Rabobank support measures for flood-affected farmers in South East QLD and North New South Wales

Rabobank support measures for farmers affected by

flooding of southeast QLD and northern New South Wales

Rabobank has announced a range of support measures that will be offered to its farming customers affected by the floods and extreme rainfall in South East Queensland and the North Rivers region of New South Wales.

Rabobank’s regional manager for southern Queensland and northern New South Wales, Brad James, said while events were still unfolding and the full effects of flooding and prolonged heavy rains on agriculture would not would not be known for some time, affected producers will suffer damage to pastures, crops, livestock and infrastructure, including sheds and fences.

Mr James said ‘it’s very early days’ with flood waters in some of those affected districts still peaking.

“The current focus is on the safety and well-being of people in the affected areas and concerns about the loss of homes and businesses. As people begin to embark on the enormous task of recovering and rebuilding after the devastating floods in the coming weeks, the extent of the damage will become more apparent,” he said.

For agriculture, Mr James said, growers would worry significantly about the loss of pasture, crops and topsoil, as well as the impact on livestock and damage to stored inputs. Other potential issues include damage to or loss of access to road networks and uncertainty over the replacement of damaged machinery, with current supply chain delays.

“This catastrophic flood is one of the worst in recent history in these regions and agriculture has undoubtedly borne some of the brunt of the damage. However, I would like to reassure affected customers that as a bank that focuses solely on agriculture, we consider it normal in our business to work with farmers who are affected by weather conditions, even extreme weather events such as these,” he said.

Mr James said Rabobank staff would contact agricultural customers in the affected areas to offer support and assess the extent of the damage they suffered.

He said the bank would work directly with individual customers whose farms or agribusinesses had been affected to provide support and offer a range of assistance measures in applicable circumstances.

These included:

deferral of scheduled loan repayments,

· exemption from breakage costs during the early repayment of operating management guarantees,

waiver of fees on loan increases necessary for reconstruction operations and

· Waiver of fees for equipment finance contract variations.

All farmer customers who have been affected by the floods and have not yet spoken to the bank should contact their local branch or telephone Rabobank on 1800 025 484.

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