Rabobank announces support measures for farmers affected by Victorian bushfires

Agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank has announced support measures for farming clients affected by the Victorian bushfires over the weekend.

Rabobank regional manager for southern Victoria and Tasmania Hamish McAlpin said the fires – which tore through Victoria’s south-west around Camperdown, Warrnambool and Hamilton – had caused considerable damage to agricultural land, homes, sheds and livestock.

“Our staff based in Hamilton and Warrnambool have been making contact with clients to check on their safety and the wellbeing of their operations and to provide assistance.  And they will continue to do so as the fire threat remains, although thankfully it has cooled down a bit after the weekend’s shocking conditions,” he said.

Mr McAlpin said the very dry February and March, combined with hot and windy conditions, had fuelled a number of fires which were some of the worst seen in a long time.

“Reports estimate around 40,000 hectares have been affected, with fire fronts north-west of Warrnambool around Hawkesdale and Penshurst and in the Terang, Cobden and Camperdown region,” he said.

“While it is too early to gauge the full extent of the damage, a number of our clients have been affected with damage to agricultural land, homesteads, sheds and fences and also stock losses."

Mr McAlpin said the bank would work directly with individual clients to help support them through immediate difficulties with Rabobank providing a range of assistance measures to those in applicable circumstances.

These included:

  • deferral of scheduled loan repayments
  • waiving of break costs on early redemption of Farm Management Deposits
  • waiving of fees on loan increases necessary to assist in rebuilding operations and
  • waiving of fees for equipment finance contract variations.

Rabobank has urged any impacted clients who had not yet spoken to the bank to contact their local branch or phone the bank on 1800 025 484.

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has nearly 120 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 40 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 8.6 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand is one of Australasia’s leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 94 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Media contacts:

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: 02 8115 2744 or 0439 603 525 
Email: denise.shaw@rabobank.com  

Skye Ward
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank Australia
Phone: 02 4855 1111 or 0418 216 103
Email: skye.ward@rabobank.com