Media Release

$40 million boost for QLD and NSW farmers in need

6 August 2014

Additional funding will be available to farm businesses through the Farm Finance concessional loans scheme with Queensland and New South Wales each receiving an additional $20 million boost.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said he had allocated the reserve funds for 2014-15 to Queensland and New South Wales because farmers in these states were doing it tough and experiencing financial hardship.

"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.

Minister Joyce said this announcement should put to rest Labor's mischievous claims about the "missing $40 million".

"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," Minister Joyce said.

"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 per cent. In New South Wales, loans of up to $650,000 are available also with a concessional rate of 4.5 per cent.

The scheme is available in all states and the Northern Territory, with 2014-15 applications rounds now open in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. Application rounds will open in Tasmania and Victoria shortly. 

"Loan conditions and eligibility differ in each state and territory to reflect regional differences, so I urge farmers to contact the delivery agency for their jurisdiction and get all the information they need. It's important not to self-assess but to talk to an expert about your options.

"There are a range of other support measures available now for farmers in need who are doing it tough. I encourage farmers to talk to the experts and find out about the support options available," Minister Joyce said.

For more information: www.daff.gov.au/assistance