Up to $1M is available from Drought Assistance Concessional Loans to help farm businesses that are affected by drought conditions recover or prepare for future droughts.
Drought Assistance Concessional Loans
The Drought Assistance Concessional Loans Scheme is part of an Australian Government drought assistance package aimed at assisting Farm Businesses that are experiencing a Significant Financial Impact as a result of the effects of drought. It is open for applications in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
This scheme is designed to assist farming operations that have been operating for at least three years and have experienced significant financial impact as a result of the effects of drought, but have good long-term prospects of returning to profitable trading and sustainable debt levels.
Under the scheme, the Australian Government is making available Drought Assistance Concessional Loans to eligible Farm Businesses, which can be used for the purposes of restructuring existing Eligible Debt (including a Farm Finance Concessional Loan provided under the Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme), providing new debt for Operating Expenses or Drought Recovery and Preparedness Activities, or a combination of these.
The scheme will be delivered by different agencies in different states and territories, on behalf of the Australian Government.
More information, including scheme guidelines and application requirements, are available from the relevant delivery agency website for your jurisdiction.
Loans are available for a maximum of 10 years at a variable concessional interest rate of 3.09 per cent (as at 1 August 2017).
Loan amounts are for up to a maximum of $1 million with conditions applying.
Loans can be used for:
- Debt restructuring: Applicants can use the concessional loan to restructure a proportion of their existing eligible debt at a lower interest rate.
- Operating expenses: Applicants can use the concessional loan to fund operating expenses that are necessary to continue the normal operations of the farm business.
- Drought recovery and preparedness activities: Applicants can use loan funds to contribute to the cost of activities to recover from and prepare for future drought.
Loans for operating expenses and drought recovery and preparedness activities would represent new debt for the applicant.
To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate:
- their farm business has been financially impacted by drought, causing a financial need for assistance
- the financial impact being experienced by their farm business is a result of the effects of drought, which is considered to be a rainfall deficiency equivalent to, or worse than, either a 1 in 10 year or a 1 in 20 year rainfall event as indicated in the Rainfall Deficiency Report produced by the Australian Rainfall Deficiency Analyser
- they have taken reasonable steps to prepare for the effects of drought
- their farm business has sound prospects for a return to commercial viability
- they have an ability to repay the loan and provide adequate security, and their commercial lender agrees to the proposed arrangements for the concessional loan.
To help determine your rainfall event, applicants will need to use the Australian Rainfall Deficiency Analyser tool developed by the Bureau of Meteorology. Information on how to access and use the tool is available on the delivery agency website for your jurisdiction.
Applications close 30 June 2018.