Extension to loans scheme for drought hit farmers in Queensland
Minister for Agriculture Leanne Donaldson today announced an extension of the Drought and Drought Recovery Concessional Loans Schemes funded by the Australian Government and administered by the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA).
Given the high demand for loans, Queensland has also been offered a further $15 million to ensure drought affected farm businesses can access much needed finance to support them recover and return to viability in the longer term.
Welcoming the decision to extend the deadline and provide Queensland with top-up funding, Minister Donaldson said the drought specific loans schemes had assisted 42 farm business since October 2015.
“Those businesses have received loans totalling more than $31 million so far.
“This extension will provide the opportunity for even more farmers to submit an application,” she said.
The Drought Concessional Loans Scheme provides loans up to $ 1 million, with concessional interest rates currently at 3.05 per cent. They assist farm businesses survive through drought, recover when the drought breaks, prepare for future droughts and have an interest-only term of five years.
The Drought Recovery Concessional Loans Scheme provide loans up to $1 million with concessional interest rates currently set at 2.71 per cent. They assist farm businesses that have been financially impacted by the drought with debt restructuring, operating expenses or drought recovery activities, and are available for 10 years with interest-only repayments available for the first five year.
Minister Donaldson said the variable concessional rate for a Drought Recovery Concessional Loan would reduce to 2.66 per cent from 1 August 2016, and encouraged farmers to contact QRAA for further information. ■