Beyond the flood
“We can’t afford to lose these people – they’re the backbone of their industry and they need support right now.” - Brad Howe
The unprecedented flooding in North Queensland early this year has left many homes and businesses devastated.
In Townsville alone, losses are estimated to be over $AU600 million, with the immediate cost to cattle producers likely to top $AU1 billion.
“Everything went underwater,” says Burdekin cane farmer Robert Stockham. “We've done some preliminary costings and [on] repairs alone for the road [and] the pumps… we're up to about $AU85,000.”
“We're not really too sure what is going to happen down the track… we might struggle for a while.”
ANZ’s Head of Agribusiness, Mark Bennett, says the bank has made a point of reaching out to impacted customers to let them know what help is available. “Most of the response has been ‘thanks, we appreciate that and we probably will need help but right now we're just trying to assess the damage’”.
“It's really about making sure they know who to call when the time comes… The bank won't have all of the answers but we'll have some financial answers and we'll have some experiences that we can relay… whether that's around finance and commodities or whether it's just around mental health and wellbeing.”
For Brad and Rosie Howe, owners of Zig Zag Station 150km north-west of Townsville, many of the roads leading to their property have been washed away. “There are big gullies washed down the middle of the road,” says Rosie.
“There are a lot of people a lot worse off out west,” says Brad. “Some [people] would have carried big debts into that flood, let alone flood damage and recovery.”
“We can’t afford to lose these people – they’re the backbone of their industry and they need support right now.”
ANZ Agribusiness Manager for Townsville, Brad Pozzi, says it could be three to five years before some businesses are back to normal. “The support mechanism the bank provides is essential.”
Support and relief
ANZ customers affected by the QLD floods can contact ANZ’s dedicated financial hardship team on 1800 173 349 (metro) or 1800 623 946 (regional) or visit anz.com/hardship.
Customers are also encouraged to contact their relationship manager to discuss the impact on their business or personal circumstances.
Recovery hubs can be found at the following locations:
- 143 Walker Street, Townsville City
- Shop G3B, Domain Central, 103 Duckworth Street, Garbutt
- Townsville Brothers Football Club, 468 Bayswater Road, Mt Louisa
Community & Purpose