Media Release

West Australian farmers now have access to farm finance

4 December 2013

In the coming weeks, farmers in Western Australia will have access to $50 million over two years in concessional loans to help them get back on track and make sure their businesses are competitive and profitable.

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

“Five year loans for amounts of between $50,000 and $200,000 will be available to WA farmers for productivity enhancement activities.

“This is all about helping farm businesses make good business decisions and become more profitable in the future – in line with advice from the state government,” 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 Western Australia over the coming weeks.

“These loans will help farmers plan for their future and build resilient and profitable businesses,” 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 makes good sense. 

“Western Australia accounts for about 9 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 Western Australia’s Rural Business Development Corporation.

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 assistance measures.