Media Release

Increased access to Farm Finance

4 December 2013

Farmers across South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory will soon be able to access concessional loans through the Farm Finance package, Australian Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, announced today.

“I said I would deliver loans for farmers across Australia, and today I’m making good on that promise,” Minister Joyce said, following agreement on the delivery of the loans.

“I hope to see these states and the Northern Territory roll out the loans in the coming weeks.

“I know that some farmers in Australia are doing it tough because of a range of factors, not least the current drought in some areas, and rural debt continues to be a significant challenge for parts of the farming sector.

“It has been a priority for me to get the purpose and guidelines of these loans agreed with states and the Northern Territory so we can get assistance to farmers.

“The loans for debt restructuring in South Australia and the Northern Territory will help farmers get back on track and make sure their businesses are profitable and competitive.

“In Western Australia loans for productivity enhancement activities have been agreed with the state government at its request. They will help farmers make business decisions so they are more profitable in the future.

“All jurisdictions, except Tasmania, will now have access to Farm Finance concessional loans 10 weeks after the Coalition was sworn in – evidence we’re here to get things done and to support farmers.

“Labor had twice as much time and achieved less than half as much.

“I recognise that the job’s not done until these loans are available to Tasmanian farmers as well. I urge the Tasmanian Government to sign on to make this assistance available to Tasmanian farmers,” Minister Joyce said.

“We have already made this loan scheme fairer by reallocating money to better reflect the number of farms in each jurisdiction – and to ensure funds are directed to where they are needed most.

“We also have a $40 million reserve of funds ready in 2014-15 to allocate to areas of greatest need should conditions change,” Minister Joyce said.

For more information on the loan arrangements for each state and the Northern Territory and for eligibility criteria visit the Department of Agriculture’s website.