Media Release

Applications open for Farm Finance loans in Victoria

26 September 2014

From today, Victorian farm businesses can apply for a concessional loan under the second round of the Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the loans will help farm businesses experiencing debt-servicing difficulties that are considered viable in the longer term.

"These loans can be used for debt restructuring, productivity enhancements or a combination of these two purposes—they help farm businesses in the short-term to improve their financial capabilities into the future," Minister Joyce said.

A total of $30 million in loans is available to eligible Victorian farm businesses under the second round of the scheme, building on round one in which 76 farm businesses were approved for loans worth over $33 million.

"Loans of up to $650,000 in total are available to eligible farm businesses, with a loan term of five years and an interest rate currently set at 4.5 per cent. Only interest repayments are required during the five year concessional period, with principal to be repaid, or refinanced with a commercial lender, at the end of the loan term.

"The application period in Victoria is scheduled to close on 30 April 2015. This is subject to funds being available until the end of April 2015—it could close sooner if all funds are lent before then.

"The Australian Government’s $420 million Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme is available in all states and the Northern Territory to give farmers breathing space when managing debt. In Victoria, the scheme is being managed and delivered by Rural Finance on behalf of the Victorian Government.

"I urge all farmers not to self-assess but to talk to the experts about their options and eligibility—there are a range of state and federal programmes available to assist farmers doing it tough now," Minister Joyce said.

For more information on eligibility criteria, loans terms and how to apply, contact Rural Finance on 1800 260 425 or visit http://www.ruralfinance.com.au/.