Queensland and New South Wales farmers, who have been experiencing financial hardship, will now have access to additional funding through the Farm Finance concessional loans scheme, announced Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce.
The scheme is available in all states and the Northern Territory, with the 2014–15 application round now open in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. Application rounds are set to open in Tasmania and Victoria shortly.
Loan conditions and eligibility differ in each state and territory to reflect regional differences, so farmers should contact the delivery agency for their jurisdiction where they will be provided with all the necessary information.
“Farmers in Queensland and NSW have been battling the drought, and many continue to deal with the effects of drought conditions on their farms. These loans are just one way we can help farmers get through these hard times. We responsibly allocated this funding and it is going to where it is most needed,” Minister Joyce said.
“The scheme allows eligible farm businesses to restructure existing debt in the form of low interest loans. It’s all about helping farmers who are currently experiencing financial hardship, but whose businesses are commercially viable in the longer term. In both states, the scheme was highly successful in 2013-14 and from all accounts we’re expecting a high level of uptake this financial year as well. With the additional funding, Queensland and New South Wales will now have $50 million available for this financial year. In Queensland, loans of up to $1 million are available with an initial concessional rate of 4.5%. In NSW, loans of up to $650,000 are available also with a concessional rate of 4.5%.”
The Minister further added that there are other available support measures for farmers.
For more information, please go to www.daff.gov.au/assistance