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White Paper a Step Forward For Australia’s Agriculture Industry

9 July 2015

One of Australia’s leading agribusiness lenders, Suncorp Bank, has welcomed the Federal Government’s Agriculture White Paper as an opportunity to create more sustainability in Australia’s agriculture sector.

Suncorp Bank Head of Agribusiness, Troy Constance, said the White Paper would see the cap on Farm Management Deposits, which allow farmers to bank pre-tax income for use in poorer seasons, extended from $400,000 to $800,000 from 1 July 2016.

The White Paper would also allow the deposit to be used as an offset against farm loans for the first time.

“In an environment where change is a constant, this initiative would allow farm businesses to better save for ‘a dry day’ and even out the good and bad times,” Mr Constance said.

“Combined with the White Paper commitment to support a National Water Infrastructure Fund and the introduction of new investment incentives, this announcement is good news for the long-term sustainability of farms across Australia.”

The Commonwealth Government expects the boost to Farm Management Deposits will save farmers up to $150 million a year nationally.

“Suncorp Bank is a leading provider of Farm Management Deposits and we have seen first hand the support these products deliver to farmers to manage seasonal and commodity price fluctuations. An incentive which encourages the adoption of these products is a sound policy,” Mr Constance said.

Mr Constance said the move was in line with Suncorp Bank’s own philosophy of taking a longterm view when working with agribusinesses, with knowledgeable and passionate people involved in the regions.

Last month Suncorp Bank appointed a new Regional Manager, Brecken Curtis, to lead a dedicated agribusiness team supporting drought-affected customers on the ground in Longreach, Charleville, Richmond and Emerald.

The boosts to Farm Management Deposits and drought assistance are supported by a range of other measures in the Government White Paper. Other measures include increased funds for research, development and investment in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ability to maintain fair trading through the agricultural supply chain.

Media Inquiries: Ashleigh Paterson 0407 925 665 or Meghan Henricks 0408 533 590

About Suncorp: Suncorp Group includes leading general insurance, banking, life insurance and superannuation brands in Australia and New Zealand. The Group has 14,500 employees and relationships with nine million customers. Suncorp Group Limited is a Top 20 ASX-listed company with $94 billion in assets. Suncorp Bank is Australia’s leading regional bank servicing more than one million personal, SME and agribusiness customers.

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