Media Release

Farm businesses should apply for concessional loans now

26 March 2014

Farm businesses receiving a Farm Finance Concessional Loan will be able to apply for a Drought Concessional Loan, and they can already apply for income support if needed.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said any farm business that received a Farm Finance Concessional Loan would be able to apply for a Drought Concessional Loan when they became available.

“This government announced $320 million in drought assistance measures in late February and on 3 March delivered on making the new income support measure, with more appropriate eligibility requirements, available to farmers in need,” Minister Joyce said.

“A major component of the assistance measures is the $280 million in drought concessional loans we announced that are specifically targeted to provide farm businesses with finance to meet their ongoing daily business running costs; and to cover drought recovery activities.

“Drought concessional loans are not available yet, as we work with relevant state and territory governments to progress delivery arrangements. I hope to sign off on the loan guidelines arrangements early next week.

“While I have asked my department to progress these negotiations as a matter of priority we need to ensure that the governance arrangements concerning the loan roll out are strong as we have a responsibility to all Australians to ensure government funds are spent wisely.

“But Farm Finance concessional loans are available now in all states and the Northern Territory.

“I encourage any farmer who might be thinking about applying for a concessional loan to go ahead and apply under Farm Finance to access assistance as quickly as possible.

“Farm businesses with a Farm Finance Loan will be able to apply to transfer to a Drought Concessional Loan through a streamlined process. I’ve asked my department to work with delivery agencies to make the application and transfer process as streamlined as possible,” Minister Joyce said.

For more information on the Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme and the Drought Concessional Loans Scheme, visit Farm Finance and other Australian assistance measures