Joint Media Release

​Farm Finance Concessional Loans for SA farmers extended to 30 June 

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce
SA Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Leon Bignell

21 May 2015

Farmers in South Australia now have until 30 June 2015 to apply for a Farm Finance Concessional Loan, with the Australian and South Australian governments agreeing to extend the closing date for applications.

Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and SA Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Leon Bignell, said they were keen to ensure South Australian farm businesses had more time to take advantage of the loans scheme.

"The Farm Finance Concessional Loans scheme supports producers who are experiencing debt-servicing difficulties, but are considered financially viable in the longer term, by offering low-interest loans for debt restructuring,” Minister Joyce said.

“The Australian Government has made a total of $25 million in loans available to eligible farm businesses in South Australia for the 2014–15 round of the loans scheme. Funding is still available.”

Minister Bignell said that loans of $200 000 up to $650,000 were available to eligible farm businesses, with an interest rate currently set at 4.34 per cent and a loan term of five years.

“Although the closing date for applications has been extended to 30 June, if you are interested in taking advantage of these loans, I encourage you not to delay in finding out more and submitting an application,” Minister Bignell said.

Minister Joyce said that, in addition to the $420 million Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme, the Australian Government had a range of assistance measures available to farmers and rural communities experiencing hardship—including income support through the Farm Household Allowance and free financial counselling through the Rural Financial Counselling Service.

"I encourage farmers not to self assess their eligibility for any of these measures, but to talk to the experts and find out more about their options,” Minister Joyce said.

The Drought Concessional Loans Scheme is also operating in South Australia, and is delivered by the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA.

“The State Government, through PIRSA, has also offered to work with farmers who haven’t so far been able to access these loans to find an alternative funding mechanism or explore other options,” Mr Bignell said.

“Farmers who have unsuccessfully applied for the loan have the option of seeking a review with an independent panel.”

More information on both schemes, including eligibility criteria and application details, can be found at http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/primary_industry/business_development

Loan applications for both Drought and Farm Finance Concessional Loans close at 5pm on 30 June 2015, or when funds are fully committed, whichever is sooner.

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