18 March 2019
Media Release - #2019030, 2019

Coalition welcomes NAB’s actions supporting Queensland farmers

On behalf of the Morrison Government, I welcome NAB’s announcement of its agreement to our request for additional support to help flood-stricken Queensland farmers.

Following massive losses in the wake of the flood disaster, the Government is committed to backing North Queensland. That is why, as part of the measures announced by Prime Minister to rebuild the North Queensland’s livestock industry, I wrote to each of the large Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) who have lent to flood-affected farmers requesting them to:

  • not foreclose or force the sale of farms for three years

  • defer interest and principal repayments where appropriate for up to three years; and

  • commit to continue lending for stock and herd replacement, supported by grants from the Commonwealth Government and with security over the stock rather than the family farm.

I also wrote to request that flood-stricken farmers be able to access concessional interest rates, offering the ADIs access to low-cost loans so that the reduced cost of funding are passed on to farmers.

I welcome NAB agreeing to our requests as announced by the Prime Minister on 1 March 2019—which NAB has done at their own cost without requiring any additional financial support from the Government.

NAB has committed to the following for flood-affected primary producers:

  • Where the Government provides up to 40 per cent of a primary producer’s loan via a grant, NAB will offer:

    • the remainder of the loan for that purpose directly to customers at a concessional rate of 2.44 per cent for those new loans;

    • the only security required will be the stock acquired; and

    • the offer will be for current NAB customers in the flood-affected regions.

  • $500 million in concessional loans at a reduced rate to flood-affected NAB customers with existing loans seeking additional support to restructure their existing facilities;

  • Not foreclose upon, or force the sale of collateral of, loans for three years; and

  • Defer interest and principal repayments, for up to three years, on a case-by-case basis.

The Morrison Government welcomes the cooperative approach NAB has taken. This will help NAB’s flood-stricken farming customers stabilise their financial position and rebuild stock.

I look forward to working with each of the other banks and trust that they will agree as soon as possible to our requests to support the North Queensland farming community.

We stand ready with our offer to ADIs of low-cost loans to allow them to pass on interest costs savings onto flood-affected farmers.