Time is running out for farm businesses in Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania to apply for a Farm Finance Concessional Loan this financial year, with applications closing on 30 April 2014.
The loans scheme in New South Wales has been fully subscribed for this year and applications closed on 7 April.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the concessional loans support producers who are experiencing debt-servicing difficulties, but are considered financially viable in the longer term.
“The $420 million Farm Finance concessional loans scheme allows eligible farm businesses to restructure existing debt or undertake productivity enhancement activities through access to low interest loans. It’s all about helping farmers in need who are experiencing hardship,” Minister Joyce said.
“The loans differ between each state and the Northern Territory, so I urge farmers to contact the delivery agency for their jurisdiction and get all the information they need – it’s important not to self assess but to talk to an expert about your options.
A further $210 million will be available under the Farm Finance concessional loans scheme in 2014-15 and application rounds will open again early in the new financial year.
“In March, I also announced that any farm businesses receiving a Farm Finance Concessional Loan will be able to apply for a Drought Concessional Loan when they become available.
“If a farm business with a Farm Finance concessional loan subsequently applies for and meets the eligibility criteria for a drought loan, they’ll be able to transfer to a Drought Concessional Loan through a streamlined process. I’ve asked my department to work with delivery agencies to make the application and transfer process as streamlined as possible,” Minister Joyce said.
Potential applicants are reminded that incomplete loan applications cannot be assessed. Farmers must check carefully that all elements of the application are provided to their assessment agency.
Source: Federal Minister for Agriculture.