Media Release

South Australian farmers now have access to farm finance

4 December 2013

In the coming weeks, farmers in South Australia will have access to $50 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 South Australia had been agreed.

“Five year loans for amounts between $200,000 and $650,000 will be available for SA farmers for debt restructuring,” 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 South Australia 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, and rural debt continues to be a significant challenge for parts of the farming sector,” Minister Joyce said.

“It is unfortunate the former Labor Federal and SA governments did not have this sorted out before the election since the loans were first announced back in April.

“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 makes good sense. 

“South Australia accounts for about 10.5 per cent of Australia’s total farms so its allocation of 12 per cent of the total concessional loan funds is about right.

“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 Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).

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.