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Rabobank announces support measures for FNQ farmers adversely impacted by Cyclone Jasper

 

Agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank has announced support measures it will offer to its North Queensland farming clients adversely impacted by ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper.

Rabobank group executive for Country Banking Australia, Marcel van Doremaele said the bank was working with clients in the agricultural regions which had “borne the brunt” of intense rains and flooding in recent days, to check on their wellbeing and assess any support required. These regions included the Atherton Tablelands and areas around Tully, Mossman and Cairns.

“The initial impacts of the cyclone, along with the subsequent intense rainfall and flooding, has had a devastating impact on communities and infrastructure in a number of areas. In terms of agriculture, while farmers are still assessing the impacts, the initial reports we are receiving indicate that damage is so far relatively limited,” he said.

“Livestock losses are a concern with flooding and damage to fences, while there are reports of some pasture and feed losses.

“For sugar cane, crops have been recently harvested, which will be a big relief to canegrowers. And for the new crop – which is still under water in many circumstances – while young ‘planted’ cane – which accounts for approximately 10 to 20 per cent of plantings – may suffer due to its newly-established root systems, the older ‘return’ cane should bounce back from the deluge of rain and flooding.

“In terms of the banana crop, most growers will also hopefully have ‘dodged a bullet’ as the high winds and rainfall came at separate times, resulting in a lot less damage to the plants than if they had occurred simultaneously.”

Damage to roads in the region due to flooding was also a concern for farmers, he said.

Mr van Doremaele said the bank would continue to work directly with individual clients in the region whose farms or agribusinesses had been affected to provide support and offer a range of assistance measures in applicable circumstances.

These include:

  • deferral of scheduled loan payments,
  • waiver of break costs on early redemption of farm management deposits,
  • waiver of fees on loan increases necessary for rebuilding operations and
  • waiver of fees for equipment finance contract variations.

Any farming clients who have been adversely impacted and have not yet spoken to the bank should contact their local branch or phone Rabobank on 1800 025 484.

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 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 38 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 8.4 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group 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 90 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

Will Banks
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank Australia
Phone: 0418 216 103
Email: will.banks@rabobank.com