Farm Finance rolls out across the Northern Territory
24 February 2014
The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
Minister for Agriculture
The Hon. Willem Westra van Holthe MLA
Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries
From today the Northern Territory's pastoralists and farmers can apply for concessional loans as part of Farm Finance, worth $30 million to the NT over the next two years.
Five year loans for between $250,000 and $1 million will be available for Northern Territory farmers and pastoralists for debt restructuring.
Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries, Willem Westra van Holthe, said the loans would be of significant assistance to the Territory's agricultural community.
"These loans aren't for new debt—rather they help farm businesses by refinancing existing debt at a lower rate of interest," Mr Westra van Holthe said.
"This isn't throwing good money after bad; this is about maintaining viable industries that have been rattled by drought and the live export ban.
"For some of the Territory's smaller farming and pastoral families, Farm Finance will mean the difference between walking off the land and rebuilding long held family businesses. The Territory thanks the Commonwealth for their assistance."
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, welcomed the announcement and said it was great news for farmers and pastoralists in the Northern Territory who will now have access to greater support.
"I know that some farmers and pastoralists are doing it tough because of a range of factors and that rural debt continues to be a significant challenge for parts of the farming sector," Minister Joyce said.
"The Northern Territory is the final jurisdiction to open for applications; it's great to see this program rolled out across Australia - I said I would deliver a loans package for Australian farmers and I've worked hard to make this happen.
"I know farmers and pastoralists are self-reliant and resilient, but I encourage farmers and pastoralists not to self-assess and to talk to an expert or a rural financial counsellor soon about their eligibility for a concessional loan."
The loans are being delivered by QRAA and information is available from the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.
For more information and to apply, visit www.nt.gov.au/d/primary_industry/ or call 08 8936 4089.
The Australian Government offers other support to farmers including the Rural Financial Counselling Service, the Farm Management Deposits Scheme and the Transitional Farm Family Payment. For more information: Farm Finance and other Australian Government assistance measures.