New $30 million round of Farm Finance loans available in NSW
Joint media release
The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP
Minister for Agriculture
The Hon. Katrina Hodgkinson
NSW Minister for Primary Industries
8 July 2014
NSW farmers can now access another $30 million under the Farm Finance concessional loans scheme, Federal Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, have announced.
"The $40 million first round of the scheme in NSW last financial year was highly successful, and an additional $30 million is now available for the 2014–15 financial year," Minister Joyce said.
"Farm Finance concessional loans are aimed at supporting farm businesses that are experiencing debt-servicing difficulties, but are considered financially viable in the longer term.
"Loans of up to $650,000 are available to eligible farm businesses as part of this second round, with a concessional rate of 4.5 per cent.
"The scheme allows eligible farm businesses to restructure existing debt in the form of low-interest loans. The loans are available to refinance up to half of existing commercial borrowings."
Ms Hodgkinson said Farm Finance concessional loans have already been approved for over 83 farm businesses across NSW under the 2013–14 rounds of the scheme.
"These loans are helping farm businesses experiencing financial hardship," Ms Hodgkinson said.
"Many of our farmers are still doing it tough following drought conditions and will warmly welcome the opening of this round of funding, which complements a range of other Commonwealth and NSW Government drought support arrangements that are currently available.
"The NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) administers the package on behalf of the Commonwealth and applications close on 30 June 2015 or when funding is fully committed – whichever occurs first.
"I encourage all producers who are considering applying for a Farm Finance loan to get their application in to the RAA as soon as possible to avoid missing out."
Ms Hodgkinson and Minister Joyce urged producers not to self-assess but to talk to an expert about their options. There are a range of State and Federal programs available to assist farmers doing it tough.
For more information on eligibility criteria, loans terms and how to apply, visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au or phone 1800 678 593.