Media Release

Drought concessional loans scheme approved for Queensland and NSW

4 June 2014

The Australian Government’s drought concessional loans scheme for Queensland and NSW has been approved by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said farmers in Queensland and NSW will soon be able to apply for a concessional loan to both help them through the current drought conditions and to recover when conditions improve.

“These loans are designed to be used to meet ongoing business running costs and fund drought recovery and preparedness activities,” Minister Joyce said.

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

“We’re providing $100 million for drought concessional loans to eligible farm businesses in Queensland, another $100 million for NSW, between now and 30 June 2015. It’s been a priority to deliver this scheme in Queensland and NSW as farmers there have been affected by widespread and prolonged drought conditions.

“Whilst it has taken longer than I would have liked to get the settings right on this programme I am pleased that we are nearly at the stage where the scheme will soon open for applications to Queensland and NSW farmers.

“These loans will 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.

“They 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 can be found at daff.gov.au/assistance.