ANZ announces new drought support measures

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ANZ has announced new support measures for farmers impacted by drought including a 12 month moratorium on farm repossessions.

ANZ announces new drought support measures
ANZ has pledged extra support for drought affected farmers in parts of QLD and NSW.

The support package is available for farmers residing in northern and western Queensland; and north-west New South Wales which the bank says are experiencing some of the worst conditions in a generation.

ANZ CEO Australia Philip Chronican says the bank is "acutely aware" of the impact the drought is having on the farmers, their families and communities.

"The aim of these measures is to ease financial concerns of farmers and to demonstrate ANZ’s commitment to working with them through the cycle," he says.

The proposed new package builds on existing support available to drought affected farmers in Queensland and New South Wales and includes:

  • A moratorium on new farm repossessions until December 2015
  • A 12-month commitment not to increase rates on distressed farms and interest rate relief in cases of extreme distress.
  • Financial assistance to support farmers choosing to relocate off the land
  • Increased funding for rural counselling focussed on towns hardest hit by drought.

"While taking possession of a farm is always the last option after all other avenues have been exhausted, we feel it’s prudent to take a pause on any new action given the severe impact the drought is having in Queensland and Northern New South Wales," Chronican adds.

He says while there is no way of knowing when the drought will break, he says he is confident many farming families have the capacity to bounce back when the dust settles.

"ANZ is committed to working with these customers to support them through their current challenges," he says.

"We will continue to work with government and farming groups to examine other longer-term solutions."

ANZ has set up a specialised hardship team to support affected customers and can be reached on 1800 351 548. Alternatively, ANZ customers can contact their local branch or relationship manager.

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