​Media Release

Drought recovery loans now open in NSW

Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
NSW Minister for Primary Industries, the Katrina Hodgkinson MP

17 March 2015​​

Drought-affected farmers in New South Wales can now apply for low interest loans through the Australian Government’s Drought Recovery Concessional Loans Scheme.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said $50 million in loan funding is available to farm businesses impacted by unprecedented drought conditions to begin rebuilding when the season breaks. The loans offer a longer term and a lower interest rate as has been requested by farmers in some of the worst hit areas.

“Loans of up to $1 million over 10 years are available at a concessional variable interest rate initially set at 3.21 per cent. These loan settings take into account the devastating impact that a 1 in 50 or 1-in-100 year drought has on farm businesses,” Minister Joyce said.

“I understand how hard it can be to manage the many challenges farmers face and I am aware that some farmers in New South Wales have been crippled by the effects of drought and it will take time and money to get back to full production.

“We are determined to stand by these farmers in the good times and the bad and these loans, which are for planting and restocking activities, can help them get back on their feet when seasonal conditions improve.

"There is a range of other state and federal programmes available to assist farmers doing it tough across Australia such as income support through the Farm Household Allowance and free financial counselling through the Rural Financial Counselling Service. I urge all farmers not to self assess but to talk to the experts about their options and eligibility,” Minister Joyce said.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, welcomed the funding for further assistance for farm businesses.

“The $50 million for drought recovery loans comes in addition to the NSW Government $327.5 million drought strategy,” said Minister Hodgkinson.

“This is welcome news for NSW farmers, many of whom will benefit from this assistance, to recover from and prepare for future droughts.

“I encourage eligible farm businesses in drought to apply through the NSW Rural Assistance Authority,” said Minister Hodgkinson.

For more information on Drought Recovery Concessional Loans visit raa.nsw.gov.au or call 1800 678 593.

For more information on the range of Australian Government assistance for farmers, farm businesses and rural communities visit agriculture.gov.au/assistance​.