Wool growers need support with auction shut down

NSW Farmers is calling on wool brokers and pastoral houses to support growers and to show leniency on short term loan repayments during the wool auction interruptions. 

Wool auctions have been delayed for the rest of the week due to a ransomware cyber-attack on the industry’s main software supplier, Talman. 

NSW Farmers' Wool Committee chair Andrew Wood said the cancellation of auctions has left some wool growers at risk of not meeting their short term loan repayments. 

“We are concerned that the shut down in sales could delay a grower’s ability to meet their repayments,” Mr Wood said. 

 “Growers cash reserves are low, having endured years of drought and the associated high feed costs. Some growers have needed to access short term interest free finance to cover shearing costs until their wool cheque comes through.”

“They had budgeted to make the repayments on these short term loans during the interest free period. However,  the auction shut down means they will not be getting paid next week and may not be able to clear these loans in the interest free period.”

“We have heard that some growers might be hit with interest rate charges as high as 18%. Growers have no time to find alternative finance and they cannot endure these extra costs.”

NSW Farmers is calling on brokers and pastoral houses that provide these short term loans to show leniency to growers and to extend the interest free period.

“The auction shut down could not have been anticipated by growers. It is not appropriate that they should have to endure extra charges.”

“We need a common sense and compassionate approach from the brokers and pastoral houses.”

NSW Farmers will be writing Federal Agricultural Minister David Littleproud to alert him to this issue and ask for assistance in brokering an outcome for growers. 
Date: Friday, 28 February 2020 
Media Contact:  Michael Burt  | 0428 228 988 | burtm@nswfarmers.org.au