23/09/2014 - 11:12

Drought loans available in WA

23/09/2014 - 11:12

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Drought-plagued farmers will be the beneficiaries of a new concessional loans scheme announced by the state and federal governments today.

Drought loans available in WA
WA farmers can now access the federal scheme.

Drought-plagued farmers will be the beneficiaries of a new concessional loans scheme announced by the state and federal governments today.

The scheme, which provides low interest loans to farmers experiencing a once in a twenty year drought event, will provide a total of up to $20 million to Western Australian farmers. 

Loans will be capped at $1 million or 50 per cent of eligible debt, whichever is lower, and will also be available for applicants suffering a once in ten year drought event that has had significant financial impact.

A rainfall deficiency report is also required as part of the submission.

The loan can be used for debt restructuring, covering operating expenses, and for drought recovery and preparedness activities.

WA is the third state to join the scheme which was recently unveiled in Queensland and New South Wales.

State Agriculture Minister Ken Baston said the loans would be delivered by the Rural Business Development Corporation.

“Drought concessional loans will allow eligible farm businesses to restructure their existing debt at a lower interest rate and provide finance to meet their ongoing business running costs and drought recovery and preparedness activities,” Minister Baston said.

“The loans are for a term of five years over which interest only payments are required.

“At the end of the loan period, farmers will have the option of refinancing the remaining amount with a commercial lender, or repaying the loan in full.”

But agricultural lobby group WAFarmers said the process had taken too long.

President Dale Parks said that representatives from WAFarmers had met with federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce in March.

“Despite assurances that everything was being done to make these loans available promptly, we are now six months down the track and applications have only just opened," he said.

“Had the loans been made available sooner, those in need could have put in crops, appropriately serviced their stock or crops, or substantially improved the operating conditions of their farm businesses.”

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options