Media Release

Northern Territory farmers to access farm finance

4 December 2013

In the coming weeks, farmers in the Northern Territory will have access to $30 million over two years in concessional loans to help them get back on track and take control of their debt.

Australian Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said arrangements to deliver the Farm Finance concessional loans package for the NT had been agreed.

“Five year loans for amounts between $250,000 and $1 million will be available for NT farmers for debt restructuring. This is all about helping farmers and their families who are doing it tough,” Minister Joyce said.

“I said I would deliver loans for farmers across Australia, and today I’m making good on that promise.

“I hope to see these loans rolled out in the Northern Territory over 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, and rural debt continues to be a significant challenge for parts of the farming sector,” Minister Joyce said.

“Since becoming Minister for Agriculture on 18 September, I have reviewed Farm Finance to ensure it meets the needs and is fit for the times – in line with our election commitment.

“The previous Labor Government had allocated the same funding to every state and the Northern Territory – $60 million each over two years. This made no sense. Reallocating funds to those states with more farm businesses and with farmers experiencing greater hardship does make sense. 

“The Territory faces different pressures from the southern states and that is why loans of up to $1 million will be available recognising the different scale of operations.

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

The loans are being delivered by QRAA, formerly the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority.

The Australian Government also offers support to Australians in hardship. Farmers can access these as well as the following specific measures: the Rural Financial Counselling Service, the Farm Management Deposits Scheme and the Transitional Farm Family Payment.

For more information on Farm Finance and other Australian Government assistance measures.