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Abbott short on floods policy

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Hon. Robert McClelland MP Attorney-General

Attorney-General Media Release Page 1 of 1


Sunday, 6th February 2011


Attorney-General Robert McClelland said Tony Abbott’s calls today for $100,000 low interest loans for small businesses affected by natural disasters in Queensland are $150,000 short of what’s already available for victims of the recent floods.

In newspapers this morning, Mr Abbott called for loans of up to $100,000 for disaster-affected small businesses at an interest rate of four per cent, over a seven year period.

Under assistance that’s been provided to Queensland small businesses and primary producers for nearly a month now, loans of up to $250,000 are available, at an interest rate of four per cent, over a seven year period (with the possibility of an extension to ten years).

“Mr Abbott’s policy is $150,000 short of what’s being delivered right now for small businesses and farmers affected by natural disasters in Queensland,” Mr McClelland said.

“The Commonwealth and Queensland Government have been delivering these loans since the floods crisis began.

“In fact, these loans have been available for many years under long standing Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements when a cyclone, flood or bushfire hits.

“These arrangements - including for low interest loans - were in place under the previous Government so it is surprising the Coalition appears to want to wind back this assistance by $150,000.”

Mr McClelland said the $250,000 low interest loans on offer are in addition to clean up and recovery grants of up to $25,000 for small businesses and farmers.

“The Government has also made the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy available for employees, small business operators and farmers who have been unable to work or lost income as a result of the floods,” he said.

“This is in addition to the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment that’s been made available across flood and cyclone affected Queensland.

“Low interest loans and grants are available across flood affected Queensland and this assistance will be extended to areas hit by Cyclone Yasi once the Queensland Government can do proper damage assessments.” Contact: Ryan Liddell - 0427 225 763