Media Release

Applications open in Queensland for drought concessional loans

6 June 2014

Queensland today became the first state to roll out the drought concessional loans schemeto farmers in that state doing it tough.

Australian Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed Queensland’s quick action to get the scheme up and running and ready to take applications from farmers.

“Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, John McVeigh, has been absolutely determined to secure these concessional loans for farmers in his state to help them recover from drought and restructure their existing business debt at a lower concessional interest rate,” Minister Joyce said.

“These loans can also be used to meet ongoing business running costs and fund drought recovery and preparedness activities.

“I said we would deliver a loans package for Queensland farmers struggling with the drought, and – working with the Queensland Government – we’ve delivered and I am pleased that drought loans will now start flowing to farmers.

“We prioritised establishing the programme in Queensland because of the prolonged and widespread drought conditions in the state and we have allocated $100 million for Queensland farm businesses under this scheme.

“Australia-wide we’re providing $280 million for concessional loans to assist drought-affected farm businesses.

“We are working closely with the New South Wales Government to ensure that the roll-out of drought loans to farmers in that state is only days away, and we continue to work with Western Australia and the Northern Territory on delivery arrangements in those jurisdictions.

“These loans have a concessional loan term of five years at an initial interest rate of 4 per cent. The loans will be for up to 50 per cent of eligible farm business debt, to a maximum of $1 million.

“These loans will really help farm businesses struggling with the cost of running the farm through the drought, and will also help them recover, and prepare for future droughts.

“There are a range of support measures available now for farmers in need who are doing it tough. I encourage farmers not to self-assess, but to seek help and find out what’s available.”

More information on assistance available to farmers is available at daff.gov.au/assistance. To apply contact QRAAs on 1800 623 946 or www.qraa.qld.gov.au