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Governments approve loans to flooded businesses



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PRESS STATEMENT

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GOVERNMENTS APPR OV E LOANS TO FLOODED B USINESSES (SOL

JOINT STATEMENT BY THE ACTING PRIME MINISTER, THE HON. L.H. BARNARD, M.P., AND QUEENSLAND PREMIER, THE HON. J . BJELKE-PETERSEN, M.L.A.

The Australian Government has agreed to a proposal

from the Queensland Government for the provision of loan

finance to business firms suffering physical loss as a direct

result of the recent floods.

2. This measure has been accepted as eligible under

the arrangement for reimbursement of State expenditure in

excess of $2 million annually. .

3. The following are broad details of the scheme of

flood relief for businesses.

4. Amount and Terms : Assistance will be by way of

loan up to a maximum of $25,000 for any one applicant. The

loan will be for 3-5 years with interest at the rate of 5$.

5. Interest for the first year will accrue and be

payable 12 months after the date of the loan. The loan will

be repayable in equal six-monthly instalments of principal

and interest over the remainder of the loan period.

6. Each application will be judged on its merits as

to need, amount of loan and subsequent viability.

7. Eligibility : Applications will be considered

from sole owners, partnerships, firms and private companies.

Public companies do not qualify.

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8. Applicants must have sustained substantial damage

by flooding to building} plant, equipment and stock or have

had their financial liquidity severely affected.

9. To be eligible for assistance, an applicant must

be unable to effect repairs or replacements and get back into

viable operations from his own resources or from normal

financial sources.

10. The applicant must be able to demonstrate that

with this assistance he has the prospects of re-establishing

his operations on a viable basis.

11. Mr Barnard and Mr Bjelke-Petersen said it was

agreed that the extent of assistance would be based on a

careful assessment of the applicant's financial position,

including any insurance recoveries. Applications would be

received from tomorrow (Monday) by the State Department of

Commercial and Industrial Development. Applications would

be processed by a committee under the chairmanship of Sir

David Muir.

12. This scheme of assistance is in addition to

measures previously accepted by the Australian Government

as eligible under the arrangement for reimbursement of State

expenditure in excess of $2 million annually. These

include :

o Relief of personal hardship and distress.

. Grant or loan assistance to owners of dwellings

damaged or destroyed by floods.

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Loan assistance to primary producers.

Restoration of State and local authority assets

and facilities.