Interest Rate Concessions Needed in Response to Drought

Incoming Senator for Queensland, Matthew Canavan, has called for larger concessions on loans to farmers struggling with drought.

"We need a bigger concession on loans to farmers right now," Queensland Senator-Elect Matthew Canavan said.

"We need farmers to get a real benefit from assistance, not a notional one. This is a drought of such extreme nature that people do need more assistance than what we've got in place."

"At the moment, loans are provided at an interest rate of 4.5%. That compares to a Government bond rate of 4%. The government should not be making a margin on concessional loans to farmers.

"Drought is treated differently than other natural disasters. Concessional loans after a flood are provided at half the government bond rate, a 2% rate at the moment.

"Drought is treated as a second class natural disaster and there is no reason that it should be."

Matthew Canavan will attend a Nationals party room meeting today in Bundaberg where the drought situation will be a big topic of conversation.

Matthew was elected as a Liberal National Party Senator for Queensland at the last election, and will sit in The Nationals party room in Canberra, replacing the retiring Senator Ron Boswell.

Matthew has previously been a Director at the Productivity Commission, a Senior Executive with KPMG and Senator Barnaby's Joyce's Chief of Staff. He is currently working with Australia's largest vertically-integrated beef producer before taking his Senate position in July.


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