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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 288

Drought Concessional Loans Scheme

(Question No. 661)


Mr Fitzgibbon asked the Minister for Agriculture, in writing, on 24 November 2014:

In respect of him hoping to announce an additional $100 million for drought specific concessional loans, (a) when will he announce the additional funding, (b) which states and territories will be eligible, (c) has he exchanged letters with the Treasurer's office agreeing to the extra funding, (d) what criteria have been agreed to, and (e) have the guidelines for drought specific concessional loans been approved; if so, on what date.


Mr Joyce: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(a) On 4 December 2014, I announced $100 million in funding for the Drought Recovery Concessional Loans Scheme.

(b) Farm businesses in Queensland and New South Wales will be eligible to apply.

(c) No, however, the appropriate Australian Government approval processes have been followed.

(d) The scheme will provide loans of up to 50 per cent of a farm business's total eligible debt to a maximum of up to $1 million over a loan term of up to 10 years for planting and restocking activities as seasonal conditions allow. The loans will have a concessional variable interest rate, initially set at 3.21 per cent, and interest-only repayments for the first five years. In Queensland and New South Wales, the loans will be available for farm businesses that have experienced a rainfall deficiency equivalent to, or worse than, either a 1 in 50 year or 1 in 100 year rainfall event. In Queensland, the loans will also be available for farm businesses that have experienced a rainfall deficiency equivalent to, or worse than, either a 1 in 10 year or 1 in 20 year rainfall event and that were directly involved in the consignment of live cattle to the export trade to Indonesia in at least two of the three financial years prior to 1 July 2011. The complete loan eligibility and loan assessment criteria will be in the scheme guidelines.

(e) No.