The Australian Government has introduced draft laws in Parliament to set up a $4bn contingency fund with the four major banks to refinance commercial properties if money from foreign lenders dries up.

The commonwealth will hold a 50% share in the $4bn Australian Business Investment Partnership, while the four major banks - ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac and NAB - each will take a 12.5% share.

The Government would provide $2bn, while each of the banks would supply $500m.

The partnership would be able to issue up to $26bn in debt if additional financing beyond the $4bn was needed.

But it would only be able to issue debt with the unanimous agreement of all shareholders.

The Australian