​Media Release

NT farmers have more time to apply for Farm Finance Concessional Loans​

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce​
NT Government Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries, Willem Westra van Holthe​

5 May​ 2015​

The Australian and Northern Territory governments have announced that farmers and pastoralists in the Northern Territory will have more time to apply for a Farm Finance Concessional Loan, with the closing date for applications extended to 30 June 2015.

Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and NT Government Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries, Willem Westra van Holthe, said they were glad to offer NT farm businesses more time to take advantage of the loans scheme.

“Farm Finance concessional loans help farm businesses by allowing them to refinance existing debt at a lower rate of interest. They help farmers with debt-servicing difficulties get back on track in the short term, thereby supporting improved productivity and profitability in the longer term,” Minister Joyce said.

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

Minister Westra van Holthe said that loans of $100 000 up to $1 million 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 Westra van Holthe said.

Minister Joyce said that, in addition to the $420 million Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme, the Australian Government has 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 the Northern Territory, and is delivered by the NT Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries. More information on both schemes, including eligibility criteria and application details, can be found at www.primaryindustry.nt.gov.au.

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​. ​