Protections called for

By Country News

Small farmers should have extra protections when they take out loans because they make profits in cycles that extend over multiple years, according to an independent federal MP.

Rebekha Sharkie has presented legislation to parliament she says would even the playing field for small farmers, including by prohibiting lenders from unilaterally valuing any security given in respect of a loan.

‘‘This is about small farming families, and we need small farming families,’’ Ms Sharkie told parliament on February 18.

In other news, independent MP Bob Katter said Australia’s central bank should have a third board that can help ensure the financial sustainability and development of agricultural operations.

Mr Katter has presented legislation to parliament that would set up the Australian Reconstruction and Development Board.

The proposal comes as much of the agricultural industry is struggling under high debt.