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Rudd Government calls summit on financial crisis and rural communities.



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The Hon. Tony Burke MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Rudd Government calls summit on financial crisis and rural communities

17 October 2008 DAFF08/142B

The Rudd Government will today hold a high-level summit to discuss the impact of the global financial crisis on farming families, rural small businesses and agricultural industries.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said rural communities were not immune from the crisis and the summit would look at the implications of recent developments for rural and regional areas.

The summit will be held in Sydney and will include representatives of the Commonwealth Bank; NAB; ANZ; Westpac; Rabobank Australia; the Australian Bankers’ Association; Association of Building Societies and Credit Unions; Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia; CPA Australia; National Farmers’ Federation; Landmark Operations Ltd; Napier Agrifutures and the National Rural Advisory Council.

“The Rudd Government is determined to stay ahead of the game and ensure our economy is as resilient as possible in the face of the global financial crisis,” Mr Burke said.

“The global economic landscape has changed and we need to discuss in detail what that means for agriculture, farm export industries and jobs in rural and regional areas.

“It is important that industry and the Government hear directly from the major banks and financial institutions about the challenges and opportunities for the farm sector.

“Our primary producers and rural small businesses underpin the national economy and international trade, as well as feeding, clothing and housing families in Australia and around the world.

“That’s why $4 billion from this week’s $10.4 billion Economic Security Strategy will go to 2.9 million Australians living in regional and rural areas, to help with cost of living pressures and sustain economic growth.”

Discussions will include an update from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics on recent farm commodity market developments and an overview of the agricultural financial situation.

Banking and finance institutions will be invited to outline their response to the global financial conditions and outlook.

Key Australian agricultural policy issues will also be discussed, including the national review of drought policy and irrigation industry assistance.