Bob Katter
Bob Katter Megan Pope

Truss sold rural Australia out, says Katter

FEDERAL MP Bob Katter says rural and regional areas have once again been sold out following a new Coalition agreement between the Liberal and National parties.

The agreement was stuck earlier this week following the leadership coup that saw Malcolm Turnbull topple Tony Abbott for the nation's top job.

The National Party secured responsibility for water policy and support for competition law reform under the new agreement.

Mr Katter said the National Party should have secured more for regional Australia instead of rolling over in less than two hours.

He said those involved in the negotiations were more interested in their own jobs than the people they are meant to represent.

"If there is an oppressed class of people in Australia, it is rural Australia," he said.

"Our children are leaving, our towns are closing down, our industries are closing down.

"Farmers are being foreclosed on at a rate of nearly one in every five days, whether it is cattle or sugar cane or grain ... and the dairy industry is well and truly gone.

"If you introduce ethanol, if you give Cairns and Adelaide their boat building, if you say that all government cars will be Australian made, then you rescue regional Australia as well as the manufacturing industry.

"Yet the Nationals did not try to achieve any of these things."

National Party leader Warren Truss said discussion about the new agreement occurred following the leadership change.

He said he sought reassurances from Malcolm Turnbull that policies in place surrounding the carbon tax, emissions trading schemes and climate change action targets would still be honoured.

"The Nationals obviously were concerned we have had policy disagreements with Malcolm Turnbull in the past," he said.

"We wanted to be sure that any new relationship was built on a firm footing, and that we could with confidence support him as the new leader of the Coalition in the knowledge that the policy of the government would not radically change."


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