Victorian farmers dealing with and recovering from drought will have access to additional funding for Drought Concessional Loans following strong demand with a total of 59 loans, worth $24 million, approved since October 2015.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, announced that a further $15 million has been made available to support farm businesses in drought to refinance existing debt and prepare for future drought.
“While it has been raining across Victoria recently, the financial effects of drought don’t disappear overnight and nor will our assistance to Victorian farm businesses doing it tough,” Minister Joyce said.
“Our Victorian delivery agency, Rural Finance, told us the $30 million already allocated for drought concessional loans will likely run out without an injection of additional funds—we have responded to ensure loans are an option for eligible farm businesses.
“Despite one of the wettest May-September periods on record, there are still large parts of Victoria that will meet the loan’s rainfall deficiency criteria. I strongly encourage those thinking of applying for a concessional loan or any other assistance to explore their options.”
Minister Joyce said an additional $20 million had also been offered to Victoria for Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans through to 31 October 2016 and is subject to the Victorian Government accepting the offer.
“The Federal Government has offered the Victorian Government additional funding for Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans, to help affected Victorian dairy farmers manage through the current period of uncertainty following retrospective cuts to their incomes by dairy processors and to return to profitability,” Minister Joyce said.
“The Federal is committed to ensuring our farmers have certainty about the support available to help them manage through and prepare for drought and to face the current challenges in the dairy industry.”