Categories: GENERAL News

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