A newly established Drought Finance Taskforce will leverage resources and share insights on ways in which the Government and banks could further support farmers and small businesses in Australia.

“The Liberal-National Government continues to prioritise drought-affected regional and rural communities including those in Queensland as demonstrated by the expansion of the $1.8 billion Drought Assistance Package,” Ross Vasta said.

“The taskforce is an additional way for government, business and industry to work together and ensure that they are not only receiving the most up-to-date information, but also able to respond quickly, so farmers and local small businesses receive the additional support they need, as soon as possible.

“Importantly, the taskforce will consider and respond to the impact of the drought on local small businesses as well as farmers, as we know many of our small businesses depend on farming activities.”

The taskforce will include the Treasurer who will serve as chair, the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources who will serve as deputy chair, drought special envoy Barnaby Joyce, regional Queensland Member of Parliament John McVeigh, a senior representative from the National Farmers Federation (NFF) and a senior representative from ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank, the National Australia Bank, Rabobank and Westpac.

The Drought Finance Taskforce will:
– leverage government, business and industry resources to further determine the impact that the drought has had or is having on our farmers and local small businesses; establish mechanisms to share insights in a timely manner; and advise the Government, bank CEOs and the NFF on drought impacts as well as further measures that could help alleviate the impact on our farmers and local small businesses.

“The Drought Finance Taskforce and the Liberal-National Government’s support for farmers and rural and regional small businesses is part