The Commonwealth Government has announced that Victoria’s share of the Farm Finance concessional loans program will be boosted with additional $10 million.
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh has welcomed the reallocation of funds which will come on top of the initial $30 million package allocated to Victoria as part of the 2013/14 Farm Finance package, according to a media release.
“Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce has advised that the funding for the Commonwealth’s Farm Finance package has been reallocated to better reflect the spread of farm businesses nationally, as well as local challenges facing some regions,” Mr. Walsh said.
“Victoria was allocated $30 million for 2013-14 when the Farm Finance package was first announced and this additional $10 million announced today by Minister Joyce is very welcome. So far 38 Victorian farm businesses have been approved for concessional loans with a total value of $15.5 million, but the total value of applications received to date exceeded $30 million some months ago.”
Minister Walsh said that although Victoria avoided the harsh draught that is currently ravaging in Queensland and South Wales, local farmers faced different kinds of issues that have hindered production and restricted cash flow.
“Dairy, beef and sheep farmers in some parts of Victoria struggled through a dry autumn and tough winter, while fruit growers in the Goulburn Valley were impacted by SPC Ardmona’s decision to cut fruit intake contracts. More recently, parts of Victoria are assessing the impact of spring frosts which have damaged fruit, grain and fodder crops,” added Mr. Walsh.
In conclusion, Minister Walsh expressed his appreciation towards the Commonwealth Government for their recognition that the original Farm Finance package was not enough to meet the demands of the state and their efforts to rectify the issue by allocating further funds to Victoria.