Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce during question time in the House of Representative at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. (AAP Image/Stefan Postles) NO ARCHIVING
Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce during question time in the House of Representative at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. (AAP Image/Stefan Postles) NO ARCHIVING STEFAN POSTLES

Landry supports push for bail-out for primary producers

MEMBER for Capricornia Michelle Landry has thrown her support behind Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and his push for a massive bail-out for primary producers.

As Mr Joyce prepares to address cabinet on his plans, reports have emerged of division within the Liberal and National parties about the best way to handle the situation on the land.

Earlier this week Treasurer Joe Hockey indicated there was nothing additional on the table to support primary producers but added "let's see how it pans out".The renewed debate over drought assistance comes only days after the cabinet knocked back an appeal from SPC Ardmona for a $25 million grant to keep operating in Victoria.

Ms Landry, a member of the Nationals, was clear in her support for Mr Joyce.

She said people in big cities needed to be made aware of the issues faced by farmers.

"My thoughts are if the city slickers down south think it's bad that Holden is closing they should look at how bad the farmers are with this drought," she said.

"They're talking about propping up corporations like Holden, we're talking about the survival of family=owned primary producers."

She also questioned why the Australian tax payer should support businesses that had millions of dollars' worth of assets overseas.

"Farming and agriculture have been the backbone of our country," she said.

Ms Landry acknowledged the division within the government.

"At the moment we're in negotiations," she said.

"I can't prejudge what's going to happen in cabinet, but we'll be putting the case forward.

"Minister Joyce is working with the Prime Minister and the Treasurer."

Minister Joyce is currently working on a white paper on agricultural competitiveness, which will include terms of reference on access to investment finance, farm debt levels and debt sustainability.

An issues paper will then be released, which will invite submissions.



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