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Tasmanian farmers hit by drought can apply for loan

Staff writer |
Tasmanian farmers affected by drought can apply for a Drought Concessional Loan to restructure existing debt, or to fund operating expenses or drought preparedness and recovery activities.

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Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, and Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jeremy Rockliff, said $10 million in Drought Concessional Loans would be available to eligible Tasmanian farm businesses struggling with the effects of drought.

"These loans can be used to restructure existing debt, or to fund operating expenses or drought preparedness and recovery activities,” Minister Joyce said.

"The loan interest rate of 3.05 percent represents one of the cheapest finance options available with up to $1 million available to individual drought-affected farm businesses.

"The Coalition Government's drought concessional loan scheme is an improved, better targeted and timelier policy response to drought for Tasmanian farmers than the former Exceptional Circumstances which required a lengthy drought declaration processes including an assessment as to whether there had been two failed seasons."

Minister Rockliff said the loan scheme is one of a number of initiatives announced by the Government to assist farmers doing it tough.

"We recognise many Tasmanian farmers are facing significant challenges and many are experiencing drought, that’s why we are continuing to assist them with initiatives like the $10 million loan scheme,” Minister Rockliff said.

"Eligible farm businesses will be able to gain a lower interest rate on, for example, a portion of what they owe, or to buy fodder or cart water, or for future proofing by investing in irrigation.

"This is in addition to $2.27 million in initiatives we announced in November to assist farmers, and also a further $180,000 in financial and emotional support we announced earlier this month, including $70,000 to Rural Alive and Well to employ an additional counsellor."

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