ANZ today announced it would provide $1 million to help farmers struggling with drought conditions across Australia through two separate donations.
ANZ will provide $500,000 to Financial Counselling Australia to distribute to rural counselling agencies working in drought-affected areas.
It will also provide $500,000 to the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal through its Tackling Tough Times Together program to help drought-affected communities in Queensland, which will expand to other communities starting with New South Wales.
It comes after ANZ last month announced a drought relief package to help farming customers with financial measures. ANZ also has a long-standing position not to increase interest rates on distressed customers and will provide interest rate relief in cases of extreme distress for customers in drought declared areas.
Commenting on the drought relief, ANZ Group Executive Australian Business and Private Banking Mark Hand said: “The drought is having a significant impact on the families, and communities of our customers across Australia, and their livelihoods.
“We have worked closely with government, industry and the community on this additional relief and we hope it provides some much-needed support to help our customers through these tough times,” Mr Hand said.
Fiona Guthrie, CEO of Financial Counselling Australia said: “We welcome ANZ’s donation which will enable a significant number of families affected by financial hardship to be supported with essential financial counselling services and support. The donation will be distributed through the Financial Counselling Foundation to financial counselling agencies working with people in drought-affected communities”
Natalie Egleton, CEO of FRRR said: “FRRR has worked with ANZ over many years to support rural and regional communities through the Seeds of Renewal grant program. This new donation builds on ANZ’s support of those communities and enables FRRR to provide grants to relieve the current symptoms and stressors of drought, and to support long-term recovery. The donation will be directed to a significant expansion of the existing Tackling Tough times Together (TTTT) program (currently only operating in Queensland) and other grants programs to support drought-affected communities around Australia.”
ANZ customers who want to contribute to the drought relief effort can donate directly to the Red Cross. ANZ will also match staff donations dollar-for-dollar through its workplace giving program.