Concessional loans open for South Australian farm businesses

• 2017–18 Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme is now open to support eligible farm businesses in South Australia
• $10 million is available across South Australia

The Coalition Government has launched the 2017–18 Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme in South Australia, with an initial commitment of $10 million to support eligible farm businesses.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said this was part of the government’s $250 million commitment to delivering concessional loans for eligible farm businesses nationally to 30 June 2018.

“Concessional loans will continue to be available to assist farmers across South Australia to rebuild their businesses following drought and the 2016 retrospective farm gate milk price cuts,” Minister Joyce said.

“So far, more than $17 million in concessional loans have been approved to 27 farm businesses in South Australia since 2013.

“For 2017–18, the Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme will also be extended to eligible Farm Household Allowance recipients who have exhausted their 1,095-day entitlement.

“These Business Improvement Concessional Loans recognise that some farmers may need further assistance to achieve their farm business plans.

“The Coalition continues to deliver farm-strengthening initiatives from the $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, which had a $2.5 billion commitment to concessional loans over ten years.”

South Australian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Leon Bignell, said the South Australian Government welcomes the loan funding and will continue to work with the Australian Government to support the delivery of the Concessional Loans Scheme.

“When livelihoods on the land are dependent on factors which are often beyond our control, like whether or not it rains – a scheme like this helps farmers better manage the challenges they face,” Minister Bignell said.

“Our dairy farmers have done it tough since milk prices were reduced – and these loans have been another way of supporting them. The South Australian Government has also provided financial counselling assistance and mental health care.”

Australia’s farmers contribute about $62.8 billion to our nation’s economy and stronger farm businesses mean a stronger economy. Supporting viable farm businesses to better manage through drought and hardship is firmly in the national interest.

Fast facts
• $250 million in concessional loans funding is available from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.
• Three loan types: Drought Assistance, Dairy Recovery, and Business Improvement.
• Loan amounts are for up to a maximum of $1 million in total, with an initial variable concessional interest rate of 3.09 per cent for a maximum term of 10 years. Interest-only repayments are available for the first five years of the loan term, with principal and interest repayments for the next five years.
• More than $724 million in concessional loans has been approved nationally to 1342 farm businesses (as at 30 June 2017).

Rural Business Support can assist eligible primary producers with Concessional Loans Scheme applications. Please call us on 1800 836 211 to find out more.